Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Exclusive Q & A with Paula Daly

author photo high re.jpg
Photo: Stephen Lea

Daly covers 1.jpgPaula Daly is the author of the gripping page-turner Just What Kind of Mother are You? It's a Psychological Thriller (of course) and is one of my TOP THREE novels of this year - and I'm looking forward to more. I was bowled over when Paula kindly agreed to answer some questions - just for me - about the book!

 Paula Daly lives in Cumbria with her husband, three children and whippet Skippy. She is a freelance physiotherapist and lived for a short while in France, but returned to the UK after missing the hustle and bustle. Just What Kind of Mother are You? is her first novel, and she is currently working on her next.

Story Outline

What if your best friend's child disappears? And it's all your fault.
This is exactly what happens to Lisa Kallisto - overwhelmed working mother of three - one freezing December in the Lake District. She takes her eye off the ball for just a moment and her whole world descends into nightmare. Her best friend's thirteen-year-old daughter Lucinda has gone missing and now, devastated by this and publicly blamed, Lisa sets out to right the wrong.

But as she begins peeling away the layers surrounding Lucinda's disappearance, Lisa learns that the quiet town she lives in isn't what she thought it was, and her friends might not be who they appear to be, either.

Q&A with Paula

1. How did you settle on the title for 'Just What kind of Mother are You'?

The novel was originally called ‘Stripped Bare’ – a play on the fact that a young girl turns up on a busy street, naked from the waist up, and the stripping bare of a family under scrutiny. But I was told it was too ‘Crime’ and it needed to be more feminine for the psychological thriller genre. And of course it is a bit Fifty Shades, too. I don’t know where the actual title Just What Kind of Mother Are You? came from, but everyone seemed happy with it so it stuck.

2. What alternative title(s) did you consider?

Stripped Bare. No Milk Today.

3. In the reviews and feedback you’ve had for the book – what has surprised you most?

A couple of Canadian reviewers commented that the spoilt, middleclass protagonist has been overdone in fiction. This was shocking to me as my hero – Lisa – is a working class mother, working full time in an animal shelter, who is barely keeping her head above water. She is married to a taxi driver and they struggle to make ends meet. I thought I may have laid on their financial situation a bit thick, but evidently not.

4. What's the nicest thing anyone has said about your book?

Lots of people have said that they love the characters, that they were memorable and felt as if they knew them. Which was really nice. But there was one particular lady who had recently suffered a great deal of loss in her life, but at an earlier point was terribly overstretched taking care of children. She felt I captured the plight of the overburdened mother very well. I was really touched and I felt a deep sense of gratitude that she’d felt moved enough to write to me to let me know.

5. Who is your favourite character in your book(s) and why?

It’s got to be Mad Jackie because we all need a ‘says it like it is’ character in our lives.

6. Which author(s) would you invite over for dinner to get to know better?

I would like to meet Maria Semple – author of ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ because she seems funny and interesting and I like to laugh.

7. Which one question would you want to make sure you asked them?

Red or white?

8. What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?

The composition. I find getting the words down the hardest part.

9. What do you enjoy most about the writing process?

The ‘dreaming up’ part. I’m in this phase now for book 3 and it’s joyous. I love thinking up cool scenes and shocking twists and character names and love interests and etc etc.

10. Which Novel do you wish you'd written?

The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

Many thanks to Paula. You can find out more about her book on Amazon HERE