Author Interview with Rosa Temple

Today on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be welcoming author Rosa Temple to the blog for an author interview. So, without further ado, welcome to Becca's Books, Rosa!

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Blurb
Career minded, Natalie Spencer, had never been in love. She could never understand what all the fuss was about. But when she met Jackson Humphries during Fresher's Week at university, that all changed.

Utterly infatuated, Natalie quickly discovers the meaning of love and, before she knows it, she's heading up the aisle - for the first time, that is.

This is a tale about four wedding dresses, a runaway groom and a girl who got so carried away, she couldn't see true love staring her right in the face.

Rosa, you've recently published your first novel, Natalie's Getting Married (March 10th 2016). Tell us, how has that been for you so far?
It's been both an exciting yet frightening experience. I started writing the story with only a few ideas and just ran with it. I was excited about the creative side and I miss having the characters around. The frightening thing was self-publishing because I didn't know enough about the process. That includes the whole marketing side of things. Some of it is still a mystery to me.

Can you give us a brief outline of Natalie's Getting Married?
Yes. The book takes us through almost a decade in the life of Natalie Spencer. We first meet her on her first day of university when she falls head over heels in love for the very first time. We follow her through the ups and downs of discovering love, building a career and finding out what really makes her happy. Given the title, you can kinda guess that there's a wedding involved!

From the very first draft to the final, finished novel, how long would you say it has taken you to reach the point of publication?
I started the first draft in late 2014. It was initially going to be a three part novella series but beta readers convinced me to make it into a novel. In the summer of 2015 it was with the beta readers and was professionally edited and proofread by September of that year. It was around that time I started organising the cover design and getting to grips with Amazon Kindle and then getting a paperback version done. So with publication in March 2016 it took about a year and a half altogether. I didn't even realise that before you asked me.

What was your favourite part of the creation of Natalie's Getting Married?
I think it was meeting the characters. I had a lot of fun developing them and I hope that comes through in the writing.

Did you meet any obstacles along the way?
Only the ones I gave myself. I think I was insecure about writing in this genre because there are so many good books in this category and I always questioned whether or not mine would be good enough. Another hurdle was time. I'm a ghostwriter so I was juggling other writing with writing Natalie's Getting Married. At one stage I had to start taking one writing job at a time just so I could have the headspace to write the book I wanted to write. That helped a lot and I could finally get my own story written instead of ghostwriting for everyone else!

When it comes to your characters, how well do you get to know them? Is there a certain method you use to really nail them down?
I think that characters have to come naturally and not be forced. I get an idea for a character but usually they start doing and saying what they want as the story develops. Allowing them to have a mind of their own, if you see what I mean, makes perfect sense.

Natalie's Getting Married follows the story of career-minded Natalie Spencer. Rosa, how did the idea for this book come about? Was there anything in particular that inspired you?
I was inspired to write a heroine that people could relate to and might like to have as a friend. I wanted her to be realistic so I gave her flaws. Sometimes you get frustrated with her and sometimes you just want to hug her. The character of Natalie came to me before I even had a story to put her in. The whole wedding scenario just happened as I began to write in a free and loose sort of way.

Talking of weddings, have you any favourites from real life weddings? Celebs, royalty, your own?
Well, I got married twice - to the same person! My parents couldn't make my register office wedding in London because of ill health and they had moved to the Caribbean in their retirement. So my husband and I got married in the Caribbean as well so we have two wedding certificates! I wore the same dress each time. The first time, I lost so much weight from the stress, my dress swung around like a sack. At my second wedding, because I didn't have to organise it, I put the weight back on - and then some. I walked up the aisle sucking in my gut and thankful I had a very large bouquet!

If you had to choose three words to describe Natalie's Getting Married, which three words would you choose?
Laugh, Cry, Love

When it comes to your writing, are you a meticulous planner, or would you rather let the characters lead you?
Sometimes it's important to have some kind of plan - even if it's only in your head. But whether I plan a story in my notebook, on a storyboard or scraps of paper, I always end up letting the story go where it needs to go. I can't write any other way. Characters speak to me and sometimes the plot just cries out to go in a direction other than the one I planned.

If your book was to be made into a movie, which song would you choose for the opening credits?
Well, as the book is set in the 1990's, the whole soundtrack would have come from that decade. The first part of the book starts in October 1990 so a light and fun song from 1990, that might also have had a message for Natalie, would be Hold On by Wilson Phillips.

How do you hope readers will feel while reading Natalie's Getting Married?
I call this my 'feel good' novel so I guess that's what I'm after. The reader will hopefully go through a few other emotions in the same way Natalie does but I would love for them to take away the sense of fun I had when I wrote this book.

What sort of things inspire you in writing?
Usually people do. I'm a bit of a people watcher and I very often like creating stories around people I see in a coffee shop, cinema queue, the guy by the freezer cabinet in Sainsbury's. I create stories around them in my head. Every now and again these stories grow into something that's interesting enough to start putting pen to paper.

Is there anything that you absolutely must have nearby when you're writing?
A bottle of water. I stop and sip or glug whenever I need to have a think.

How long would you say you spend writing, on average, each week?
Wow, tough question. I would say anything upwards from fifteen hours, but I think I might start timing myself now, just to be sure.

How did you celebrate publication day?
Dark chocolate and a big cheesy smile to myself. Maybe next time, when I have more readers, I might do something a bit grander - you know, like sandwiches and a beer at my place.

Who are three of your favourite authors?
When I look at my book shelves, the writers for whom I have more than one book are Jane Austen, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Maya Angelou. But I read really widely. I'm into Nordic Noir right through to rom coms. I've just discovered a new contemporary writer and gave her a 5 star review on my blog. Her name is Leigh Himes and I'll be looking out for more books by her.

Have you started working on your next book? Could you tell us a tiny bit about it, if so?
Yes, I've actually started two. One is a Christmas novel and the other I hope to bring out next year. Respectively the working titles are Single By Christmas and A Year In the Life of Magenta Bright.

How did you come to choose your title?
Natalie's Getting Married just fitted the story. Once I knew my novel was about a girl whose friends fell in and out of love so easily and because she had never been in love herself and didn't know what all the fuss was about, I went with the idea of her falling in love and getting married in really quick succession so that it would be a shock to her system. Because the wedding theme stuck, I guess the title naturally followed. My working title had been When Natalie Gets Married but I like the current title better.

Who are some of your biggest supporters?
Definitely my husband and my sister. They are the two I bounce ideas off and they never glaze over, even when I talk about the book over and over again.

Do you have a favourite writing snack?
Lots of green tea which I couple with almonds or grapes. And before you say - wow how healthy - I do sometimes have chocolate biscuits with my tea instead.

Lastly, when can readers expect to hear more about your next book, Rosa?
If time permits, I will bring out my next book at Christmas with another novel to follow in 2017. I'm taking part in the #AtoZ challenge in April and I will be featuring a short-story called It's Just Coffee. Every day in April, except Sundays, there will be a mini, bite-sized chapter on my blog. I'm looking forward to that.

Rosa, thank you so much for taking the time to pop over to Becca's Books today. It's been wonderful having you, and I wish you every success with your books!

About the author
Rosa Temple began writing romantic comedies and chick lit because of her passion for what she calls the 'early chick lit films', like: Sabrina, Barefoot In the Park, and Breakfast at Tiffany's. She honed her skills as a ghost writer, gaining experience writing romantic novellas, both sweet and on the slightly steamy side. In her notebooks, she constantly jotted down story ideas of her own and she eventually completed her first novella Sleeping With Your Best Friend and now, the full length novel, Natalie's Getting Married.

Rosa Temple is a Londoner and is married with two sons. She is a reluctant keep fit fanatic and doer of housework and insists that writing keeps her away from such strenuous tasks. She spends her days creating characters and story lines while drinking herbal tea and eating chocolate biscuits.

You can find Rosa Temple on Facebook | Twitter | rosatemplewrites.blogspot.co.uk










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