Wednesday 9 September 2015

Author Interview: Angela Britnell

In the interview seat today is the lovely Angela Britnell. Angela was born in Cornwall, England and joined what was then the Women’s Royal Naval Service to work as a Naval Secretary before she met her husband, a US Naval Flight Officer, while being based at a small NATO Headquarters on the Jutland Peninsula in Denmark. They lived in Denmark, Sicily, California, southern Maryland and London before settling with their 3 sons in Franklin, Tennessee. Angela took a creative writing course in 2000 and loved it so much that she has barely put her pen down since. She has had many short stories and novels published in both the US and UK.

You can find out more about Angela and her writing at and follow her at and

Hello Angela and welcome to Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom
Was there anything particular that inspired you to start your journey of being an author?
I’ve always been a voracious reader to the extent of reading the back of the cornflake box over breakfast when I was a child because I wasn’t allowed to have a book at the table! I can’t claim however to be one of those authors who wanted to write from an early age although after I met my husband he would joke that I ought to write because I read so much. After we moved to Tennessee in the mid 90s I saw a series of creative writing classes offered at my local recreation center, one evening a week for about 6 weeks, and it sounded like a fun escape from my all-male household. I debated about spending the $40 but thankfully my husband persuaded me and the rest is history! The teacher was inspirational and I was soon hooked. She persuaded me to try lengthening a short story I wrote in the class and that became my first novel – one of the ‘gathering dust bunnies under the bed’ sort that most writers seem to have.

What would you say is the hardest part of writing/publishing a book for you?
Getting started on the first draft can be a challenge as I’m not a plotter so I have to let the story evolve and sometimes that comes easier than others! Doing edits is a different kind of hard but I enjoy seeing a better book emerge from the process. When I get the editorial report from my publisher I have the obligatory panic/this is terrible/it will never be good moments before putting it away overnight and re-reading it the next day in a calmer frame of mind. Then I begin to see what needs to be done first and go on from there.

If you could only read four books for the rest of your life, what would they be?
What a hard question! A long time favourite of mine is ‘The Rector’s Wife’ by Joanna Trollope – a lovely story set in an English village with great characters that stay with you. 
I’ll go with ‘Pride and Prejudice’ too because every time I read it something new sticks out and the dialogue simply sparkles. 
A book that stays in my mind from childhood contained 365 stories, one for every day of the year. I’m not sure of the exact title now but that would be a treat to ration out and bring back memories of my father reading to me. 
For the fourth one I’ll pick ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens because of its wonderful writing and complex characters and a story that would never grow old.

Do you and your main character share any personality traits?
I hadn’t thought about it much before but Maggie in ‘The Wedding Reject Table’ often tries too hard to please other people, has a curvy figure because she enjoys food and cooking, and never quite manages to resemble the well-groomed elegant lady she’d like to be so there are definite similarities! She’s also generous, nice and kind-hearted but if I am those things I couldn’t possibly say so could I?

If you could live in any book what book would it be?
At the moment I’d pick Poldark but only if Aidan Turner was there too in his Ross incarnation! The bonus is it’s set in Cornwall where I was born and grew up and which will always be home to me.

Where do your ideas for your books come from? Dreams? Music? 
My ideas come from various places and the wonderful thing is I never know when they’ll strike! A short story I wrote came from observing a couple in a coffee shop and later outside in the car park when they left in separate cars. I enjoy watching people when I travel and have created a few characters from my airport observations (or nosiness depending on how you view it!). The deluge of advertisements for dating websites inspired ‘Opposites Attract’ and ‘Sugar and Spice’ definitely sprung from my obsession with watching the Food Network and following my favorite celebrity chefs.

Any advice for aspiring authors?
Persist. I’m convinced it’s not necessarily the most talented writers who get published but those who haven’t given up even though they could paper their walls with rejection letters. Remember even JK Rowling was turned down at first and we all know how well she’s done! Also write every day even if it’s only a few lines and you might think they’re no good – as I heard Nora Roberts say once – you can’t edit a blank page.

The Wedding Reject Table

Once on the reject table, always on the reject table?

When Maggie Taylor, a cake decorator, and Chad Robertson, a lawyer from Nashville Tennessee, meet at a wedding in Cornwall it’s not under the best circumstances.

They have both been assigned to ‘the reject table’, alongside a toxic collection of grumpy great aunts, bitter divorcees and stuffy organists.

Maggie has grown used to being the reject, although when Chad helps her out of a wedding cake disaster she begins to wonder whether the future could hold more for her.

But will Chad be strong enough to deal with the other problems in Maggie’s life? Because a ruined cake isn’t the only issue she has – not by a long shot.

2nd novella in the Nashville Connections series. First: What Happens in Nashville.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for letting me ramble on today and I'll stop by to chat to anyone who's interested during the day!


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