- Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
All my comedies have serious threads running through them and in this one I wanted to tackle the subject of self-confidence and especially social anxiety disorder. Many people suffer from this debilitating disorder that prevents them from mixing with others. Following the death of her parents and sister in a light plane crash, Chloe developed this disorder and struggled all her life with it. Her husband William used it to bully her and the story isn’t just one of finding love and friendship but of overcoming something that can really ruin people’s lives. When Chloe meets her new neighbour, a larger than life figure, who runs a singleton’s club and who won’t take no for an answer, she doesn’t realise at the time but she has taken the first step on a path that will aid her recovery. All the madcap events she attends, and people she meets, help her find out who she really is and that she is stronger than she believes she is. I am incredibly sympathetic towards people who suffer from this condition. I struggle at times with mild anxiety disorder but know others who find it too difficult to combat. I suppose that’s what makes the book different. It isn’t just a crazy, laugh-out-loud novel of people learning to enjoy life but puts a fresh spin on the heroine of the story and her lifeline – the hapless mongrel, Ronnie.
- How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?
All my books start as ideas – a series of scrawled notes in brand new notebook. Some can take months or years to be turned into a story. The idea for Suddenly Single came about in 2012 after we moved onto a half completed new development of only six houses. I jotted down notes and possible scenarios. A few months later, I added character notes and then stacked it in my ‘To Be Written’ pile of notebooks. I didn’t begin work on it until early 2018.
- Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?
I actually self-pubbed my first book in 2010. I’m not sure if I needed to but I simply didn’t have enough patience to wait for a publisher to pick it up and after three rejections, decided to go alone. As it turned out it wasn’t a bad move because the book did remarkably well and I was then offered a contract by a small publishing house. If I were to do it all again, however, I would definitely be more patient and by that, I mean wait up to a year or longer to get a contract with a publisher. It was extremely hard to make a name for myself and do all the marketing and promo as well as write a sequel.
- In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?
That’s tough because there are a lot of incredibly funny authors. I’ve always enjoyed Janet Evanovich and Ben Elton’s books. I suppose if I had to narrow it down to one person, I’d go for Caitlin Moran, the journalist and author of How to Build a Girl. She’ll make you sort tea from your nose.
- What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?
There are a few things I’m proud of:
I learnt to fly a helicopter in my 40s
I got my PADI diving licence and dived with sharks for charity.
I took up stand-up comedy in my 50s and performed gigs around the Midlands.
I won The People’s Book Prize award in 2015 for Grumpy Old Menopause and was on BBC Breakfast television and Sky news.
But most of all, I am proud of my books. Every time I receive an emails or message from a reader saying how much they’ve enjoyed reading one of them, I feel ridiculously proud.
As a child Carol Wyer was always moving, and relied on humour to fit in at new schools. A funny short story won her popularity, planting the seed of becoming a writer. Her career spans dry cleaning, running a language teaching company, and boxercise coaching. Now writing full-time, Carol has several books published and journalism in many magazines.
Carol won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015), and can sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.
Previous Books: What Happens in France
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