Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Interview with Emma Bowd, Author of "The Shoe Princess's Guide to the Galaxy"

I'm thrilled to have Emma Bowd, author of The Shoe Princess's Guide to the Galaxy visiting The Book Chick today! She kindly agreed to answer a few of my burning questions, despite the fact that the busy holiday season is well upon us now, giving us, oh, only about a million extra things to do. If you missed my review of this book yesterday, catch up on it here- it would make a great Christmas gift for the new mom, chick-lit lover, or shoe lover in your life, or just a fabulous present for yourself (c'mon, it's the holiday season, you know you deserve an extra present or two)!! So, without further ado, please welcome Emma Bowd!

The Book Chick: Shoe Princess is such an enjoyable read! How long did it take you to write it?
Emma Bowd: Firstly, thanks! I get a real thrill from connecting with people through my writing. And in the case of this novel, it has been mums, grannies, dads (especially first-time dads), granddads (a surprisingly big fan base!) and shoe-loving career girls who have given me lovely feedback - quite a cross-section of readers.

As for how long it took to write...far too long!! The vast majority of it was written at my kitchen table at night, while my two young children slept- over the past 6 years! (My kids are now 6yrs and 9 yrs) I also moved house from England to Australia in this had a lot going on.

TBC: Do you have a favourite place to do your writing?
EB: As table is my favourite. I do like using a laptop and enjoyed taking it out into the garden or to a café, especially during the early 'creative phase'. However, I found the deeper I got into the story the more I needed to concentrate - it gets quite technical making everything slip seamlessly together - so I had to move into the dining room to avoid getting lost in a pile of congealed cornflakes!

TBC: Shoe Princess is your first foray into writing fiction, although you are the author of the non-fiction bestsellers A Passion for Shoes and A Passion for Handbags. How did the experience of writing fiction differ for you than the experience of writing non-fiction?
EB: Greatly! The non-fiction books took me very little time to write. As they were quite short, but also my pet hobbies - so I did not need to do any research or think too much about it!

As for the novel, I started off in a flurry of huge enthusiasm, but was not a trained writer, having worked as an Occupational Therapist for 12 yrs prior. I had much to learn about the 'craft' of writing (e.g. characters
and plotting) and was blessed to be under the tutelage of a brilliant editor. I basically learnt how to write my novel on-the-job, and found it hugely challenging and stimulating - especially because I was at home with
two young children, so it really was 'my time' away from the day-to-day grind of childcare (as much as I loved it too!).

TBC: Did the scenarios in "Shoe Princess" draw from your own experiences with motherhood, or were they purely fictional?
EB: The story is naturally fiction - and I have to say I had a LOT of fun with the characters and plot lines! The structure of the novel started with the Shoe Princess character and her website, and I then wove the narrative of Jane and first-time motherhood around it. I think the general theme of seeing and experiencing the world differently after your first child is quite common, and I'm certainly no exception to that. I did do a shoe-making course in London...though sadly no hunky Marco instructor (sob)! Oh yes, and I do loooove shoes! But again, have nothing remotely resembling the Shoe Princess's collection! I definitely lived my fantasy through her.

TBC: Finally, do you have plans to write more fiction novels in the future? Is there anything that you are working on now?
EB: I'd dearly love to write more fiction novels in the future! Am currently toying with the idea of a Shoe Princess sequel (having had many requests for one) or turning a short-story I wrote some years ago into a novel...I'm always scribbling down ideas on bits of paper!

At the moment I've teamed up with a lovely artist and am putting the finishing touches to a children's picture book called Je Ne Sais Quoi,about a little girl in Paris.

Thanks again to Emma Bowd for taking the time to stop by! If you would like to find out more about The Shoe Princess's Guide to the Galaxy, be sure to visit the publisher's website!

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