I’m very pleased to be welcoming author, Alison May to Novel Kicks today. Hello Alison. Thank you for joining me.. For people who are new to your books, can you tell me a little about your novels and writing style?
I write romantic comedies. When I’m being flippant I say I write books about twenty and thirty-somethings getting drunk and making bad life choices. When I’m not being flippant I try to make it sound more serious and important than that, but really it’s mainly drinking and bad decisions.
What is your typical writing day like?
Morning: Get up. Wonder about putting proper clothes on. Eat toast in pyjamas. Accidentally get sucked into watching episodes of The Gilmore Girls I’ve seen about eighteen times before. Get cross with self and actually turn laptop on. Answer email and look at social media (which is totally definitely work and not procrastinating at all). Realise it’s lunchtime and resolve to definitely do better in the afternoon.
Afternoon: Much like the morning, but hopefully ending up with a phase of frantic writing of words which will almost certainly turn out to be terrible.
Where do you normally like to write? Do you normally like to write in silence or surrounded by noise?
I mostly write at home in my tiny purple office, but I try to mix things up, so I’ll turn music on and off over the course of the day, or I’ll move with my laptop and write in bed or on the dining table for a bit. I do that because I’m a huge procrastinator, and I find that changing the environment can trick my brain out of faffing and get it to refocus on whatever it’s supposed to be doing. For the same reason I sometimes drag myself to the local library (The Hive in Worcester – it’s very big and very gold). I usually go to the library if I’ve got one big task that I’m procrastinating at home, and set myself a rule about when I’m allowed to leave the library eg. ‘You can’t go home until you’ve drafted that short story’ or ‘You can’t go home until you’ve finished reading that draft.’
What is your process like in regard to planning, daily word count and editing?
It’s different for every book to be honest. For my first novel I just wrote 2000 words a day with no planning at all until I had a first draft. It was an awful first draft, but it had the right number of words at least. Now it varies – I plan more than I used to, but I invariably abandon the plan as soon as I start writing. I sometimes find notes I made at the start of a book and I can barely recognise which book they were supposed to relate to.by