Today I am delighted to be joined by A. L. Michaels for another Friday in Focus.
Can you tell us a little about you?
I’m an author and creative therapeutic facilitator, meaning I run workshops where we write to feel good. I’m currently studying for my Msc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes and doing my dissertation. I’m from London so all my books are based there, even though I live in Hertfordshire now.
Can you tell us about your new book?
My new book is called ‘Goodbye Ruby Tuesday’ and it’s the first in a three book series, The House on Camden Square. It’s about three friends who are brought together by their superstar friend’s funeral and start an arts centre in Camden. It’s full of 90s nostalgia and arty fun.
What is your favourite place to write?
The corner of my sofa. It’s super comfy, the leg bit comes out and everything. I can’t use desks because I cover them in books and by the time I’ve cleared the space I’ve forgotten what I wanted to write!
Where do you get your character inspiration from?
Some are from famous people, the root of Ruby Tuesday was inspired a little by Amy Winehouse, but other characters are often made up of character traits I’ve stolen from friends or people I’ve met briefly. Sometimes it’s a look, a characteristic or a voice, but as long as you have a root, it’s easier to create a character.
What are your 3 desert island books?
I have never known the answer to this question! Maybe the Count of Monte Cristo? It’s pretty big and I really loved it. I’ve never read War and Peace, I feel like that would be a good book to take up some time. I’d also probably take Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Luis Zafron, because every time I read it I’m taken aback by how beautiful and clever it is.
What is your favourite place to read?
In the sun on holiday, or curled up in bed on a weekend morning. Oh, and on public transport. A book and a cup of tea on a train somewhere fun? Nothing better!
What is your favourite book and why?
I think I’d have to say The Shadow of the Wind again, it’s just so beautiful and funny and well crafted. I read and loved it years ago, and recently re-read it as part of the series, it’s just excellent.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I work for a mystery dining company, so I get to go and eat at some really cool places (and then write about it!) so I enjoy eating, I guess! Otherwise, I like the gym, yoga, trying to bake healthy versions of things and just going for a wander, whenever I can!
Chocolate or sweets?
I can’t have both?! I am a jelly bean addict.
Is there a book you wished you wrote?
Faking It by Jennifer Crusie. It’s the perfect comedy, it has romance, snarky comments, hilarious characters, a kick-ass heroine, a gorgeous hero and a storyline about art fraud. It’s just so sharp and well executed. I love it.
You have a free flight and accommodation to anywhere in the world where would you go?
Go stay in one of those hilariously over the top hotels on the Vegas Strip! Or stay in a cabin with it’s own personal jetty on a tropical island.
What is your favourite season?
Spring – it’s so full of birth and joy and possibility! It reminds me that we’re all working in cycles, and that the sun can come out again!
Goodbye Ruby Tuesday by A. L. Michael
on 29th April 2016
Amazon Kindle, Audible
Four friends have become three. But that’s only the beginning.
Ruby, Evie, Mollie and Chelsea were the bad girls at school. But Ruby was the baddest. Evie fought her anger, Mollie fought her mother and Chelsea…well, Chelsea just fought. But Ruby set her sights on a bigger stage. And together, they dreamed of a future where Ruby could sing, Evie could make art, Mollie could bake, Chelsea could dance – and all of them could finally feel at home.
A decade later, the girls are reunited for the funeral of Ruby, who took the world – and the charts – by storm, before fading too soon. And Evie doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry when she learns that Ruby has left them a house on Camden Square – the perfect place for them to fulfil their dreams. But does she dare take the plunge, and risk it all for one last shot at the stars?
Goodbye Ruby Tuesday is Book 1 in A.L. Michael’s new series, ‘The House on Camden Square’