Tuesday 15 April 2014


Blog Tour: Interview with Carole Matthews

Carole Matthews is one of my favourite authors, her amazing novels always make me feel warm and fuzzy inside and not just because they often cover two of my favourite things; chocolate and Christmas. I'm thrilled to be part of the blog tour for her latest book, A Place to Call Home.

Hi Carole, thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions as part of the A Place to Call Home blog tour. I'm a huge fan of your beautiful and heart-warming stories and I loved your new novel!

CM: Thank you, Zarina! That's very kind. Thank you for letting me visit your blog!

What does an average writing day in the life of Carole Matthews look like? Do you have any special writing tools and/or rituals?

CM: I'm quite a disciplined person, so my writing day is very structured - and probably quite dull unless you're in my head! I work an eight-hour day, Monday - Friday. That's the only way I can manage to write two books a year. There's no lying around on a chaise longue waiting for the muse to arrive! I just switch on my computer and crack on.

The only special tools are lots of tea and the occasional bar of chocolate. That's enough to keep me going. It's all very unglamorous, I'm afraid!

Your novels cover a wide range of topics from a chippy make-over to a life-changing journey through Africa, where do you find the ideas you create your stories around?

CM: It tends to be either something I've seen in a newspaper or magazine, or a conversation I've had with someone. I like to look for something contemporary, a little issue that's bothering women. I also write a lot of books set where I live in the Costa del Keynes, so it's sometimes nice to go to somewhere a bit more exotic if the 'research' fun will allow.

I particularly liked writing Wrapped Up in You which was set in the Maasai Mara and also Calling Mrs Christmas which involved a trip to Lapland. I hope my love of the countries and the colour comes through in the stories.

Even though it's not anywhere near December, to me you are the Queen of Christmas. Is it difficult to get in the spirit and write a seasonal novel months before the holiday is in sight? And please tell me you have another one planned for this year?

CM: Thank you! I feel like the Queen of Christmas. Since doing a Christmas novel every year I have fully embraced the festive season and there doesn't seem to be a time when I'm not thinking about it. I’m probably one of the few people who craves mince pies in July. It's sometimes hard writing about cold and snow when it's sweltering outside!

There will, indeed, be another Christmas novel this year. It will be my 25th book, so quite a landmark. It's called The Christmas Party.

This is a bit of an evil question, but which of your characters is your favourite and why?

CM: I think Lucy Lombard from The Chocolate Lovers' Club and The Chocolate Lovers' Diet. She always tries to do the right thing and ends up making a terrible hash of everything. She's more like me than I care to admit. I haven't finished with the those ladies yet and am currently writing a third book in the series for Christmas 2015.

And finally, what is the absolute best thing about being a writer?

CM: Being able to work from home. I live in a three-story house and I'm lucky to have the top floor as offices. I used to commute into London every day and am so very, very glad that I don't have to do that anymore. All I have to do now is walk up a flight of ten stairs. Bliss.

Thank you!

Thank you very much to lovely Carole for stopping by my blog today! Her latest novel, A Place to Call Home, is published by Sphere and is out now. You can (and should) buy a copy from Waterstones, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com or your own preferred retailer.

The Christmas Party will be published on 8 August in hardback and can be pre-ordered from Waterstones and Amazon.co.uk. The paperback will follow 23 October.

For more blog posts about A Place to Call Home make sure you visit the other stops in the tour over the next two weeks:

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