Today I’m pleased to welcome Wendy Holden to the blog. Wendy is the author of nine novels including Pastures Nouveaux, The Wifes of Bath, Gifted and Talented and Honeymoon Suite and her latest novel, Laura Lake and the Hipster Weddings was published by Head of Zeus in ebook on 14 February 2017. It is available in paperback on 7 September 2017.
Wendy kindly answered a few of my questions.
1. Tell us a little about Laura Lake and the Hipster Weddings.
I really enjoyed writing this book. Laura is a glossy-magazine journalist who is sent to infiltrate three high-society weddings. The weddings are all very different; one’s a boho-chic one in a mystic wood where the guests all sit on haybales, another’s an arty one in a Shoreditch loo with devil dogs as ringbearers and the third’s a castle, carriage and ancestral tiara number.
2. What inspired the book?
I’m a social satirist, and contemporary weddings struck me as a perfect subject; also, no-one had really done them properly. Weddings have changed so much since the days of either register office or white church do with receiving line etc. Now they are all very elaborate and highly-styled and people tie-dye their own napkins, collect empty milk bottles to use as vases and get their bridesmaids to do flashdances. I thought there was a lot of potential comedy in that. The other inspiration was glossy magazines. I used to work on them and found them very funny then; they are a hundred times funnier now because they take themselves even more seriously.
3. Are you a plan, plan, plan writer or do you sit down and see where the words take you?
I plan and then the words take me, so I am a mixture of both. Very often I have what I think is a perfectly planned chapter and then one very small aspect of it will get a tailwind from somewhere and take over the whole thing. For instance, recently I was writing about a lunch that Laura Lake has with a friend in a new hot restaurant where the whole place is blacked out so people can taste the food better. It was just a silly setting but as I wrote about it it developed into a complete farce which took up the whole chapter.
4. Having written nine novels is there anything that still surprises you about the novel writing process?
That I seem to have more to write about than ever. Maybe I am just better at spotting funny material. But everywhere I look seems have potential, from Parliament to the royal family. That’s what’s so great about having a new character like Laura Lake. She can move in any world as part of her investigations. So future adventures might have her in politics, or being seconded to Kate Middleton’s press office.
5. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all?
I love travelling because I sit in the same place all day. Setting off on holiday is such a joy to me. I even get excited about motorway service stations. I love going to the Yorkshire coast, Scotland and Cornwall – there’s nowhere like them in good weather – and also to Venice and the South of France.
6. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?
One of those massive tomes I have never yet got to the end of, like Marcel Proust’s In Search Of Lost Time. It’s actually quite funny and has lots of acerbic social detail. If it’s the only one I’ll ever read, I might even get on top of the French version!
7. I like to end my Q&A’s with the same question so here we go. During all the Q&As and interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?
I’ve never been asked if I have a lucky charm. But I have, it’s a tiny jade turtle I bought in Paris years ago. I lend it to the children too, when they are doing exams they slip it in their socks.
About the book:
First in a laugh-out-loud new series that fans of The Devil Wears Prada, Bridget Jones and Sophie Kinsella will love!
She’ll need a triple-barrelled name for the castle one. She’ll need a gallon of glitter for the woodland one. She’ll need a lobster-shaped hat for the Shoreditch one.
Laura Lake longs to be a journalist. Instead she’s an unpaid intern at a glossy magazine – sleeping in the fashion cupboard and living on canapés. But she’s just got her first big break: infiltrate three society weddings and write a juicy exposé.
Security will be tighter than a bodycon dress, but how hard can it be? Cue disappearing brides, demanding socialites – and a jealous office enemy who will do anything to bring her down…
About the author:
Number-one bestselling author Wendy Holden was a journalist on Tatler, The Sunday Times, and the Mail on Sunday before becoming an author. She has since written ten consecutive Sunday Times Top Ten bestsellers. She lives in Derbyshire.