Join us on our Facebook page Thursday May 21st at 3pm as Adele Parks goes LIVE for the HQ Book Club!
On May 14th, we published Just My Luck, the 20th book in 20 years from the No.1 Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks! To countdown to publication, we got to know Adele by asking her 20 questions. Find out how she first got into writing, if she’s a cat or a dog person, or what her biggest regret is by reading on below!
1) You’ve been publishing books since the year 2000, but how did you first get into writing?
2) If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Read a lot. You need to support the industry you want to break into so buy books, borrow books, gift books, recommend books. After that, just start writing and do it every day. I know that sounds a bit trite and easy, but I promise you, having a career as a novelist is very much about the discipline of writing on a daily basis.
3) Which do you enjoy writing more, the dialogue or prose?
I really enjoy both but if I had to pick one, I think I’d say dialogue. Although, you know what interests me most? Not what people say to each other, but what we daren’t or can’t say to one another. The secrets are where the plot is held.
4) Where do you like to write?
This is a really honest and unglamorous picture of my desk. It’s pretty messy! That’s a bit of a shame because it’s a beautiful desk and really I should have showcased it more. I am a very organised person – but an untidy one. People think the two things can’t go hand in hand but I’m living proof that they can.
I love my huge desk and my office where I legitimately get to disappear inside my head for hours on end. I can write anywhere (except in a sunny garden) but my preferred place to write is definitely here. Virginia Woolf was right when in 1928 she argued that a woman’s struggle for independence and creative opportunity could be alleviated if we had a room of one’s own! My office is a sanctuary, but also a hive of activity.
5) You’ve written 20 books in 20 years! How do you stay so motivated and inspired?
Honestly, it’s not really a struggle; I love what I do. For me, writing isn’t a job, it’s a vocation. I decided very early on in my career (as I was writing my second book actually), that I would never get lazy, too comfortable or complacent and deliver the same book twice. So, every time I write a novel write very different characters and themes. I’m lucky new ideas do seem to come to me reasonably easily. I’ve written in different genres to stay fresh too.
6) What advice would you give to the Adele Parks of 20 years ago?
I’d tell her to embrace her curls, worry less, exercise more. She probably wouldn’t listen to me – she was pretty stubborn.
7) What’s your favourite thing to cook?
Huge assumption there that I like cooking anything! I don’t. I like eating a lot but I am not an especially confident cook, I’m never too fond of my own food although other people do seem to enjoy it well enough. I always serve a lot of alcohol at my dinner parties, I find that helps.
8) When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?
Read, yoga, sunbathe, eat with friends, drink champagne.
9) How do you arrange your bookshelves?
For the past ten years I have organised my bookshelves according to the colour of the spine of the book. Sounds a bit odd but I’ve noticed that it’s actually a trend that’s catching on. It looks great but I have to admit it can be tricky trying to find a book when I want it! Shelving according to genre or in alphabetical order would undoubtably be far more sensible!
10) Are you a cat or a dog person?
I like both and as a child had both.
As an adult we have one cat, Lilac. This is a lifestyle choice rather than a cat/dog choice.
We all utterly adore her but she’s a proper cat and therefore largely indifferent to us unless she wants feeding.
11) This new novel features a series of revelations and truths emerging – how many of them did you have in mind when you first started writing?
I plot my novels very carefully before I begin writing. I firmly believe that with novels that are dependent on plot twists and revelations, planning is essential. I’m not a fan of a twist for the sake of a twist and I loathe revelations that smack of convenience rather than genuine plot development. I want my reader to be surprised but when the reveals happen, I want them to think, ‘Oh yes, of course!’.
12) What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A writer, so that turned out well. I also flirted with the idea of being an actress, a photographer, a window dresser and a florist but I always believed, even if I was doing those other things, I would be writing.
13) Your recent books have dark elements to them. How do you keep your work from becoming that bit too dark or sinister for your readers?
I am basically a very optimistic, positive person. I believe in second chances, kindness, forgiveness. I always hope for a better day after a dreadful one. I think this message ultimately comes across in everything I write. I don’t live in La La land, I know life can be brutal and dark and so what I write has to reflect that. However, I always try to ensure that the message I’m communicating is that things can improve; you can take control, you can choose happiness.
14) What draws you to write about internal conflicts and betrayals within a marriage or family structure?
15) What’s your biggest regret?
I don’t bother regretting things. It’s boring and hopeless. I try to learn something from all the mistakes I make, and move on. Mistake is just another word for experience.
16) If you had to sum up the book in just one sentence, what would that be?
Be careful of who you wish for.
17) Who was your favourite character to write and why?
Emily was fun, because she’s an adolescent girl, and so I was flung into a very different world and mindset from my own. I like to be challenged.
18) Who was the first person to read Just My Luck?
19) Who have you dedicated Just My Luck to?
20) What would you do if you won the lottery?
I’d buy my husband a Lamborghini.
Just My Luck is Adele Parks’ 20th novel in 20 years. OUT NOW.