Please welcome Mandy Baggot to the blog this morning. Mandy is here to discuss her latest release, Do You Remember?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
Mandy: Award-winning romance novelist who loves white wine, strong men and mashed potato. Addicted to Nashville, Brantley Gilbert and Twitter!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Do You Remember?
Mandy: Do You Remember? is Emma and Guy’s story. There are two stories flowing through the book, one where the pair meet in France as teenagers and one present day in England, 8 years on, as twenty-somethings. Emma’s gone from student to school teacher with a young son and Guy has gone from amateur football coach at a French campsite to being an international footballer just signed to a high-profile UK team.
It’s all about first love, loss and second chances. It’s also about the choices people make and how those decisions impact on everything in the future.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
Mandy: I’m not really sure how/why I came up with the idea if I’m really honest! I usually start off with my hero and heroine and for some reason I was desperate to write a French hero. I think this could be down to being completely in love with David Ginola when he played in England. Wasn’t everyone?
The story just developed around the two characters. I never really know how my stories are going to end up until I start writing. I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of girl!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Emma?
Mandy: Organised, reliable, passionate
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Guy had a theme song, what would it be?
Mandy: It has to be ‘Remember the Time’ by Michael Jackson. The lyrics really fit the book so well.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Emma is never without.
Mandy: I would say her son, Dominic! She is also never without a notepad and pen!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Guy’s bathroom?
Mandy: Bathroom scales – Guy looks after himself, eats well and trains hard. He never has to worry about his weight.
Hair dye – Guy has a fantastic mane of dark hair. No grey hairs here!
Flannel – Guy is a splash your face with water guy! He’s also a bit of a moisturiser if he has a modelling assignment lined up!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
Mandy: People! I learn so much about behaviour and character traits from meeting people. I also have to admit to eavesdropping on conversations whenever possible – trains, planes, school playground, shops etc.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
Mandy: Constant supply of tea
A tidy desk or some clear space somewhere else in the house
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Do You Remember?
Mandy: Looking on Dreamstime for pictures of hot men to be Guy! I like to find a picture of my hero to replicate how he is in my head…but he has to be right. This can take hours of gazing at photos until the right one is found. I love my research!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
Mandy: I absolutely loved ‘Finding Claire Fletcher’ by Lisa Regan. This is a very dark thriller and is brilliantly written. I couldn’t believe it was her debut novel. Her next book is out and I’ve bought it and can’t wait to read it.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
Mandy: I actually have two books. ‘Wuthering Heights’ was the book I adored at school. The passion between Cathy and Heathcliff gave me that first love of romance and the desire to write it. Sophie Kinsella’s ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’ was the book that got me back to reading after an absence. I realised after reading that how much I loved chick-lit and romance books and I’ve never stopped turning the pages since then!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
Mandy: I have a husband and two young daughters (8 and almost 6) so I like to spend time with them when I’m not writing. I also love country and rock/pop music so I try and go and see bands as often as I can. I went to the Country 2 Country Festival in the O2 in London last March seeing some of my favourite country stars and I’m going again in 2014!
I also have a love of Corfu, Greece and as often as we can afford (twice a year if I’m really lucky!) we travel there for a week or so. I love the sun, the scenery and the hospitality of the Greek people.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
Mandy: Readers can find me on my website, on Twitter (at least 24 hours a day LOL), Facebook, Goodreads etc. etc. All the links are below and I would LOVE to connect with you!
Loveahappyending Bookshelf: http://loveahappyending.org/mandy-baggot/
Sapphire Star Publishing: http://www.sapphirestarpublishing.com/mandybaggot
Harper Impulse: http://ow.ly/mAQBP
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book:
About the author:
Mandy Baggot is a romantic fiction author. In 2012 she won the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance. Her self-published title, Strings Attached was also short-listed for the Best Author Published Read award.
Also in 2012 she signed with American publishing house, Sapphire Star Publishing, who produced her novels, Taking Charge and romantic suspense, Security.
In June 2013 she signed a two book deal with Harper Collins’ digital first romance imprint, Harper Impulse.
She is a regular contributor to writing blogs and on-line magazine, Loveahappyending Lifestyle http://www.loveahappyending.com/.
Mandy loves mashed potato, white wine, country music, World’s Strongest Man, travel and handbags. She has appeared on ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and auditioned for The X-Factor.
Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and cats, Kravitz and Springsteen.