Having exhausted all the conventional ways to meet her ‘Mr Right’ (and because now she really is a little bit desperate), single mum Fleur Summers turns to her well-meaning, but eccentric friends and family for help.
From ‘Man Mountain’; an engineer who eats everything in sight and tall dark handsome Tom with big hands but no idea how to use them, to the mysterious and brooding Henry Austin.
Dispatches from the Dating Zone follows the trials and tribulations of Fleur’s journey as she works her way through a number of eventful blind dates, all in the name of finding true love.
The story focuses on love, friendship, parenthood and dating and is primarily a romantic comedy with a side order of raunchiness thrown in for good measure.
Goodreads Link: Click here
Release Date: 7th August 2014
1. If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
What a tough question. The following authors have certainly inspired me; Lisa Jewel, Jane Green and Sophie Kinsella. Reading their books in the early days got me through some very difficult and lonely times. However if I had to pick just one author, there's only one who has made the longest and lasting impression on me and that is Jackie Collins. I can remember being a 17 year old teenager reading one of her books and thinking it was the best thing since sliced bread. Jackie’s books were daring and raunchy, long before 50 Shades of Grey came along, and I found that empowering. I'd like to imagine that working with Jackie would involve drinking lots of cocktails and me listening to the amazing stories I'm sure she's got to tell about her own life.
2. What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
My writing routine is daily and tends to start in the early evening and ends at the point I need my bed. Thankfully, I'm a night owl so I'm at my best at night. I can write literally anywhere and will always have a notepad and pen in my handbag as you never know when inspiration will hit you. When I was going through the process of writing 'Dispatches from the Dating Zone' I'd always drift off to sleep planning the chapter I would write the next evening.
3. What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
The experience of writing my first novel is one that I will never forget for a number of reasons. It’s my debut novel, so the experience of writing it will always be special to me. However, it was also very hard work at times. As a single mum, working full time and raising my 12-year old (who’s going through a phase of thinking he’s 16) whilst trying to write a full length novel took every ounce of self motivation and energy I had. It also involved countless late nights and zero social life for the majority of the time it took to complete and I'm about to go through it all over again as I've just started work on the sequel!
4. When and why did you first start writing?
Just like most writers, writing has been my passion for as long as I can remember. From short stories as a child to songs performed in school plays. One way or another I’ve always written.
I was 25 years old and in the very early stages of pregnancy when I finally decided to work on my first novel. However, a third of the way through writing it my life took an unexpected turn. Very much out of the blue and barely a few weeks after giving birth, I found myself facing the road ahead as a single mum and in the process of getting divorced. Needless to say, I didn’t write again for years.
5. How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Along time ago someone told me that some of the best writers are the ones that write about what they know. Whether that was the case or not, it got me thinking about everything I’d been through over the years and how I could draw on it for inspiration. After turning my life around and spurred on by my family and young son, I finally put pen to paper again and ‘Dispatches from the Dating Zone’ was born.
6. Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
I don't read nearly as often as I like and no where near as much as I used to read before I had my son. I've just started JoJo Moyes' The One plus One. I've never read any of her books before and this seemed like a good one to start with.
7. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Just go for it. Self confidence isn’t one of my strong points and putting my writing out there for people to read and ultimately judge is scary, but the thought of looking back on my life as an old woman wondering ‘what if?’ was the motivation I needed to get myself into gear. At the end of the day, if you have a passion for writing and work hard at it, anything is possible. Look at me.