Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Alice Peterson Interview

Today we are joined by the lovely award winning author ........ Alice Peterson.

Alice has kindly come to answer some questions that I have been longing to ask, so let's get to know this talented lady a little more.

1) One Step Closer to You is released tomorrow how will you be celebrating your publication day?
I am celebrating with my agent, Charlotte Robertson at United, along with my lovely publicist Margot Weale, and editors Jane Wood and Katie Gordon at Quercus. My friends are then taking me out in the evening for more fun. 

2) This book focuses on addiction what research did you take for this book?
I spoke to a number of recovering addicts, along with counsellors who specialised in addiction. It’s strange how things happen but when I write people suddenly turn up at the right time, as if I’m being helped along… I was at supper party and placed next to an old friend of my sister’s, Mark, who I hadn’t seen in about ten years. When he asked me what I was up to I mentioned by book and how it was a love story but I also wanted to make my two leading characters recovering addicts. He was quiet, before telling me he’d been to rehab. We then began to meet regularly. He was amazingly open and honest, funny and moving. I found his input invaluable. That’s what I mean; serendipity!

3) Hugo is my favourite character in this book. In your books there are usually characters with disabilities and you write about them with such insight, do you spend a lot of time with characters with these disabilities to be able to know all their daily struggles?
I love how Hugo is your favourite, he is the brother everyone wants, isn’t he! So gorgeous and huggable, loyal and intelligent, caring and funny – and oh yeah, he’s blind. He is in fact inspired by one of my greatest friend’s friends. I didn’t know him well, but was always curious to know how he skied down black runs, what school he’d gone to, how he’d get home from a night out or from the office in the pitch black, how he felt about being partially sighted and how it affected his friendships and relationships. I am drawn to characters with disability because of my own experiences living with rheumatoid arthritis. I also think it’s so important to represent people with disability in fiction since they are part of everyday life and they enrich everyday life – I mean, look at the Paralympics. Disability is all around us, just not many people write about it.

4) By My Side is my absolute favourite of your books, which has been your favourite to write?
I find that each book I write is my favourite. So, the book I’m writing now is! But when I was writing One Step Closer To You, I became so involved with the characters and the drama, that that was easily my favourite…

5) Another Alice tells your story of living with Rheumatoid Arthritis and we see that you actually dreamed of becoming a Tennis Player and was well on your way to fulfilling that dream. As a successful and well loved author do you still feel like you have missed out on your dream or has your love for writing changed your dreams?
When I was first diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis aged 18 I didn’t think anything could ever fill the void of my tennis days. I’m 40 now, and I still miss tennis, but not so much the competition - more the fun I’d had on court. I would die to play tennis with my niece and nephew, Emy and Billy. What I’d give never to be in pain again. But I don’t dream of Wimbledon. My goals have completely changed, and my sense of how fortunate I am has completely altered too. Having RA has deepened and strengthened relationships with friends and family. I have also been able to channel all the determination and ambition I had on the court to my writing. My writing, though it’s taken some time, (and I still have a long way to go!) has been my saviour. I love it and cannot now imagine a life without my laptop and stories. I have so enjoyed the success of being published and the feedback I get from readers and bloggers. I wouldn’t trade the life I have now for my old life.
6) How does your Rheumatoid Arthritis affect you in your writing and day to day life now and more importantly is your Magic Drug still doing its magic!
I bought Darcy, my Lucas Terrier, largely due to my RA. I knew it would be great exercise and that dog walking would take me away from sitting hunched at my computer all day that is not good for anyone, let alone someone like me! What a great decision to get Darcy, since he inspired Monday to Friday Man! I do have splints for my wrists, which I wear if they’re hurting; otherwise they remain in the bottom of my drawer. I do get tired, but, on the whole, with my magic drug, I am well, although occasionally I have very nasty episodes of pain.

7) Have you started writing your next book or do you have any ideas floating around that you can tease us with?
Oh Rea, I can’t tell you what it’s about although very tempting! All I can say is part of it is set in a beautiful house by the sea in Cornwall and it has all the Alice P themes: disability, plenty of romance, hardship, love, sacrifice, loyalty, joy, the feel good factor  – it will make you laugh and cry.

8) If you were approached for one of your books to be made into a film which one would you pick and who could you see playing your leading lady?

One Step Closer To You – Emily Blunt would make the perfect Polly. I think I’d choose this one because of the twist, which I think would make great drama on the big screen… plus it is so romantic.  

9) You have recently won an award for Best Romantic Read at the Festival of Romance, were you surprised and did you have a speech ready?
All the shortlisters were advised to have a speech ready along with a 3 minute reading. I was surprised, due to the competition being strong. I could hardly feel my legs when I went on to the stage to collect my trophy! It was an amazing moment, it felt like the Oscars, the way the envelope was opened, and then there was another pause, and then another announcement, ‘and the winner of the best romantic read is…’ PAUSE… ‘Alice Peterson’. Fireworks went off in my head. It is so lovely to have that kind of recognition. 

Thank you so much for coming over to chat with us Alice. One Step Closer To You is out tomorrow don't forget to grab your copy.

Kindle                        Paperback

You can follow Alice on twitter @AlicePeterson1
On Facebook Alice Peterson
Or check out her website

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