I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for The Hen Party by Emily Benet! My review is coming soon but, in the meantime, I have an author Q&A for you all…
Welcome, Emily. Tell us a little bit about you…
I’m an author, journalist and award-winning blogger. I’ve been passionate about writing since I was very little and wrote my first novel at 11. Nothing happened in it until the last page – but it did have talking field mice in it, so not all bad. My writing career has been full of twists and turns and I owe the internet a lot. My first book Shop Girl Diaries began as a weekly blog about working in my parents’ eccentric little chandelier shop. Thanks to the magic of social media it was spotted by Salt Publishing who commissioned the book.
I posted my second book, a quirky romantic comedy called Spray Painted Bananas, chapter by chapter on the online platform Wattpad. It received over a million visits which led me to sign with MBA literary agency and land a book deal with Harper Collins. They published my third book, a social media inspired comedy called #PleaseRetweet. The Hen Party is my fourth book.
Your inspiration for The Hen Party?
Moving to Mallorca played a big part. I barely knew the island before I moved but immediately fell in love with it and knew I had to set at least one book there. It’s a popular destination for British hen and stag parties who usually end up in the notoriously wild beach resort of Magaluf. Seeing the hen parties on my flight over from the UK spurred the idea. I wanted to write a book with multiple characters and a hen party offered a fun dynamic to work with!
What’s your top writing tip?
Recently I’ve been using a timer to really focus me. I set it for forty minutes and am not allowed to get distracted or write anything other than THE NOVEL! This helps me get a good word count down. Writing DRAFT at the top of the page makes me feel less bad about spewing up a horrific first draft.
Where and when do you write?
I write at my lovely, smooth, white adjustable desk from IKEA in my office/ guest room at home. Sometimes I start the day out on the terrace and then move inside. It depends on the heat and the light. In summer it can get too hot to write comfortably outside. Changing the environment, even if it’s just to the next room, can do wonders for getting the words flowing again.
Are you a planner or a pantser?
I’m a planner but it doesn’t always go to plan. The reality is I often have to write a lot before I find out what it is I’m really writing about. I started The Hen Party three times, so that was at least 60,000 words I chucked away. I wish I could be more efficient but I think it might just be my creative process!
Do you do any research? If so, any sites or sources you care to share?
My research is quite random. I read newspapers, scroll through forums, scan wikipedia and everything in between. For this book, I spent a lot of time just scribbling in the voice of the characters to find out what their motivations were.
Do you read inside your genre or out when writing?
I don’t really think of genre when I go into a book shop. I just want a well-written book that I won’t be able to put down. Thrillers, genuinely funny romantic comedies and multi-perspective family sagas are my favourites. Last week I was reading a ghost story set in the arctic called Dark Matter by Michelle Paver. I was reading it on a beach in the sunshine so it was hard to feel scared – but I still really enjoyed it.
Your author heroes?
Liane Moriarty, David Nicholls, Deborah Moggach and John O’Farrell. Easy.
Anything else you’d like to share?
My new book The Hen Party is available in ebook and paperback from all the usual places! My other books are also online and you can find me on my blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You might also see me pop up when you’re searching for tips on holidaying in Mallorca as I’ve been writing for SeeMallorca and abcMallorca magazine, Have a great time if you visit – and bring my book along to read while you unwind on the beach!
Sounds great! Thank you, Emily, for joining us today!
The Hen Party
Film Director, Kate Miller, is in serious trouble. The entire cast and crew of the reality TV show The Hen Party has gone missing while filming in Mallorca.
To make matters worse, the network boss has just flown in and will be arriving any minute to check up on her production.
Kate thinks it’s all her fault. She hasn’t exactly been following the guidelines.
But if she is to blame, why were the hens arguing between themselves? And why is the groom-to-be calling her up in tears?
Kate doesn’t know the half of it. The hens have their own secrets and it’s only matter of time before they all come tumbling out.
A party of eight arrive on the island, but not everyone’s going home.
You can get yourself a copy here.