I’m very excited that the next BBBB will include a signed copy of ‘Like Bees To Honey’ by Caroline Smailes. (If you haven’t come across this fabulous book, there’s a review of it, by BBBB supporter Lovely Treez, here.)
I’ve never met Caroline (I always happen to be out of town when she is in it) but we are good Twitter pals. Here’s Caroline with her books:
SB: For readers who haven’t met you yet, tell us a little bit about you.
CS: I live not quite on the Wirral and not quite in Chester with my 3 children and husband, I’m a Geordie by birth although my mum is Maltese, I like chocolate and superheroes, I hate seeing people touching fish, but, most importantly, I appear to make life changing decisions based on passing comments made by Richard and Judy (see next answer!).
SB: Ooh, I’m a Geordie by birth too! (Well, strictly speaking, a Northumbrian.) How did you come to be a writer?
CS: Funnily enough, I was actually asked this question at a signing last weekend. I told the man that I gave up a PhD and funding to follow my dream of being a writer and he looked at me really oddly and asked, ‘Why on earth would you do that?’ Back in 2005 (after a passing comment made on a Richard and Judy show) I decided that life was too short to be spending my days studying a subject that no longer appealed to me and that I had to at least try to see if I had what it took to be a writer. I enrolled on an MA in Creative Writing and gave myself permission to write. I’ve been writing (and writing) ever since.
SB: What do you like most and least about the process of writing?
CS: I love writing after I get past 20,000 words when I know that I have a novel emerging. I least like beginnings, so I often start in the middle!
SB ‘Like Bees To Honey’ is a little different to your previous books. Is this a deliberate change of direction? What inspired you to write it?
CS: I guess there’s much that is similar with all 3 of my novels – themes of loss, redemption, loneliness, motherhood – but yes, this novel has a slightly happier twist to it. I don’t think it was a deliberate shift in direction, more about where the setting and characters decided to take me (which clearly makes me sound a little insane!).
SB: Not at all. Obviously, no-one should judge a book by its cover, but I have to say that the cover of ‘Like Bees To Honey’ is amazing. Can you tell us how it came into being?
CS: The cover is all down to my lovely publisher (Scott Pack) happening upon an artist when he was on holiday last summer. Becky Adam read the manuscript and then hand stitched fragments, which later jigsawed together into the actual cover. I love everything about the cover, simply because it represents Becky’s interpretation of my words.
SB: You’re an amazing supporter of the BBBB. What made you get involved? (Apart from the fact that I very cheekily emailed you and asked you?)
CS: I dream of telling stories to touch hearts and open minds, but what you’re doing with BBBB is truly inspirational. (I was thrilled to be asked!)
SB: Thank you. The BBBB is all about uplifting books. What books or writers do you go to for comfort?
CS: I like my comfort slightly wonky and a little bit twisted, so Roald Dahl will always be the author I turn to for comfort (along with a quarter of sweets and a pot of tea).
SB: And what’s your Desert Island book?
CS: This question makes me too sad. I think I’d prefer no books to only having one because over time I’m sure I’d learn to dislike it, but if you’re forcing me to have one, then it’d be a HUGE dictionary.