Monday, August 2, 2010
Interview with Claudia Carroll and book giveaway
Claudia Carroll is an author from Dublin. She has written "Remind Me Again Why I Need a Man" and "I Never Fancied Him Anyway" (which will be made into a film). Her latest novel is "Personally I Blame My Fairy Godmother." Suzanne Sangster from Harper Collins presented Melissa Patafio and myself with the opportunity to ask Claudia some questions about her books, movies, being on an Irish soap opera and some other fun information. She has a great sense of humor and we enjoyed learning more about her. We hope you will too!
You also have the chance to win "Personally...," as Suzanne promised books for five lucky readers (before leaving her work in the capable hands of Charlotte Allen).
MP: What was the transition like going from acting to writing full time?
CC: I’m presently a full time writer, but prior to that, I worked extensively as a theatre and TV actress. For fourteen years, I appeared in Fair City, (Ireland’s answer to Eastenders,) playing a character I like to describe as ‘the horrible old cow that everyone loves to hate.’
But now I have to say that writing is without doubt, the single best job in the whole entire world. Even on the days when nothing’s coming and I’m half ready to fling my computer up against a wall, I wouldn’t change it for anything. In my last TV job, on the soap opera, we worked crazy hours, often shooting from six am till well after midnight. I love the creative process and the idea of being my own boss, it’s the best! And no, I most definitely do NOT miss standing out on location in January at eleven at night in sub zero temperatures with a director screaming at the cast…not a chance!
MP: Your book “I Never Fancied Him Anyway” is being made into a movie. What stage of production are they currently in and when can we expect to see the characters come to life on the big screen?
CC: "I Never Fancied Him Anyway" is being adapted for a movie, produced by Wendy Finerman, (who made PS, I LOVE YOU as well as THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA,) and the adaptation is by Robin Swicord, who also adapted THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB. All very exciting! I was in L.A. earlier this year meeting the producers and they tell me the project is in a stage of ‘super advancement,’ (L.A.-speak…..!!)
Also, Remind me Again Why I Need A Man was optioned by Fox TV, but is still ‘in development, ‘ as they say in L.A. and more recently, If This Is Paradise, I Want My Money Back has been optioned by Canyon Creek films, with Simon Brooks producing. Mind you, until I’m sitting down in the cinema with a bucket of popcorn on my knee watching one of these movies, I won’t believe it……
MP: Your newest book is “Personally I Blame My Fairy Godmother”. What inspired you to write a modern day Cinderella story?
CC: The inspiration for PERSONALLY, I BLAME MY FAIRY GODMOTHER came from of all things, the global recession and economic downturn. I read about people my age losing their homes and suddenly being forced to move back in with family. The Boomerang Generation, as they’re known. Then I thought of that quote from Harold Pinter; ‘Home is the one place, when you go there, they have to take you in.’
So I thought; imagine a modern day fairy tale gone wrong; Cinderella backwards. Where you have a heroine who starts out with her heart’s desire, a fabulous career, a palatial home to live in and a guy she supposes to be Prince Charming. Then in one fell swoop, she loses her job and the whole house of cards fast collapses on top of her, leaving her homeless, jobless and dumped. So she has no choice but to move back in with her Stepmother and two Stepsisters, who hate the very sight of her…………
I thought here was a good basis for a subverted fairytale; after all, everyone knows the story of Cinderella and the rags to riches story is one of the world’s seven basic plots. But I though, let’s test the heroine and have her starting out with everything, then losing it all and having to go back to her hated old life…..throw in two stepsisters who are a bit like Patti and Selma from The Simpsons and the comedy was ready made.
MP: Have you or would you ever consider doing a book tour in the U.S.?
CC: Are you kidding me? Just waiting to be asked! I can’t think of anything I’d adore more.
MA: If “Personally…” were also made into a film, who would you want to play the lead characters?
CC: Hard one to call! There are so many gifted comic actresses around right now; she would have to be twenty eight, with a dippy, quirky, off-beat quality, who the audience would root for from the very start.
MP: You were on a hit Irish soap opera for years before you started writing, do you plan to return to film or television work in the future?
CC: No, I’m a full-time author now. Mind you, the producers on "I Never Fancied Him Anyway" have promised me a walk-on extra part, so that could be interesting……
MA: Which other fairy tale(s) would you consider basing a novel on?
CC: Funny, but one of the themes of the book I’m writing at the moment is not dissimilar to "The Wizard of Oz;" a heroine who runs screaming from her hometown because she despises small-town life so much, then realises slowly over the course of the novel that really, there is no place like home
MA: Who is your biggest celebrity crush?
CC: You will roar laughing, but I’m a Twi-hard and love Robert Pattinson in those movies so much. I know, and I’m old enough to be his granny. I’m a disgrace.
MA: What is your favorite way to kick back and relax after a long day?
CC: By watching rubbish telly, and the more crap the better. X Factor, Big Brother, Strictly Come Dancing…you name it, I’ll watch it. Throw in a glass of Sancerre and I’m in Heaven.
MA: What is your “not-so-special” talent? (Something that is NOT artsy or creative. Ex. Being able to blow the largest bubbles with your gum.)
CC: Without a doubt, my ability to walk long distances in high heels. Be-fuddles the hell out of my friends, I can tell you.
Special thanks to Claudia for such a great interview.
Thanks to Suzanne, and now Charlotte, for facilitating the interview and giveaway.
And thanks to Melissa Patafio for her help, as always.
**Giveaway is now closed**
How to win "Personally I Blame my Fairy Godmother":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted.)
For additional entries (each as a separate comment including your e-mail address, as well):
1. Please tell us: What is your favorite fairy tale?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
Giveaway ends Thursday, August 5th at midnight EST.