Today, I am excited to be bringing you an author interview with Zoe May. Zoe lives in the UK and she is pictured here with her adorable furry friend. I have read three of Zoe's books, with the most recent being 'Flying Solo'. Zoe is an author of Romantic Comedy and her books are full of lighthearted fun. I am very much looking forward to reading her upcoming new release titled 'Flying Duo', a sequel to 'Flying Solo'. I am thrilled to be interviewing an author of who, I am such a big fan.
Like me, Zoe found inspiration from the undeniable queens of light hearted romantic comedy, Sophie Kinsella, and Marian Keyes. I promise her books will make you smile. Lets find out a bit more about this very talented lady.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was about 14, when I set my sights on being a novelist.
Do you have a favourite book?
Well, I read and write both thrillers and rom coms and I love literary books too, so it’s hard to chose one overall. In terms of rom coms, I’m a huge fan of Sophie Kinsella and it was her Shopaholic series that made me want to write rom coms. I’m also a bit fan of Lisa Jewell’s rom coms, especially 'Ralph’s Party'. Thriller-wise, I love 'American Psycho' by Bret Easton Ellis and 'Maestra' by L.S.Hilton. And my favourite literary book is 'A Little Life' by Hanya Yanagihara
I loved your book titled ‘Flying Solo’, and understand you have a sequel coming titled ‘Flying Duo’. Can you tell me a bit about it?
Thank you! So glad you loved Flying Solo! Yes, of course. Flying Duo starts with Rachel and her new love, Seb, still living in India. They’ve been there for a few months and the time has come for them to leave and move on. They decide to go to Nepal for an Everest base camp trek, but they still haven’t decided what’s next in their relationship. The trek turns into a comically grueling expedition that pushes their relationship to its limits, while also showing the strength of the bond between them. I think 'Flying Duo' is probably the most romantic rom com I’ve written.
What do you love about writing Contemporary Fiction / Rom Coms?
I love being able to make people laugh and write books that lift people’s spirits, and make them feel good and positive about life. Reading rom coms helped me get through one of the hardest periods of my life and I think the genre is incredibly important and valuable. I hope I will always get to write rom coms.
As an author of light hearted fiction myself, what is it you feel our readers want in a good book?
Believable characters that they feel invested in, a storyline that grabs their attention, witnessing change in the characters and personal growth, and ultimately seeing the characters connect with others (usually the love interest!), and reach a place of contentment and joy in their lives.
Can you describe your writing process?
When I first get an idea, I tend to just brain dump on the page and write a list of ideas for plot points. I try to come up with a loose arc but really it’s quite random and I’ll just write whatever comes to mind – often including details about the character or setting too. Then I tend to leave it for a few days or weeks and over that time, I’ll mull my ideas over before coming back to the notes I’ve made and trying to strengthen the book concept.
With a good idea of my characters in mind (they’re almost like imaginary friends at this point!), I will break the plot down into chapters, usually my books are around 25 chapters long. Then I start writing. My writing process is pretty all over the place. I just fit writing in around other stuff depending on how much time I have free. The longest it’s taken me to write a book was my debut, Perfect Match, which took a year and a half alongside working in a demanding job. The quickest I’ve written a novel was in two months!
What does literary success look like to you?
I’d love to say something deep and meaningful but honestly, I’d love to be one of those authors everyone’s heard of, like Marian Keyes or Sophie Kinsella. And have one of my books become a film! That would be amazing!
Who are your favourite authors, and how have they influenced your work?
Sophie Kinsella definitely influenced me massively in so many ways, but particularly my writing style. I like to write in a fun, upbeat, funny way and her tone really inspired me. I’ve been compared to her by bloggers a few times and for me, that is the best compliment!
Are you working on anything at the moment?
Yes, I’m finishing off 'Flying Duo' and also working on a new rom com about online dating called Swiped Out, which is a really fun read!
What advice would you give a new author?
I’d say read in the genre you want to write in as much as possible. Follow authors on social media and publishers. Maybe become a blogger. Try to get a feel for your genre, its conventions and also the market as being commercial will help you get published. I’d also highly recommend joining a writing group as getting honest feedback from people who aren’t your friends and family can be game-changing – it was for me.
Lastly, what interests do you have outside of writing?
I enjoy reading unsurprisingly! I like watching films, walking my dog, and cooking.
A very big thank you to Zoe for taking the time to be interviewed. Now, I must ensure the rest of her books are in my to be read pile.
If you would like to check out her work, click on the links below.