I’ve been interviewing another fabulous author for Bookaholic Confessions this week. The fantastic Nadine Matheson, whose debut novel, The Sisters, was published in February 2015, stops by to chat being a criminal defence lawyer, and reveals where she gets her writing inspiration from…
Hi Holly, thanks for having me. Well by day I’m a criminal lawyer, running around the courts in my wig and gown and at night (well, not always at night) I’m a writer. I live in London and anyone who knows me knows that I am a big comic book geek and I can easily bought with a bag of Haribo and the latest Batman comic
Can you tell us a bit about your debut novel; The Sisters (published February 2015)?
The Sisters is about Lucinda, Jessica, Beatrice and Emma LeSouer. In the 1990’s Lucinda, Jessica, Beatrice were members of Euterpe; Britain’s biggest girl band. But like many great girl bands, Lucinda decided to go solo. She left her sisters and went to America but unfortunately it didn’t work out that well for her. Nearly twenty years later, Lucinda is forced to return back to London after her ex-husband goes bankrupt and she realises that she is also a bit skint. Lucinda doesn’t tell anyone the truth behind her return and we follow her as she tries to make a comeback whilst also dealing with her sister Jessica who still refuses to talk after an argument five years ago.
I absolutely love the premise for this story; it’s such a brilliant idea and it sounds unlike anything I’ve ever read before. What inspired you to come up with the storyline?
I have an amazing ability to watch a lot of bad tv and I have a bit of a soft spot for ‘The Real Housewives of… pick any city you like.’ Whilst I was watching one particular episode it dawned on me that one character didn’t really have any money. She acted like she was rich by driving the expensive car and wearing designer shoes and carrying $15,000 Hermes bag but the reality was that she was broke. I thought that would make an excellent storyline for a character and to see how far someone would go to keep up appearances. I knew that I wanted to write about a group of women and thought that the relationship between four sisters would be bring up a variety of issues. I have no idea why I decided to put them in a 90’s girl band. It must be something to do with my age.
Are Lucinda, Jessica and Beatrice completely fictional characters or are they based on anyone in real life?
As much as my mum would like to think that the characters are based on her and her four sisters; I can categorically state that Lucinda, Jessica and Beatrice are completely fictional. I have to keep reminding my mum that the last time I checked, she wasn’t in a girl band.
How long did The Sisters take you to write?
I actually completed the first draft in thirty days. I wrote ‘The Sisters’ as part of the Nanowrimo writing challenge (write a book-50,000 words in 30 days). It then took another nine months of editing and revisions before it was ready to go off to my editor.
For as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer but I also wanted to write as well. I always enjoyed creative writing in school and knew that was something that I would like to do also. What I enjoy about criminal law is every case is different and I have heard some mind-boggling stories.
Although The Sisters is your debut novel, you also contributed to the sci-fi anthology No Way Home and you write crime fiction under the pseudonym J T Baptiste. Do you have a favourite genre to write for?
At the moment, I’m really enjoying writing women’s fiction but I think that crime fiction is my favourite genre. Crime fiction was definitely my first love. Writing Sci-fi is something new for me and I will admit to having a ‘what am I doing moment’ until my brothers reminded me that I’m a woman who has a comic book collection, therefore, I’m a geek and should have no problem writing sci-fi. They were right.
Can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication?
I self published and it is both exhilarating and hard work. I hadn’t really considered looking for traditional publishers when I started writing ‘The Sisters’ and I think that’s because the self-publishing industry has grown so much and the books that are being published are just as well written, edited etc as the books that are traditionally published. It’s a slightly longer journey because I had to find my own editor, book cover artists, and formatters. The key to self-publishing is to quickly work out what you can and can’t do. For example, even though I can draw, I simply did not have the patience or the skills to design my own book cover. I found my editor, Keidi, through Twitter and I sing her praises everyday. Now, that I’ve published my first book, I am going to start looking for an agent and see how far I can go.
Who are your favourite authors and what kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I read everything. The last time I went into Waterstones, I walked out with three graphic novels and books by Ian Rankin, Jane Green and Marian Keyes. My favourite authors are Mark Billingham, Marian Keyes, James Ellroy and Amy Tan. I’ve added Steve Cavanagh and Mhari McFarlane to my list of favourite authors.
And finally – can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
Yes, I can. I’m working on ‘The Dating Pool’ and is about Lily, Chloe and Alex; three friends who are all in relationship ruts. Their friendship is threatened when Lily, who is a journalist, publishes an article about Alex who is in the middle of a love triangle with two high-profile men. I’m also working on another short story for a sci-fi anthology, which will be published later this year.
A huge thank you to Nadine for participating in this interview. ♥ Click here to get hold of your copy of The Sisters.
Nadine Matheson is a writer of contemporary fiction and her debut novel, The Sisters, will be published in February 2015.
She also writes crime fiction under the pseudonym, J T Baptiste. She is currently working on her crime novel ‘Key Positions’.
When Nadine is not writing, she works as a criminal lawyer and lecturer. She lives in London and in her fantasy life would write comic books for a living.