An interview with the queen of the feel-good read Cathy Bramley

I’m very excited to feature, bestselling author Cathy Bramley on the blog today. Reading her books, is like being wrapped up in a blanket on a chilly afternoon, while someone lovely brings you a cup of cocoa …

Cathy Bramley head shot

Cathy is the author of Conditional Love, Ivy Lane, a serialised novel told in four parts. (Ivy Lane Winter was just released so you can read all four parts now, note how jealous I am) and Appleby Farm part one, from her latest, serialised novel, will be released next year February.

I fell in love with Ivy Lane, which follows the story of Tilly Parker who takes on an allotment garden and begins to rebuild her life, season by season.

Meet the lovely Cathy Bramley!

Did you always want to be a writer?

Actually, no! Writing arrived at my front door unannounced one day and I realised I’d been waiting for it all my life.

What inspires your writing?

Everyday stuff, anything, funny things, an odd idea that occurs to me, or even, in the case of Appleby Farm, a keyring!

Have you got a favourite novel or would that be like having a favourite child?

At various points in its infancy I love or detest each one! But so far by the end of the writing process I’ve been very proud of all of them. To misquote a song, I tend to love the one I’m with most.

Ivy Lane, and your upcoming serialised book Appleby Farm, both feature getting back to nature. Are you a keen gardener yourself?

I like the idea of gardening and I like the idea of living and working on a farm, but writing about those two things are about as close as I’ll ever get!

I love the idea of the serialised novel – did you always plan writing (Ivy Lane) that way?

I was approached by an editor from Transworld and asked whether I would consider writing a serial for her and the idea was born from there. Ivy Lane was always conceived as a serial and I was very conscious of not just writing one novel and chopping it into quarters.

Tilly and the Ivy Lane family were a big part of your life for close to a year, was it hard seeing it come to an end? Or will we hear from Tilly again in Appleby farm?

It was very hard to see the series coming to an end, but Ivy Lane will be released as a full novel in paperback in February which will bring the story to a whole new audience. This way I get to live with the characters for a bit longer. Will Tilly turn up in Appleby Farm? You’ll have to wait until next February to find out!

Where do you write – have you got a dedicated spot? (Somehow I can’t help picturing that it’s a gorgeous shed in a garden somewhere, grin)

I have an office in my house. When we first moved in three years ago it was called the office. Now it’s mine!

What is your writing process – do you write every day?

I write full time, so yes, I write every day Monday to Friday. I usually write on Saturday mornings too for a couple of hours before my family wakes up.

What advice do you have for any aspiring authors?

Keep it to yourself for the first novel. There is nothing worse than having friends and family ask ‘How’s the book coming on?’ Be brave and confident: your writing is yours, your voice is yours and ultimately your story is yours too, so tell it as you want to tell it and not how you think your mother/partner/bestfriend would like to read it. And finally commit to it. If you want to write a book, do it. No one is going to write it for you, so turn the TV off, get up early, whatever, but do it!

 30 second Cathy

  •  Ebooks or print? Print
  • Champagne and canapés or tea and scones? Champagne. Every. Time.
  • Sea or country? Seaside!
  • Dogs or cats? Dogs
  • Plot or free form? Plot

Thanks so much Cathy!

To find out more about Cathy and her novels you can visit her website or connect with her on Twitter.

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