Q&A with Della Parker, author of The Reading Group series.

Kate has tried to be a good wife to her husband Anton. Ever since he got demoted at work - answering to a woman no less - Anton simply hasn't been the same. Kate wants to help, but as the months pass and Anton pulls away from her both emotionally and physically, Kate can't help but feel a bit abandoned.

Then Kate meets Bob: the handsome, blue-eyed carpenter that Anton has hired to refurbish their kitchen. Kate instantly feels a powerful physical connection between them... but dare she risk her marriage for a man she barely knows?

Meet the Reading Group: six women in the seaside village of Little Sanderton come together every month to share their love of reading. No topic is off-limits: books, family, love and loss... and don't forget the glass of red! This month the reading group is enjoying Lady Chatterley's Lover... and trying not to giggle too much at the naughty parts!

Today on Hummingbird Reviews, I'm thrilled to be welcoming author of The Reading Group series, Della Parker, to the blog for one of my author Q&A sessions. Grab yourself a cuppa, sit back and relax!
Please introduce yourself. Where are you from? What do you do? And what's your shoe size?
I'm Della Parker, AKA Della Galton and I'm from deepest Dorset and I write novels, and short stories and novellas! (Shoe size 8 - whispering).

When is the next book in The Reading Group series expected to arrive?
The next part of The Reading Group, April, is out on March 30th! Yikes!

What is it about?
The Reading Group are reading Jane Eyre - and spookily Serena meets a Mr Winchester at the school house where she is headmistress.

How do you hope readers will feel while reading it?
Amused, touched and I hope warmed!

If you were to describe this book in the same way you'd describe the weather, what would you say?
Warm and sunny.

When did you begin writing? What was your first book about?
My first short story was published in 1987, when I was erm six! My first novel was published in 2005 and was pure romance.

Did you/do you have any goals for your writing?
My goal way back then was to make a full time living from my writing. (achieved). My current goal is to get on the Sunday Times Bestseller List. (working on that one!)

Which authors inspire you?
Sophie Kinsella because she makes me laugh.

Describe your writing style in three words.
Accessible, warm, touching.

What themes do you usually focus on within your writing?
I love writing about friendship and ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.

Once you've an idea firmly in place, what is usually the next step for you?
Start writing.

Are there any techniques/methods you use when it comes to plotting?
I throw problems at my character and see what she does.

Have you ever come face to face with writer's block? If so, how did you overcome it?
I don't really believe it exists. Although I do often come across Writing is Bloody Hard, Can I Do Something Else Please!

Where do you find inspiration?
From being emotionally touched by people.

What does a typical day in your life look like?
Get up when the big hound dog sings (7ish), walk them, breakfast them, write, stop for lunch, walk hounds, write.

What part of the writing process do you find most difficult?

How do you come up with your titles?
They either come instantly or not at all. When it's the latter I spend hours writing down themes/words I hope will spark off something good.

When it comes to creating your characters, what is the first step you take?
I get them to talk to me.

Have you ever taken a research trip? If so, where did you go and for which book?
I like to research my settings. I've been all round Dorset and Devon looking at locations where my characters live.

Do you set yourself word-count goals?
Yes, when I'm writing novellas, I do 2000 words every day until I've done a first draft.

What is your definition of 'success'?
To get emails from people who have had their lives touched by my books.

What is your definition of 'happiness'?
Looking at the view from my office (shed) window over the distant hills whilst eating Nutella with a hound curled at my feet.

Which do you find hardest? The beginning or the end?
The end of a short story. The beginning of a novel.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
We are in the entertainments industry.

What one piece of advice would you pass on to another writer?
Write what you understand and feel passionate about.

Tell us an author who is on your auto-buy list.
Louise Doughty.

If you were to write in a genre entirely new, which would you pick and why?
Psychological thrillers because I love reading them.

What are you working on at the moment?
I'm just editing novella five in the Reading Group series, Summer Holiday. They are on holiday in the USA and they are reading The Great Gatsby.

Now for some quick-fire questions:
Coffee or tea? Coffee.
Summer or winter? Summer.
Bath or shower? Bath.
Sweet or savoury? Sweet.
Holiday in the city or the countryside? Countryside.
Text or call? Call.
Facebook or Twitter? Oooh, tricky, depends on my mood.
Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise.
TV programmes or movies? Programmes.
Wine or beer? Tea.
Cats or dogs? Dogs.
Chinese or Indian food? Indian.
Pasta or cheese? Um, both together. Yum.

About the author.

Della Parker lives in a Dorset village with her two large hounds.

Before becoming a writer she worked as a Customer Services Manager for a water company. Solving customer complaints is not a million miles away from solving plot problems, so Della thinks her former life was quite a good background for a writer. And of course there were the wonderful characters she met.

When Della is not writing she enjoys running marathons and going to the gym for long workouts. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have the time to pursue these worthwhile hobbies as often as she’d like to – as she much prefers writing!

You can find Della Parker on Twitter & dellagalton.co.uk.
You can find The Reading Group series on Amazon UK.