Author interview: Lisa Dickenson

Today I am very lucky to be joined by the very lovely Lisa Dickenson for an author interview, the perfect way to finish off my week of reviews for You Had Me at Merlot.

1. Hi Lisa, welcome to Sheli Reads. I have been reviewing You Had Me at Merlot all week and loved it! Where did you get your inspiration for the story?

Mooooorning! Thanks so much for reading and reviewing Merlot – very much appreciated, what a star you are! To be honest, as much as I’d love to say I spent four months at a Tuscan vineyard allowing the story to unfold itself, most of the inspiration just, erm, came out of my head. I’ve visited vineyards in Australia and California, on day-trip wine tastings, so I drew on memories of them. For everything else, I used holiday brochures, relationships I have with people, lovely friends and dreams of hot hot summers to inspire me!

2. My favourite character is independent woman, Elle. Did you base her character on anyone you know?

I think she’s probably, in a way, based on most people I know. Even if you don’t have exactly the same dreams/goals/wants as Elle I think we all have something we crave after as well as that feeling that other people are expecting us to be in a place in our life that we aren’t at – whether for you it’s marriage, babies, owning a house, being at the top of your career or even being the ‘ideal’weight and fitness. I hope she’s relatable, in that way.

3. If you were casting a film for You Had Me at Merlot, who would you like to play Elle and Jamie?

Good question! Ooo, I’m really not sure, as I don’t picture specific people when I write (and I never describe my leading lady’s looks in that much detail as I like people to be able to put themselves in the story). Maybe someone like Jennifer Lawrence for Elle (or Laurie!) and Liam Hemsworth or Jake Gyllenhaal for Jamie? Who would you cast?

4. I liked that the book was released in four parts over four weeks as it gave me something to look forward to on a Monday! How did you decide to release it this way?

Glad you liked it! It was actually my Editor, Manpreet, at Little, Brown’s idea to publish them this way. She wanted to do an experiment with my first novel, The Twelve Dates of Christmas, and she felt it worked so chose to do the same for You Had Me at Merlot.

5. Which authors most inspire you?

I’m very inspired by female authors who’ve made an empire out of their writing – be it because they thought of, at the time, a very simple yet unique idea that skyrocketed, such as a school for wizards or teenage vampires (I wish I’d come up with those concepts!) or because they churn out books writing exactly what they want to write and have become leaders for that reason, like Jackie Collins.

6. Who would be your ultimate dinner party guests? We would have to make sure that there was plenty of Italian wine at the party!!

Yay for wine! And if there’s wine involved… as awful as this sounds I’d love to have a dinner party full of celebs who apparently don’t get on, just to see how they act around each other in real life! I guess this is why I’m such a sucker for reality TV… So people like Jen and Angelina, Britney and Christina, Kim and Paris. And I’d just sit back with my vino and gawp at them all.

7. Where is your favourite place to write? Do you like to have noise around you or complete silence?

I do most of my writing on my bus commute to and from my day job, but in an ideal world my favourite place is either squadged in the middle of my big grey sofa, or somewhere with a nice view, like over a Cornish beach or the Hollywood Hills! I don’t mind some noise – sometimes I listen to certain emotive music to get me in a particular mood for a scene, or I stick some New Girl or Friends on in the background if I need to get my head into a more ‘funny’ mode!

8. Finally, what can we expect from you next?

Well, the complete ebook of The Twelve Dates of Christmas is coming out in October, which I’m excited about, but my next book will be out in Spring 2015 and is yet untitled… I’m really looking forward to writing it though, I have lots of ideas bubbling away!

I’d like to say a massive thank you to Lisa for taking time out to answer my questions. You can follow Lisa on twitter at @lisawritesstuff or visit her website http://www.lisadickenson.com/

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