Q&A Interview with Carol Wyer

How excited am I that the lovely Carol Wyer has dropped by blog on Life Swap publication day to take part in my Q&A interview…….so without further ado I would like to welcome Carol Wyer.

Hello Carol, Happy publication day and welcome to my blog
Hello and thank you for having me, I am delighted to be here on publication day.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?
Where to begin? In in a nutshell, I used to be a linguist and teacher and ran my own language company but in my forties I had a recurrence of poor health due to spinal procedures many years earlier so I gave up and became a personal trainer! (As you do.) In my late forties, now realising my health was not going to hold out forever, I decided I was ready to embark on my bucket list and top of it was writing a best-seller. I penned Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines based on a woman facing fifty (funny where inspiration comes from) who is stuck at home in a relationship that's become stale, with a irksome son who's itching to leave home. Amanda yearns for some excitement. When her husband suddenly retires and begins to drive her around the bend, she starts a blog charting the bloopers and bloomers that populate her life and discovers an old flame on the internet who wants a second chance.
The book was self-published but became a best-seller and I was featured in Woman's Own magazine. I suddenly got hundreds of emails from women who felt the same as Amanda Wilson in my book and a writing career was born as I continued to write fiction and non-fiction encouraging people to seize the day and enjoy what life we have.

When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? and how did you go about it?
I wanted to write from the day my English teacher read out a funny story I had written and told the class I was a natural.
I didn't actually believe I could make a career out of it and wrote as a hobby for a very long time. I wrote several children's stories when I lived in Morocco and I wrote an entire series that taught French to youngsters.
They were almost published but fate intervened at the last moment when my best friend and illustrator on the project suddenly passed away and I pulled them. It took until my forties for me to decide writing was going to be my priority.

Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for?
I write humour and romantic comedies as well as humorous non-fiction. I have one book, Love Hurts - a collection of short stories that reveal a darker side to my writing and I shall be developing that side in the near future as I embark on writing a series of thrillers.

Are your characters based on anyone you know or are they just fictional?
Ah, some are pure fiction, some have traits I have 'borrowed' from people I know and some are real people. Amanda's party-loving, wine-swigging mother who hangs out in Cyprus is based on my own mother who has behaved even more badly since she read the first book and loved the character so much. Vivacious Viv the post lady in Just Add Spice exists and was delighted to be named in the book. All the post depot bought copies of the book because I captured her spirit so well. Bert the parrot is real and I fell for his antics when I friended his owner on Facebook. There are others too ... they know who they are!

What is your writing process? and how long does it take?
I have a strange process as all my books begin as films in my mind's eye. I'll spend many nights awake just rolling the camera and seeing if the plot is viable, interesting and so on. I could well change it but as long as I have a structure, I move onto phase two - making notes in a notebook of plot and then head a page or several for each character taking care to describe them and pick up on quirky traits.
Once I have done my research and am ready to commit, I'll write a draft in a notebook - or several books. I've always written everything longhand as I find adding bits and changing at this stage easier on paper than scrolling through text on a laptop. My poor eyes are weak enough.
The next stage involves typing it all up. Here my insomnia works to my advantage and I'll type all day and night until it's done. Yes, I look horrendous by the end of two weeks.
I get a break then and then check through the script, make changes and move onto editing before reading through again, editing again and then sending to the publisher.

Have you wrote about a personal experience in your novels?
The first novel was very much based on several episodes that occurred but I daren't tell you which ones.
For all my books I try to practise what I preach so for Three Little Birds I did all the challenges Charlie attempts including eating locusts, zorbing and doing a zip wire and the dive with sharks. I don't want anyone to say I haven't had a go!

What research do you do
A lot of my writing comes from observing people and eavesdropping! I only write about things I have experienced or feel confident writing accurately about so I research thoroughly usually via the net or reading articles in magazines and newspapers.
This was particularly the case for my three non-fiction books. I spent hours on the net and for the non fiction books about menopause How Not to Murder Your Grumpy and Grumpy Old Menopause (I try to appeal to men and women) spoke to many  experts in the fields of medicine and alternative therapies. Almost all the hobbies I mention, me and/or Grumpy have tried out and with the travel book Grumpies On Board we had a go at many of the adventures including quad biking up a mountain in South Africa and driving a 4x4 over a glacier in Iceland and into a volcano.

Who would you like to co-write with and why?
I don't think I could ever co-write with anyone because of my weird schedules and need to type, type and type until I reach the end of my novels. However, if I teamed up with E L James she would be able to spice up my sex scenes. I have to type those with my eyes shut, blushing furiously.

What's your favorite book?
I don't have one favourite because I love reading so much and there are so many brilliant books. I really liked The Room by Emma Donoghue because it was so different and I love being surprised.

What's your favorite food?
Pasta ... pasta ... pasta ... I can't get enough of the stuff. My mother lived in Italy and makes the best sauce ever. (I think the extra bottle of wine in it helped.). Like Pavlov's dogs, I'm drooling at the thought of it now.

What's your favorite film?
Up. I adore that film. I cry buckets every time I watch it and then laugh. It is so poignant and as I get older I really associate with Karl.

What's your favorite song?
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Monty Python. I whistle it repeatedly when I see Mr Grumpy looking glum and whenever  I go round supermarket aisles. I love to see how many other people are humming it when I get to the checkout.
Life swap is available on Amazon today

How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?
Amazon UK Author Page :  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Carol-E.-Wyer/e/B005U34XNM
Amazon US Author Page : http://www.amazon.com/Carol-E.-Wyer/e/B005U34XNM
Website: http://www.carolewyer.co.uk
Blogs: www.grumpyoldmenopause.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carol-E-Wyer/221149241263847
Twitter: https://twitter.com/carolewyer
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5061207.Carol_E_Wyer
Member of Romantic Novelists Association: http://www.romanticnovelistsassociation.org/index.php/about/author/carol_wyer
Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=116225863&trk
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/carolewyer/

Thank you so much for joining me and have a brilliant day. Oh and by the way, you've got me humming Look On The Bright Side Of Life now lol.

Ha! Hope you are still humming it Shel.l would Love to mention I have a tweetathon on twitter #lifeswap,  It's on all day if Grumpy doesn't drag me off the internet lol


  1. Hugest of thanks for hosting me today, Shell. I really enjoyed this interview. X

    1. your more than welcome, I'm so happy to you took part :) x


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