Today iit’s my turn on the blog tour for Quilling Me Softly. I’m sharing my Q&A with the author with thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on the tour and to Nigel May for answering my questions!
Have you always wanted to write?
I was a showbiz journalist for many years so writing is what my profession was for a long time. I worked for many magazines and newspapers and then started working in TV as a presenter. I missed writing so that was why I started my first novel, Trinity. It was just a project on the PC for a while and then I decided to self-publish. That lead to me getting a book deal which has been on and off ever since! Writing is such a beautifully escapist thing to do. I think everyone has a book in them.
What were your previous jobs? Have they helped you with your writing process?
I was a showbiz journalist for many years interviewing everyone from Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera through to film and telly stars. Then I moved into TV as a presenter ending up in shopping television. I work on a crafting channel now and have done for many years which is where my love of all things crafty comes from. The craft group in Quilling Me Softly were a joy to write about as I know the subject matter very well and I can picture each and every one of them because I know so many people just like that.
What was your inspiration for Quilling Me Softly?
Working in craft it seemed destined that eventually I would write about a craft group and setting a murder mystery around it seemed like the perfect excuse. Swapping glues for clues and decoupage for deception. I love a good mystery and hopefully I’ve written one.
How do you construct your characters? Do they have traits of people you know?
I plot all of my characters before I start writing. Give them names, ages, characteristics, relationships etc. Many are loosely based on people I know. Lots of names are of people I know too. Not completely copied, but maybe the forename of one with the surname of another. It helps me picture them as I write.
What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Oh I’m a plotter. But I do all of my plotting in a notebook. I have to scribble down with pen and paper. ‘What if so and so dates so and so’ and ‘what if that person gets murdered’? It’s a fun way to plan a plot twist and see where the action takes you.
How did you research? Did you enjoy it?
Yes, I research a lot. I try to set action in places I’ve been so I can recall exact details. With Quilling Me Softly, my already established knowledge of crafting helped hugely.
Who are your favourite writers? Are you influenced by them?
Quilling is my first cosy-crime murder mystery but there have been murders in all of my books so I do love a good murder mystery writer and nobody writes them better than the late great Agatha Christie. She was incredible. Stories like And Then There Were None and Death On The Nile are just so clever and beautifully plotted. I adore reading her books. I also love Jackie Collins and Armistead Maupin. Anything by them I just devour.
If you could invite three people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be and why?
Agatha Christie, Victoria Wood and Jackie Collins. You could guarantee that intrigue, humour and glamour would all be on the menu.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Matt Hancock…need I say more. Or anybody with claustrophobia as that would be unbearable. I think my nerves would already be in shreds so having somebody screaming their head off would drive me over the edge.
Who would play the main character/s in a film version of Quilling Me Softly?
Great question. Well, a man can dream….so I would have Julie Walters as Violet Brewer, Helen Mirren as Margaret Millsop, Jack Whitehall as Jimmy Coates, Alan Cumming as Bailey, Rupert Everett as Sir Buster Burniston, Jennifer Saunders as his wife, Fiona, Michelle Keegan as Sheena Pollett and Tameka Empson as Pearl Wheeler. Sarah Lancashire could play WPC Horton and Simon Pegg would play Sergeant Pollett. Loved answering that. Now let’s make it happen.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I host a Sunday evening radio show on Gaydio which fills my spare time. I interview lots of celebrities on there and really enjoy putting the show together. I also like to go to the theatre and catch up with friends for meals and nights out. I also enjpy sitting in front of the TV watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Obsessed!
What is next for you?
Hopefully a sequel for Quilling Me Softly if people love it. I have also been working on a murderous comedy romp set in a half-real, half-fictional world of Eurovision which is a thing I adore. The first TV show I ever remember watching was the Eurovision Song Contest. I’ve been many times.
The Tales of The City series by Armistead Maupin. Just delightful and charming and heart-warming.
Evil Under The Sun. A classic Agatha Christie with a fabulous cast of actors who play the characters deliciously well.
ABBA. Classic tunes that make me smile. I also love Cher, Grace Jones, Kim Wilde, Bananarama and Sophie Ellis-Bextor. I love a good slice of pop music.
Like the rest of the nation, I was obsessed with The Traitors. It was so good. I also loved watching Schitt’s Creek and classic detective shows like The Avengers and The Champions from days gone by. I love Botched as well. I’m fascinated by people’s plastic surgery.
Purple or green.
India was incredible. So colourful and friendly. I nearly cried when I saw the Taj Mahal. And I loved going to Egypt to see Abu Simbel. That blew my mind!
Good question! I love a dark chocolate Leibniz biscuit. Nibble the chocolate around the edge, dunk in tea and devour. Sweet.
Quilling Me Softly is available from Amazon.
You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:
One thought on “Q&A with Nigel May”
I love the title – made me smile!