I’m excited to showcase the work of Gillian Harvey today. She writes books full of laughter and strong women, which I love.
I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, and although I worked several different jobs over the years, I always had a book or short story on the go! I started my career as a legal secretary, then quit my job to go to Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, where I studied English Literature. In 2001, I started work as a teacher, and taught ages 9-18 in two different schools in the noughties. Then in 2009, my husband and I made a life-changing move to France, as well as starting our family. We now have five children, aged 5-10.
I finished my first novel in 2004, but it was many years before I managed to land myself an agent. Over those years, I wrote several books, trying different genres and honing my skills. I experienced my fair share of near-misses and frustrations, but never quite landed on the right desk at the right moment!
In 2012, I started approaching magazines with article ideas, and by 2014 was working full-time as a freelance writer. Writing for different audiences gave me a greater understanding of how to consider my reader and there was a marked change in my novel writing. I also got to grips with proper editing – something I’ll admit I never really did enough of beforehand.
Finally, in 2018 I started writing Everything is Fine. In 2019, Ger Nichol of the Book Bureau (the first agent I approached with this novel) offered me a contract, and shortly after I signed a book deal with Orion.
My work is humorous, but I like to think there’s a serious message under the lols. My heroines don’t need rescuing by men, are pretty successful and – while they get in a mess – show how strong women can be.
I have asked Gillian to send me photos as answers for my interview today.
Post a photo of you that we won’t have seen everywhere else.
The unseen photo is one of me helping out at my son’s school carnival. It was the cutest thing!
Where do you write?
I USED to write in a downstairs study in our house, but since lockdown have been relegated to the attic. We wanted to give our children more space, so moved one of my sons into the ‘better’ room. I do have BIG plans for painting… eventually.
Use three photos or images to describe your personality.
The three images that describe my personality… I am always trying to do things for and with the kids, but it’s often motivated by ‘mum guilt.’ And sometimes (as the photo on the grass will testify) I simply have to give up!
Share a photo of your favourite holiday destination.
We don’t get to go on holiday much. As we live in France, our holidays are often spent in Bedfordshire UK visiting family! I suppose we live in a holiday(ish) destination here in Limousin (the lake district of France). But we did manage a French escape a couple of years go – we visited Biscarrosse on the French coast and it was blissful.
Post a photo of something that you baked, learnt or made during lockdown.
During lockdown, I made 4 birthday cakes – one each for my twins, one for my youngest boy, Robbie. My best one (at least best-looking) was the unicorn cake I made for Evie (7). My cakes always taste good, but I’m rubbish at the presentation. This time I nearly killed myself and created a passable unicorn…
Link to Everything is Fine: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=everything+is+fine
Blurb: When a celebrity retweets one of her gym pictures, blogger Jessica Bradley is thrust into the limelight. She’d only set out to blog about her weight loss, but with her new-found followers turning to her for #fitspo, she feels she’s got to keep up with the Kardashians!
As a result, she’s stuck in a role she didn’t choose – and forced to continue to hone her abs, even though she’d rather reach for a Dime bar than a dumbbell.
When her photogenic boyfriend Dave decides to dump her unexpectedly, she’s left trying to maintain a happy exterior amongst the chaos.
Everything is Fine focuses on the hilarious disconnect between Jessica’s real and online lives, but has a serious message too: can we find ‘real’ happiness in a fake world?