Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Mhairi McFarlane is unforgettable...plus a book giveaway

We're pleased to welcome Mhairi McFarlane, whose latest novel, Don't You Forget About Me, published last week. Becky has reviewed some of her previous novels and enjoyed them. We're excited to check this new one out! Thanks to William Morrow, we have one copy to give away.

Mhairi McFarlane was born in Scotland in 1976 and got the fringe hairstyle locked down early so she could concentrate on wider issues affecting society, like why Cadbury's don't make plain chocolate buttons. Surely the demand is there. She has written five rom-com books and is trying to write another and not be distracted by Netflix or Twitter, with varying success. Visit Mhairi on Facebook and Twitter. (Bio adapted from Amazon UK).

You always remember your first love... don’t you?

If there’s anything worse than being fired from the worst restaurant in town, it’s coming home early to find your boyfriend in bed with someone else. Reeling from the humiliation of a double dumping in one day, Georgina takes the next job that comes her way—bartender in a newly opened pub. There’s only one problem: it’s run by the guy she fell in love with years ago. And—make that two problems—he doesn’t remember her. At all. But she has fabulous friends and her signature hot pink fur coat... what more could a girl really need?

Lucas McCarthy has not only grown into a broodingly handsome man, but he’s also turned into an actual grown-up, with a thriving business and a dog along the way. Crossing paths with him again throws Georgina’s rocky present into sharp relief—and brings a secret from her past bubbling to the surface. Only she knows what happened twelve years ago, and why she’s allowed the memories to chase her ever since. But maybe it’s not too late for the truth... or a second chance with the one that got away? (Courtesy of Amazon.)

What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing?
Wow this is a nice question! *rubs hands* Oddly enough the greatest compliment any writer can ever receive is "What happens next?" That right there is proof you've done your job and it also makes you giddy with power, that you invented a fictional universe that feels real enough to people that they want to know what happens - they've invested in enough to care about its outcome. To some extent storytelling is a magic trick isn't it? It's a made up world and the reader knows it's made up, obviously, but your job is to make it feel as real as possible, as impactful as possible. A less generalised answer - when my first editor at HarperCollins signed me up, she had to make a case - the standard one in acquiring any author - for why I was a good bet to publish. She told me that in projection for future books, she said "Mhairi is a natural writer." That really thrilled me. A natural writer.

What was the biggest challenge and biggest reward with writing Don't You Forget About Me?
The biggest challenge, if you've read it (no spoilers!) was the revelation and resolution for Georgina. I've not had that experience and I was very conscious it had to ring true. It wasn't easy but I honestly felt like I was stuck in her shoes for that whole passage, and I needed a stiff drink afterwards. The biggest reward was the response to DYFAM. I don't think any author can judge a book by the end - that's not fibbing or false modesty, you've lived with it for so long, with so many of its flaws and its different drafts and its difficulties, you can't really 'see' the end result. So the feedback and the enthusiasm has been amazing. And very movingly, a friend told me she'd have her young daughters read it when they were the right age, so that they hopefully feel more prepared to stand up for themselves than Georgina did. I never write anything as a teaching credential, but if story telling can have any positive real world effect, I feel very lucky to be able to do that.

If Don't You Forget About Me were made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading roles?
Ooh - an actress called Romola Garai - not sure how famous she is in the States, she's well known in the UK. Lucas would be Aidan Turner, who plays Poldark on TV here - again, has he made it in America yet?! He's silly levels of handsome. Google them! Robin would be a joy to cast too because he's such a type, with his curly hair and smarm. Can't think who'd be right though, I feel like readers would make good suggestions?

What TV series are you currently binge watching?
I have just finished Mindhunter 2, the series about the FBI's behavioural science unit in the 1980s and their studies into serial killers. So, so compelling. I'm a huge David Fincher fan. I've just started the HBO series Chernobyl, because apparently when I am not enjoying murders I like radiation.

Who is the most unforgettable person in your life?
Haha, wow! Hard to choose just one? Plus there's all kinds of terrible people you might not forget :) I will pass on this one, if that's OK, it seems a political quagmire to me! There, I got to use the word "quagmire" though.

What is the strangest thing currently residing in your purse/handbag?
Well, this is truly strange, but....it's a florist's card, one of those little ones that come with flowers. It accompanied a bunch of red roses I had sent to my office years ago by a former colleague, who wanted to apologise for not buying me a pint (I think, the reasons are lost in time.) He signed it "Norbert" as a joke about being like a tightfisted character in a comic called Viz (British reference only). He's now a prominent political journalist on a national newspaper here and I bet would be QUITE embarrassed / amused to be reminded of it. It made me laugh though and somehow it's ended up surviving many changes of handbags, lost among my purse, keys, photos, lipstick, spare iPhone headphones etc....

Thanks to Mhairi for chatting with us and William Morrow for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

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Giveaway ends September 22nd at midnight EST.


Lori Thomas said...

My grandmother

JeanneK said...

Thank you William Morris and Chicklit Central for giving me a chance to read this. It sounds like a very enjoyable read.

traveler said...

My mother.

Nancy P said...

My mom. A fabulous role model & a true inspiration to many.

Mary C said...

One would be Ms. Engler, the Children's librarian who introduced me to the wonderful world of books.

diannekc said...

My Dad. He was a really good and genuine person.

Mary Preston said...

My daughter

Rita Wray said...

My mom and dad. I would feel bad if I didn't include both of them.

Amber said...

My daughter!

Peggy Russo said...

My mom. She was really special

Linda May said...

My mother was a great role model for me, my dad passed away at the age of 43 in an accident. My mother put me and my sister thru catholic grade school and high school. We never lacked for anything, we weren't spoiled by any means she was just able to take care of us. Thanks for this amazing chance, Thanks for this amazing chance the book sounds terrific.

Lelandlee said...

My Father

Xia Lee said...

My mother

Tatum Rangel said...

My baby nephews, who are two and one. Sometimes I still can't believe they're a part of my life. They're growing up too fast.

bn100 said...