The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Ali McNamara

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The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Ali McNamara


Summary: It takes real skill to write a book like From Notting Hill with Love... Actually that's packed with fun and provides comfortable, easy reading, so the opportunity to ask Ali McNamara a few qestions was too good to miss.
Date: 12 April 2011
Interviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James

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It takes real skill to write a book like From Notting Hill with Love... Actually that's packed with fun and provides comfortable, easy reading, so the opportunity to ask Ali McNamara a few qestions was too good to miss.

  • Bookbag: When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?

Ali McNamara: Happy contented smiling faces, hopefully engrossed in my stories!

  • BB: If you had no budget constraints and were casting a movie version of From Notting Hill With Love... Actually, who would be your picks to play the leads?

AMcN: It's always been Anne Hathaway for Scarlett. But I've recently decided Bradley Cooper would make a great Sean! (Can I be on set please for the scene where Sean emerges from the shower!)

  • BB: Your lead character Scarlett doesn't seem keen on action/thriller/horror type movies and sticks to rom-coms. Do you have the same taste or is there anything in your DVD collection that would make her run away screaming?

AMcN: No, Scarlett is pretty much me when it comes to movie choices I'm afraid! Although there are some very bad rom-coms out there too that make you want to run from the cinema screaming!

  • BB: Have you ever thought about collaborating with another author on a novel? If so, who would be your dream writing partner? (Alive or dead, I'm feeling generous!)

AMcN: Not an author - but a screen writer, it would be Richard Curtis every time!

  • BB: I think one of the most memorable scenes in the book is the Star Wars themed wedding! Please tell me that's not based on a real one... assuming it isn't, have you ever been to any unusual marriage ceremonies?

AMcN: It wasn't based on real one when I wrote it, I completely made it up. However... since then I discovered through Facebook a friend did go to a Star Wars themed wedding & I've seen the photos to prove it!

  • BB: How long have you been writing for, and did you find it difficult getting published?

AMcN: I've been writing for nine years now. And yes it was an extremely long and tortuous journey getting my first novel published, with so many rejections I was almost ready to give up. But it was worth it all in the end when I got my wonderful agent and then almost a year after that my great publishers. But it took exactly four years from writing 'From Notting Hill with Love...Actually' to actually seeing it in the shops.

  • BB: If you could be the main character in any movie, who would it be?

AMcN: This is a fab question... and after a lot of thought I'm going to go for Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider movies. If I was going to play a part I'd want it to be where I was kicking some butt, not waiting in the corner to be rescued ;-)

  • BB: Do you listen to music when you're writing? If so, what was your soundtrack when writing FNHWLA?

AMcN: Very boring answer but I have to write in silence, or I can't concentrate properly. But I love all types of music and have a very eclectic mix on my Ipod. From Take That to the Beatles, U2 to Pink.

  • BB: What's next for Ali McNamara?

AMcN: My new book Breakfast at Darcy's comes out in November. It's based on a real island - Great Blasket off the West Coast of Ireland. When Darcy McCall loses her beloved Aunt Molly, she doesn't expect any sort of inheritance - let alone a small island! Located off the west coast of Ireland, Tara hasn't been lived on for years, but according to Molly's will Darcy must stay there for twelve months in order to fully inherit. It's a big shock. And she's even more shocked to hear she needs to persuade a village full of people to settle there, too. Darcy must leave behind her independent city life and swap stylish heels for muddy wellies. Between sorting everything from the plumbing to the pub, she meets confident, charming Conor and sensible, stubborn Dermot - but who will make her feel really at home? And I'm just starting to write my third novel due out in 2012. The stories just keep coming...

  • BB: We'll look forward to reading those books, Alinne. Thank you for talking to us.

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