Q&A with Catherine Bruton

Happy publication day to Catherine Bruton and Happy Mothers’ Day to all the wonderful mothers and mother figures out there! I’m taking part in the blog tour for Confessions Of A Helicopter Mummy today, sharing my Q&A with the author. It’s shared with thanks to Zoe O’Farrell for inviting me on the tour and to Catherine Bruton for answering my questions!

Have you always wanted to write?

I’ve just always written. For as long as I can remember I’ve been making up stories in my head, daydreaming, scribbling in a diary, acting out scenes with friends –  or teddies –  or dolls –  or in front of the mirror –  going to sleep dreaming up plots and waking up having forgotten them … that’s me!. 

What were your previous jobs? Have they helped you with your writing process?

I worked a journalist for parenting magazines (just like Anni in the book!) and the national press. I now work as an English and Drama teacher. Both have made me be very efficient with my time. As a working mum, juggling two jobs and two teens I don’t have the luxury of waiting for ‘inspiration to strike.’ On my writing days, no matter what mood I’m in, I sit down and write. It’s interesting –  if you don’t give yourself time to faff and just get on with it in some ways it’s easier.

What was your inspiration for Confessions Of A Helicopter Mummy ?

It’s inspired by my life-long love of rom-coms – from  1980’s John Hughes’ movies through  the 90s Meg Ryan era, to Bridget Jones  and every J-lo movie in Y2K, and more recently ‘Bad Moms’ and any book with a cartoon cover that states ‘Tiktok made me Buy It!’.  But  it’s also inspired by  the rollercoaster of parenting teens  in the digital era  – and the incredible mum-pals who’ve got  me through it all!  

How do you construct your characters? Do they have traits of people you know?

Anni – the chaotic, recently divorced single mum who doesn’t have a clue about love in the digital era – is probably a bit based on me (minus the single bit, my hubbie would be keen for me to clearly state!) Her ‘enemies to lovers’ love interest is Mr Darcy meets Jay Hernandez (sexy single dad in Bad Moms)  I can’t possibly tell you who the love-rat rockstar Anni gets entangled with is based on without getting myself into a lot of hot water (there is a VERY long story behind that one!)

Along the way, Anni meets a lot of people with different parenting styles  –  Yummy Mummies, Hot Baby Mummas, Mother Superiors, Tiger Moms, Helicopter parents, Vampire Mums  … in twenty years of being a mum and teacher, I’ve met them all! And Anni’s pals – whilst none of them is based on any one in particular –  are a composite of many of the amazing women who I’m lucky enough to call my friends! 

What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m a bit unpredictable. Some books I plot incredibly tightly before I write a single word. Others I have a loose idea and let it go from there. This one was so much fun to write it just came incredibly easily without me having to plot too tightly.

How did you research Confessions Of A Helicopter Mummy ? Did you enjoy it?

My teenage son and daughter spent a lot of time explaining social media and modern dating to me. From ghosting to airing, streaks to sexting, Tik-Tok to Tinder – it was an education! 

Who are your favourite writers? Are you influenced by them?

I’m quite an eclectic reader, just as at home reading ‘Hamlet’ as ‘Heat’ magazine. So I love ‘The Great Gatsby’ but my guilty pleasure is Georgette Heyer’s Regency Romances. I can be reading ‘Love in the time of Cholera’ one minute and ‘ The Love Hypothesis’ the next, and I can’t chose between ‘The Spanish Tragedy’ or ‘The Spanish Love’ Deception’ This is why I have a Kindle. So I can pretend I am always reading high brow literary fiction, when I’m actually knee deep in regency romance or rom-com!  

If you could invite three people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be and why?

Shakespeare (no brainer – I got so many questions), F Scott Fitzgerald (who I imagine would get horribly drunk/ off his face and be very entertaining) and Taylor Swift for the LOLs. Can I have Harry Styles too – just to see if it would kick off with him and Tay-tay?  And because he’s gorgeous!

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?

Donald Trump. I would just feel so cross  and want to yell at him, but I  know I would be too polite to do so.

Who would play the main character/s in a film version of Confessions Of A Helicopter Mummy?

I LOVE this question! Mila Kunis would totes be Anni, cos I like to think Anni is a mixture between me and Mila’s character in ‘Bad Moms’, plus I’m also short and dark-haired (though I fear that is where the similarity between me and Mila ends!) Hmm – who would be the enemies-to-lovers  hot dad  love interest? I  think Rene Jean Page (Duke Hastings from Bridgerton) cos he could do that cross but sexy look so well. And then for the other vector in the love triangle (although it’s more of a Reverse Harem, really cos there are several love interests) our sexy  love-rat rock-star needs to be a mixture between a young Hugh Grant (from the days of ‘Bridget Jones’) and Harry Styles.  Can you imagine a mixture of Hugh and Harry – wowzers! Oh and Timothee Chalomet can play Cassie’s love interest, Cos we love Timothee. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Brunch with my girlfriends, walks and runs with my son, cooking  and shopping with my daughter,  and basically anything with my lovely hubbie. Curling up in front of a movie or shopping for carpet cleaner – it’s always more fun when he’s around.

What is next for you?

Well, I also write middle grade fiction  (I am actually a multi- award winning children’s author, dontcha know!) So I am busy  working on three more books for younger readers coming out this year and next – oh, and I am  writing a screenplay adaptation of my novel ‘No Ballet Shoes in Syria’. I do have another Rom-com planned  – so just have to figure out when I have time to write it!

Favourites:

Book? If I can only pick one, then it has to be ‘The Great Gatsby’. 

Film? I should say something classy like ‘My Own Private Idaho’ (which I do adore!) but I think honestly it’s  probably something by John Hughes – ‘Pretty in Pink’ maybe? Or ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’. Perhaps it’s  even ‘High school Musical’ (I won’t hear a word against HSM!) Maybe I should plump for ‘Ten Things I Hate About You’ because it’s practically Shakespeare! 

Band/Singer? Taylor Swift or the Indigo Girls (not so far apart, tbh!)

TV show? The Marvellous Miss Maisel

Colour? Very, very, very pale pink

Place? The Helford River in Cornwall

Biscuit?  Chocolate Finger

***

Confessions Of A Helicopter Mummy is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

Don’t forget to enter the Confessions Of A Helicopter Mummy giveaway run by Spellbound Books:

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