I am delighted to welcome to lovely Bev Dulson to my blog today. Bev has recently published her fifth book, Read All About It and was kind enough to stop by for a good old chin wag about being a book addict, attending boot camp and why she’s always wanted to be a writer…
I’m Bev I’m 35(ish…give or take eighteen months!!) I’m married and have two girls as crazy as their mother and I live near Liverpool. I love Bon Jovi, murder mysteries, anything purple, prosecco and obviously reading. Writing is my big passion and I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. My head is always full so it’s good to have an outlet to let some of it out.
Can you tell us a bit about your fifth book, Read All About It?
Read All About It unintentionally became a story about finding out who you really are. My characters are quite damaged in all different ways and I suppose it’s about how you deal with the things life throws at you. My main character, Frankie Fox is a journalist who works for the Liverpool News. She needs a big scoop to help her get promoted to Deputy Editor. She gets involved in a story about an eighteen year old girl who was abandoned as a baby and is now searching for her real parents. As a side to that, she is asked by her boss to delve into the secrets of American movie star, Luke Danes who is staying in Liverpool as he films his new movie. Frankie doesn’t know it, but she’s sitting on a story that won’t just make the front page of her paper, it’ll go global. However, she needs to make a tough decision, does she run with the story or does she protect the people who this story could damage?
Read All About It sounds like an absolutely fabulous story. What was your inspiration behind the book?
Read All About It came about due to my fascination with the Titanic, there is a beautiful building in Liverpool which was once the White Star headquarters (the company that owned Titanic) and it’s now a hotel. I’ve always been intrigued with this stunning building with such a dark history. I knew I wanted to use that building as integral part of my plot and create a connection with one of the main characters. The hotel very kindly let me do a tour last year so I could get my descriptions spot on. So, I had my main location, I had a movie star staying there who has a vested interest in the place and I built the rest of the plot around that small strand of the story.
Are any of the characters in Read All About It based on anyone in real life or are they entirely fictional?
I think there is always a bit of me in every book I’ve written and there is another strand to the story involving Luke’s wife that was tough to write. I used to work for a newspaper so it was very easy to imagine the newspaper office (although the shenanigans that go on in the Liverpool News are purely fictional!) Also, my grandad was at sea for years as a chef for the White Star company, so there is a connection there too and maybe another reason why that building interests me so much! When I wrote Love Overboard I had to put a comment at the front of the book to say ‘If you can see yourself in this book, then it’s probably you’ as the people I used to work with in travel where far crazier than any character I could make up!
Read All About It is your fifth novel. Can you tell us a little about your other books?
My first book, Betrayal was published in 2010 and is based around a group of friends in New York who are covering up a murder. I had this tag line in my head ‘Flawlessly beautiful, but fatally flawed’ I liked the idea of these gorgeous New York socialites having a dark secret. The next book was a bit lighter, Love Overboard was inspired by a two week Caribbean cruise I went on when I worked in travel. I fell in love with the ship and wanted to remember the exotic islands I visited when I was old and grey, so I put them in a book. The plot is a love triangle between a travel agent, a cruise ship entertainment officer and a rugby player. I set this book between the Caribbean and The Wirral Peninsula (which is the other side of the River Mersey). Then, one day as I travelled home from work on the train inspiration hit for a sequel to Betrayal. I realised there was a strand of the story I hadn’t explored which I developed into Twisted Sister, in this book I went into what happened prior to us meeting the characters in Betrayal and what happened after the end of the first book. One of my favourite bad boy characters is in that book too! I’d toyed for a while with writing a ‘bonkbuster’, Jackie Collins has always been my idol and I wanted to write something which was total escapism with a hint of Dynasty about it (80’s TV show for those of you who aren’t children of the 80’s) So I began writing Famous & Shameless and went with crazy names like Magenta Valentina for my rock chick, Max Maxwell as the baddie, Jonny Kidd and Fly MacFly in my rock band and Hunter Cole as the main man. It’s been described as a ‘celebrity Whodunnit’ and it’s set between NYC and Liverpool and somehow that works! Finally I wrote a romantic novella, This Christmas, which is a story of love, magic and everything I love about Christmas.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
For as long as I can remember. Writing stories in primary school was my favourite thing a teacher asked me to do. I was always writing something. When I was in secondary school I wrote stories about my friends (they still remember them twenty years later!) then when I was about sixteen I had the idea that would one day become Betrayal and wrote whenever I could (usually when I was supposed to be doing my science homework – probably why I didn’t do very well in science, but hey, I haven’t used a Bunsen burner since I was in school, so in the grand scheme of things, I can live with that!)
What advice would you give to any aspiring novelists out there?
In the words of Nike, just do it! Get yourself a nice shiny new pad and lovely pen, make some notes then go from there, even if you only write a few lines a day, that’s better than not writing anything at all. It’s easier to change a page with words on than a blank page. Write about things that inspire you or things you’ve always wanted to do. Most of all have fun! Also, if you have a friend who likes writing, team up with them. I have the best writing partner in crime and we always bounce ideas off each other for whatever we’re writing.
Who are your favourite authors and which type of books do you enjoy reading?
I’m a book addict, if I don’t know what book I’m going to read after I’ve finished the one I’m reading I’m likely to get the shakes. As I mentioned before, Jackie Collins is my ultimate idol but rarely do I meet a book I don’t like. I have all my books in alphabetical order and find it very therapeutic to sort them out. Sidney Sheldon is a favourite of mine as is Liane Moriarty and if I’m going for a bonkbuster read then it’s Rebecca Chance, Victoria Fox or Nigel May. I love light hearted stuff like Lindsay Kelk, Sophie Kinsella and Paige Toon. One of my favourite books that I will read over an over is called Judas Kiss by Catherine Batty.
What do you like to do in your spare time besides reading & writing?
I try and go to bootcamp about 4 or 5 times a week (it’s desperation not motivation) and I also play touch rugby for a ladies rugby team (Oldershaw Diamonds) which is lots of fun. Other than that it’s spending time with my family and friends. As well as fitting in work and the usual housework/school run.
And finally – can you tell us a bit about what you’re up to at the moment?
I’m just about to start on the sequel to Famous and Shameless, I thought I was done with those characters, but a friend made a suggestion and since she’s done that, I can’t get it out of my head! It’ll be fun to go back to those characters, I had a lot of fun writing the first book.
A huge thank you to Bev for answering my questions. ♥
Get hold of your copy of Read All About it here.