Author Interview with Emily Benet

Today, I'm delighted to be welcoming Emily Benet, Harper Collins author, to Becca's Books, for a nosy little interview and for us to find out some more about the fabulous lady behind the Wattpad sensation known as The Temp


Emily, for those readers who have not yet heard of you, could you introduce yourself? 

E ~ Hello! I'm a blogger turned author from London. My mum's Welsh, my dad's Spanish and I spent my teenage years in Barcelona. My first book Shop Girl Diaries began as a comic blog about working in my parents' eccentric chandelier shop. My second, The Temp, also began its life online, on the platform Wattpad and its a million hits led to my current two book deal with Harper Collins. 



What kind of books do you write? How long have you been writing for? 

E ~ I wrote my first complete novel when I was 11 years. It features lots of talking animals. Unfortunately I didn't manage to find a publisher, possibly because it was handwritten. I guess that means I've been writing obsessively for twenty years. Nowadays I write romantic comedies, which my agents describes as 'more rom, than com', which suits me!

Your latest book 'The Temp' is listed as being a rom-com, which I love! How does your book fall into that genre? Can you tell us about 'The Temp' itself? 

E ~ The Temp is classic rom com with a dollop of quirky. It's about Amber, a broke temp, who goes to wacky gallery openings with her best friend, Farrell, to scrounge free wine. At one of these openings, she looks at a stuffed green chicken, and thinks, 'if they can pull it off, why not me?' Enter handsome art curator, a bunch of unlikely friends and a plan to unleash spray painted bananas across London. 

Do you have any authors who influenced you with your writing? 

E ~ I love the humour of David Nicholls' Starter for Ten. I also think Sophie Kinsella is brilliant at page-turning chick lit, and I studied the structure of her novel, Remember Me? before embarking on The Temp.

Have you always wanted to become a writer? At what point did you decide that it was time to take it seriously? 

E ~ Once I wanted to be a bird. I must have been about 4 years old. After that it was to be a writer. My drive to write has influenced the most important decisions in my life. You might say I'm obsessed, but 'passionate' sounds better. 

What else do you like to do besides the writing front? Any hobbies/interests?

E ~ I love mountains. I spent a lot of my childhood in the Catalan Pyrenees because of my family being from there. When I'm up a mountain, I stop caring about making it as a writer. 

I also have started roller-blading again, as my brother opened a skate shop in Barcelona and said he'd only give me a pair if I started skating in London!

Which part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How you ever had to overcome a case of the old writer's block?

E ~ It's always difficult to start. A blank page is a frightening thing. But if I write DRAFT across the top, that relaxes me. I think getting a good idea is the hardest part. I find I don't land on an idea by thinking about it. I have to let go and then it comes. The idea for my next book came to me while I was washing up. Cleaning is great for getting ideas. 

In your opinion, what's the perfect writing accompaniment?

E ~ Yorkshire Tea. (If you're reading, Yorkshire Tea, can you please sponsor me?)

Do your own life experiences and circumstances usually end up winding their way into your books? 

E ~ Yes, definitely. Shop Girl Diaries is a pretty, honest account of my time working in the shop. The Temp began more as what I wish I had the guts to do. The funny thing is, when we came to making the trailer, I ended up going to all the iconic London sites with spray painted bananas and doing what my main character does!

How many books have you written in total? 

E ~ It will be three by the end of this year. 

Do you have a great support team behind you? 

E ~ I do. I've thanked them in the back of my latest book. At one point my husband told me to quit my job at the shop to concentrate on my writing. Thanks to him, I had the security to write a novel for free online, which then ended up getting me an agent and a publisher. I'm so lucky to be married to him!

What kind of themes can readers expect to come across when reading The Temp?

E ~ The idea that you can be famous for anything as long as you make enough noise about it. 

How can they expect to feel? 

E ~ Happy and upbeat!

Are you any good with choosing titles and writing blurbs? 

E ~ Let's see how they sell and then I'll tell you! The publisher changed the title from Spray Painted Bananas to The Temp. Which do you prefer? 

How do you handle any negative reviews? 

E ~ I feel down for a little bit, then remind myself it's subjective. I'm in the process of growing a tougher skin! 

How do you celebrate the good ones? 

E ~ I know it's probably uncool to tweet them, but I do. 

Will you continue to write in the same genre with your future books? If you could have a go at writing in any other genres, which would you choose? 

E ~ Yes, for now I just want to work on my craft and write the best romantic comedies I can. The world needs more laughter! As for another genre, I love reading psychological thrillers but I'm not sure if I could pull one off... then again life is long, so I have time to have a go!

Are you a cocktail or beer type of girl? 

E ~ Beer... Craft beer. 

Do you prefer winter or summer? 

E ~ 100% summer. I love the heat. 

Do you have any regrets in life? 

E ~ Yes, but I'm not telling everyone about them!

What's the best advice that you ever received? Whether that be writing related or just life in general. 

E ~ Whenever I'm after advice, I often open Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle to a random page and land on the word I need to hear!

For public speaking, I always remember my Mum's advice, 'Feel your feet on the floor.' It calms me down, connects me to the moment. Being in the present moment is the happiest place to be - I wish I would remember that more often!

In three words, can you describe how you feel on publication day? 

E ~ Happy. Excited. Relieved. 

What are your thoughts on bloggers and reviewers?

E ~ As a blogger, I know how much effort goes into it so I'm grateful when bloggers give authors a platform to share their work. I find reviewing books really hard, so I'm pleased there are other people who enjoy doing it! Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to review my book and all those who plan to!

Are you working on anything at the mo? If so, are you able to tell us a little about it? 

E ~ I'm editing my next book, which is called #PleaseRetweet. It's the story of May Sparks, a woman who looks after the social media profile of C-list celebrities who otherwise put their foot in it by making inappropriate comments on Twitter. It's all about our real life versus the life we portray online!

Do you have advice to give to aspiring writers out there? 

E ~ Take your writing time seriously. Protect it. Treat it like a job. The more you write the better you get. If at first you don't succeed, write another one. Your persistence will pay off. 

Any parting comments, Emily? 

E ~ Thanks for reading and I really hope you enjoy my books!

Again, thanks so much for coming on Becca's Books, Emily! It's been wonderful having you here. Readers, if you'd like to read Emily's book The Temp, then follow the links below to grab yourself a copy! Emily has also kindly offered up a paperback copy of her book over in the celebratory giveaways here! (Open until end of February)

You can find Emily Bennet on Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | emilybenet.blogspot.co.uk

You can find Shop Girl Diaries on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
You can find The Temp on Goodreads | Amazon UK 

 






  
    


  


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