Award winning author Nicola May lives in Ascot in Berkshire. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks and enjoying a flutter on the horses. Inspired by her favourite authors Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews, Nicola is looking forward to sharing her charming, heartfelt and funny books with you.
Can you describe the The SW19 Club in one sentence?
When Gracie Davies is told she can’t have children, she sets up The SW19 Club, where women in similar situations can chat openly about the unspoken issues of fertility in a supportive and fun environment.
If you could choose one of your characters to spend the day with, who would it be and why?
I think it would have to be Professor Princeton. He likes a drink and a bet on the horses and is extremely un-pc on occasions. It would be good fun.
Can you share with us one of your favourite quotes from The SW19 Club
‘Never hold back, Gracie. Tears are words that have been trapped in your heart.’
Are any of the characters in your new novel anything like you? To be honest I think there is always a little piece of me in all of my female characters. But Gracie, the heroine in The SW19 Club was born from my own life changing situation. Very sadly I lost twins and had to have a hysterectomy. I wanted to depict a character with great inner strength, combined with a feminine softness who many women could relate to.
If you were to set up a club, what would it be and what rules would be on the door?
It would be The Self Esteem Club for young women. The world of social media is causing so many body image problems that need to be addressed. Rules on the door:
What would you do if you were told you could never have children? Faced with this news, Gracie Davies is at an all-time low. But with the support of some new Wimbledon friends, an unorthodox therapist, her hippy-chick sister Naomi and Czech call-girl Maya, she sets up The SW19 Club and begins her rocky journey to inner peace and happiness. Add in a passionate fling with handsome landscaper Ed, a fairytale encounter with a Hollywood filmstar and the persistence of her adulterous ex, life is anything but predictable
They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?
Wow, a big question for me, but I will try and précis the answer. I started writing 19 years ago. I amazingly got an agent. For 2 years I received rejection letters. My agent let me go. I kept writing. After losing my treasured twins, I decided my books would become my babies. So… I self published 6 of them myself. And, after a lot of hard work and winning 2 awards for Best Author Read at the Festival of Romance, I got myself an agent, – the lovely Sarah Taylor at Kate Nash and subsequently, 6 months ago my long awaited publisher – Accent Press.
The sequel to The School Gates is constantly bubbling around in my head, but I’m currently writing a new one based around a widely used dating app.
What is your writing routine?
When I start to write, I write. Sometimes for hours on end without even stopping for food, and I love food! It really does take over my life. I love the feeling I get when ideas start flowing and I think writing this way makes it easier for me to maintain the consistency and characters.
You are trapped in a book shop (isn’t that living the dream), which section will we find you in and with whose book in hand?
I would be in the main fiction section with a Patrick Gale book in my hand. He writes real, gritty characters who are far from perfect. So many times I read lines from his books and say out loud ‘I wish I’d written that!’
The best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
That thinking positive thoughts bring positive happenings.
Who or what inspires you?
Every day life inspires me. I’ve had a lot happen in mine and I love watching the world and current influences, hence writing the new novel around a fast-paced dating app. Marian Keyes, Carole Matthews and Milly Johnson are my personal heroines.
Name one of your favourite places in the world?
It is actually a tiny little village in Devon, called Dittisham. It is sat on an estuary opposite Agatha Christie’s old summer home and represents ‘peace’ to me. It actually features in my novel, Let Love Win.
The SW19 Club is being given its own cocktail, what are the ingredients?
A shot of sadness
A hint of spice
A big dash of hope
And a bucket full of love
A big thank you to Nicola for stopping by and talking to Love of a Good Book!