Name: Alison Brodie
Where are you from:
No-where. My father was in the Royal Air Force and we moved around all the time. I guess, I would call Scotland my home because my relatives are from there.
A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc:
I did not have friends at school. This was because I never really stayed long enough. Plus, I lacked confidence because I didn’t get affection at home. Plus, I wasn’t allowed to fraternise with neighbouring children because their fathers were not officers.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’ve recently released my second indie novel, The Double.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Sitting alone in a playground can be very lonely and embarrassing, so I “willed” myself to be somewhere else, which meant going inside my brain and imagining other worlds. I believe this has made me the writer I am today.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I saw my debut, Face to Face, on the shelves of W H Smiths in Guildford. I was expecting to see my book tucked away but to see them all standing up inside the window … I couldn’t believe it. Five minutes later, I was in another shop and I suddenly burst into tears because I was so HAPPY. I was a writer!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
An advertisement in a local paper.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes. I love to create stories with a strong plot-line, where the characters are in conflict with each other and they each have to battle against something. Characters in conflict are wonderful. They give me the chance to write snarky, angry, sassy dialogue that, hopefully, make my readers laugh. Tip: Imagine you are in a restaurant. There’s one loving couple at the table to the right. To the left, is a couple who are arguing. Which couple would you be tempted to listen to?
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The story is about two identical-looking woman. I played with the title: The Lookalike. Then decided The Double was better.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I have messages in all my novels. My debut was about the extinction/re-introduction of animal species into the wilds of Scotland. Sweet Talk was about organic farming and the stupidity of using pesticides that eventually end up in our food. Wild Life was about the destruction of ancient woodland. The Double touches on the Moldovan invasion of Transnistria, which was proved to be unlawful by the international courts – yet nothing was done to help the Transnistrians reclaim their home.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I heavily research each book. I want to make it as real as possible. I believe that writing “pure romantic escapism” set against real-life events makes for a good combination.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Both. One of the main settings in The Double is a million-dollar super-yacht. I got my inspiration for it when I was doing a TV commercial in Barcelona for 7Up. At the end of the week, the models/crew were invited on board a yacht in the harbor. The yacht was fabulous but not as fabulous as the mega yacht that was too big to get into the harbor. Borrowing binoculars, I saw uniformed stewards moving about the deck – but what really caught my attention was the solitary beautiful woman with long black hair. This was to become Beth, the auxiliary nurse who changes places with a rock star.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
There have been so few books that I have really LOVED. But when I do love a book, I treasure it like a friend and keep it close by me, and never lend it out.
Love Story by Erich Segal. Beautiful prose, not one unnecessary word. At no point does he tell you how to feel. He just says it how it is. Perfect.
After the Fire a Still Small voice by Evie Wyld: I was totally in her world. I could feel the heat, the flies. Right through it I was suspended with curiosity. What was the hero running from? It was so melancholic, so true, so gripping. Yet it had flashes of humour, especially when the neighbour’s little girl gets exasperated at the hero’s lack of self-sufficiency and takes him in hand.
T.C. Boyle (short stories). Spare prose, cutting wit, raw, funny, mind expanding.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m not. I’m too busy. This is a pity because when I read a good book I feel so much happier and relaxed. For me, a good book is a treat that I spend the day looking forward to.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Pam Houston (Cowboys are My Weakness). These are short stories.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I have another book to launch in May. It’s finished and I feel it’s my best so far, but I can’t think of a title!
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Someone called Magda Alexander is always re-tweeting my tweets.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I have no choice. It’s something I have to do.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’m not writing at the moment, I’m promoting. I’m quite new to promoting/marketing and I feel it has sapped my creativity. Luckily I have a few books lined up ready for release. When they are released I’m going to have to cut myself off from the internet in order to be able to write again.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Editing for the sixth time! I aim to be a perfectionist. That’s why publishing e-books is great for me. The words are not set in stone. I can change/improve my books any time I want. And I do
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Amazon Authors Page USA http://www.amazon.com/Alison-Brodie/e/B0034PXSL6/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1
Amazon Authors Page UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alison-Brodie/e/B0034PXSL6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1456052380&sr=1-2-ent