Nicola May is a writer of romantic comedy. If she had to be left on a desert island she would take Prosecco, Flapjacks and Leonardo DiCaprio. She is a big fan of Milly Johnson, Carole Matthews and Marian Keyes. The SW19 Club is her seventh novel, but her first published by Accent Press.
Can you tell us about your most recent book? The SW19 Club is a romantic comedy full of love, life lessons, hope and triumph over adversity.
The story sees heroine Gracie Davies faced with the news she can no longer have children. Feeling at an all time low, she decides to set up The SW19 Club where women in similar situations can chat openly about the unspoken issues of fertility in a supportive and fun environment.
What can we expect from this novel that differs from your others? I wrote this novel following the tragic loss of my IVF twins during pregnancy and subsequent hysterectomy. I wrote it from the heart so I hope the reader will feel the real emotion that I channel through Gracie.
What audience is this book targeted for, and what genre does it come under? Please don’t be put off by the base storyline, the novel is a romantic comedy and I believe it will appeal to women of all ages who like to laugh and love.
What was your publishing journey like for this book? (Are you traditionally or self published?) I have previously self-published six books but it was massively exciting to get an offer from Accent Press to not only reproduce my back copies but also launch The SW19 Club to the world under their umbrella.
How long on average does it take you to write a book? Usually around 3-6 months. But if on a roll with no outside distractions, I can complete a first draft in around 6 weeks. That is what happened with The School Gates.
Where do you find inspiration for your books? A lot of my books are based around experiences and challenges I have faced throughout my life. I am also a massive observer of everyday life. I have SO many ideas for future novels.
Please feel free to share an excerpt from your most recent book for readers.
Lewis smiled nervously as he got up to greet Gracie at the bar at Zitas. She noticed his fitted blue jumper. She had always said how much she liked him in it. He had shaved too and she detected the aftershave that he had been wearing the very night they met.
‘Hey,’ he said softly, handing her a bunch of daffodils, her ‘favourite flower in the whole world’. ‘You look beautiful.’ He moved to kiss her but she turned her head away.
Suddenly faced with her future, Gracie felt far from beautiful. She felt sad, scared, unhappy and angry all at the same time. Why couldn’t life just give her a break? Just a teeny tiny one. It didn’t need to be a side-splitting guffaw of a break, an ongoing smile for a few months or so would do.
Here she was standing in front of the man to whom she had given seven years of her life. The man she had so wanted to be the father of her children. And suddenly he seemed like a stranger. She was thirty-eight years old, childless and at a crossroads in her life and she had no idea in which direction to turn.
Can you give us three good book recommendations?
Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe by Milly Johnson
Notes from an Exhibition – Patrick Gale
The Shell Seekers – Rosamunde Pilcher
Any advice to writers wanting to start a novel of their own? I always say just write and don’t edit as you go. Let the story flow and you can then go back to it and make any changes with a different perspective. Believe in your work and it helps me to get a few friends to give me some input as the story develops.
What has been your highlight since becoming an author? There has been many but I think winning awards at the Festival of Romance for The School Gates and Christmas Yves in 2012 and 2014 respectively were pretty special moments.
Twitter: @nicolamay 1