Intent on fixing her broken marriage and the alcohol-fuelled catastrophe that is her life, Kay Harris arrives at her grim and grey holiday let, ready to lay to rest the tragedy that has governed her entire adulthood – the disappearance of her little brother, Adam.
But the road to recovery is pitted with the pot-holes of her own poor choices, and it isn’t long before Kay is forced to accept that maybe she doesn’t deserve the retribution she seeks. Will the intervention of strangers help her find the answers she needs to move on from her past, or will she always be stuck on the hard shoulder with no clear view ahead and a glove box full of empties?
– When and where do you prefer to write?
My ‘when and where’ used to be sitting on a tree stump by a lake with a bottle of cider but sadly that romantic idyll has been replaced with a dusty computer in the corner of the dining room that gets switched on when the kids have gone to bed, and switched off when the matches in my eyelids have snapped. But I do intend to get back to my tree stump one day…
– Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?
Mug of Earl Grey to start, with milk (I know, heathen) with whatever biscuits are available, followed by coffee and toast, or red wine and take away…
– What is your favourite book?
Of all time? That depends on who’s asking. Mostly I answer – Of Mice and Men or To Kill a Mocking bird. But sometimes Bachelor Boys (The Young Ones book 1984) or Where the Wild Things Are. Occasionally ‘Mr Small’.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I am most comfortable writing scripts, which was my main training ground, and I dabble in poetry occasionally but have no authority or expertise in this field so I keep that to myself. The eventual output of an idea much depends on the idea itself and what format/vehicle I feel it would best fit. In terms of genre for my prose work, I know what I’m not (so far) – historical, romance, thriller – and what I will probably never be – sci-fi, fantasy – but I always hope to one day write a really kick-ass, nonsensical but touching, totally irreverent kid’s book. Is that a genre?
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Absolutely, I think it’s unavoidable. Many of my characters are an amalgam of people I have met and been bewitched by – but their history, opinions, personal circumstances etc will be what I, as a writer, decide to impose upon them for the purpose of the story. Every one of my characters in Pink Ice Creams started off as someone I recognise, but by the time I’ve finished with them they have morphed into the person I want them to be…
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
Buying beautiful notebooks of all shapes and sizes becomes a hobby in itself – and my house is littered with them jam-packed full of scrawled notes that may never see the light of day. I don’t actually tend to read back on them to be honest – when I am in the middle of a project I’m very one-track minded and just hold stuff in my head until I can get back to the computer – so the notebooks are probably full of nothing more than side thoughts and whimsy. (Perhaps I should check?!)
– Which genre do you not like at all?
Instinct says fantasy or sci-if as it’s not my choice of read, but if it’s beautifully written and character driven then it will draw me in, but I generally prefer my misfits and miscreants to take human form and to be dealing with issues created on planet Earth.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, one would you chose and why?
India. The sounds, the smells, the vibrant colours, the rain, the heat – I can imagine this is the place where all my senses would come alive at once. I want to read books by people who have lived a place not researched it from afar – so for me it’s important to immerse yourself in your surroundings, and work out how your sense of ‘self’ is altered by it, wherever you are. It’s just as interesting to look to your home town for inspiration if that is where you are. Or forget your surroundings entirely, research your soul and don’t be afraid to purge it.
Thank you, Jo Woolaston and Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the author
Jo Woolaston lives in Leicestershire, England with her extreme noise-making husband and two lovely sons. She tries to avoid housework and getting a ‘proper job’ by just writing stuff instead – silly verse, screenplays, shopping lists…
This sometimes works in her favour (she did well in her MA in TV Scriptwriting, gaining a Best Student award in Media and Journalism – and has had a few plays produced – that kind of thing) but mostly it just results in chronic insomnia and desperate tears of frustration. Pink Ice Creams is her first novel, she hopes you liked it.
Social Media Links
Writer page Jo Woolaston – https://m.facebook.com/nevermindthebloggers