HERE). Anyway- I'm chuffed to have the chance to ask Mandy 5 quick questions... so here we go!
1. I know you’re not meant to have a favourite child- but if you had to pick between them all, which of your books is your personal favourite and why?
Oh nooooo! Nooooo! Don’t make me pick! I really don’t have a favourite because each book means so much! My first book, the ones that have been shortlisted for awards, my latest book, the book idea I love but haven’t had time to write yet… I suppose, if you’re really pushing me, my surprise loves are my books set at Christmas. One Wish in Manhattan was my first ‘Christmas’ novel and everyone seemed to fall in love with it and I loved writing it and then there was One Christmas in Paris… Julien and Ava *sigh*.
Haha! I can’t tell you very much about what I’m working on at the moment but I will say it’s a summer-themed book I am absolutely in love with! I’m really hoping to be able to tell everyone more about it VERY soon!
3. What are the absolute best bits and worst bits about being a writer? And what has taken you by surprise?
The very best bit is being able to make a living out of doing something I love to do. I took a big leap of faith leaving my job as a paralegal back in 2010 but I’m so glad I did. Another good bit is being able to be flexible with my hours so I can make all the school shows etc. for my girls and I am a School Run Mum so writing fits in with that too. I LOVE hearing from readers on social media or through reviews. When you’ve written something and people have bought your book, you never really know how it’s going to be received and I do read EVERY review. I think it’s really important to get feedback, even criticism, because a lot of the time there is a kernel of something in those low star reviews that needs addressing.
The bad bits - well edits I guess! No one likes them and authors also hate it, when we’ve gone through them, having to admit that actually the editor was right… some of the time at least!
What’s taken me by surprise? How quickly the days go when you’re jugging writing, promoting, chatting on social media and looking after two children!
4. In my humble opinion, you write the best heroes out there... for you- what ingredients make the perfect hero? Do you base them on real people or is it purely imagination?!
My heroes! *swoons* Yes I do love a gorgeous hero in my books. They are purely in my imagination but they all have a similar connection in that they are obviously GORGEOUS and, even though they are fictional, I hope they are REAL. A lot of readers start out unsure about my heroes a few chapters in (editors - stop listening now!) because my lead males aren’t perfect at the beginning. I like them to go on a journey as much as the heroine, which I think is something that’s missing from other romantic comedies these days. I've been writing the male point of view as well as the female point of view since readers said how much they loved this. My book boyfriends are all strong, sexy but with an edge of vulnerability - the perfect man in my opinion!
5. Tell us the top 3 things on your bucket-list for 2017…
OK, my writing bucket list would be:- 1. Write some cracking new books for readers to enjoy. 2. Go to as many writing conferences/parties as I can manage. 3. Do some more research in Corfu with cocktails!