TASMINA PERRY is the author of the huge Sunday Times bestsellers Daddy’s Girls, Kiss Heaven Goodbye and, most recently, Perfect Strangers. She left a career in law to enter the world of women’s magazine publishing, going on to become an award-winning writer and contributor to titles such as Elle, Glamour and Marie-Claire. In 2004 she launched her own travel and fashion magazine, Jaunt, and was editing InStyle magazine when she left the industry to write books full time. Tasmina lives with her husband and son in London.
1.What got you into writing? I was a journalist for many years so I was already in the habit of writing copy most days. Thoughts turned to fiction writing when I was at the airport about to go on my honeymoon and I couldn’t find a fun, sunlounger book for the trip. So when I got to the beach, I started writing one and Daddy’s Girls was born.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you? I start at 9am after the school drop-off and work til 4pm when I have to pick my son up from school. I used to work most evenings but I’m trying to get some work/balance in my life!
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I think the secret is to get out and meet people, see friends, do interesting things – otherwise a writer’s life can be quite solitary and insular and that’s when you can start running out of ideas.
4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? A real plotter. I spend weeks sketching out a story before I start typing. I trained as a lawyer so there is a very methodical side to me!
5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advise to aspiring authors? I got an agent and a publishing deal quick quickly, then again, my manuscript for Daddy’s Girls went out just at the time that my editor-to-be was looking for a glamorous, escapist read. So write the book you want to write, but try and anticipate what could become popular or what publishers might want. For instance, you’ll be lucky getting a deal for a vampire novel right now, because so many of them hit the market after the success of Twilight. But if you can think of something fresh and exciting, you have more chance of getting a deal.
6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? Seeing your first book in print is a such a thrill. And when Daddy’s Girls went into the Sunday Times Best-sellers list, I honestly couldn’t believe it.
7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. I really loved writing my latest novel The Proposal. It’s different from my usual novels in that it has a dual timeline – going between the present day and the 1958s Debutante Season. I loved doing all the historical research and writing about those fabulous gowns and cocktail parties.
8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I love photography in fact I have just done a course at Central St Martins to try and get my techinical skills up to scratch! I worked in magazines for many years and a love of beautiful images has stayed with me. I am also a big traveller. My favourite recent holiday was a coast to coast tour of America.