Someone get me a freakin’ gold jumpsuit!

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I am a tad excited. Okay, that’s a big fat mahoosive lie! I’ve given myself another excitement headache I’m so completely and utterly chuffed! Because today, a couple of hours ago actually, I did something that once upon a time I would’ve thought was completely out of reach. But then very little is ever really out of reach, I understand this now. Not even body-popping with Johnny Depp in matching gold jumpsuits. (Although that particular fantasy’s on hold after the latest Dior ad put me right off him. Sigh.) Anyway, poppin’ with Johnny’s another issue entirely, and probably not one anyone else needs to know too much about. So, an hour or so ago…

After scribbling my signature on a few cheques for the school bills I owe, drumming lessons, lunch money, typical Monday stuff… I eagerly moved my clammy hands to sign a couple of other bits and bobs I’ve been anxiously watching the letterbox for. Paperwork. Contracts, to be more specific. The business end of an offer totally inconceivable a few years back, my next two book deals.

Say what? Booky what’s? TWO BLOOMIN BOOK DEALS! With publishing colossus, Harlequin/Harper Collins?!

Holy moly, I need an aspirin. This doesn’t happen, does it? Somewhere between loading the dishwasher this morning and burning dinner this evening, people don’t go around signing book deals, do they? Hell yee-HAW they do! The very lucky buggers, anyway. Y’know I might need two aspirin, actually. This really is pretty wonderful. A couple of years ago, when I still fancied Johnny to death, I didn’t have any grasp, whatsoever, on how things would pan out for me and this writing lark. I was given a pretty darned fantastico opportunity, a shot at being an author. I never, ever, expected more than that initial book deal, let alone to still be hanging around two years on indulging in something I love and getting to call it my job, something I’ve managed to perfect saying now while holding a straight face.  Because it’s true! It’s flipping true! It wasn’t a flash in the pan, it’s here… in black and white… with my signature scrawled at the bottom of it. I am a writer. I’m still here! And I’m going to be here for a while yet, thank goodness. Thanks Heavens. Thank the universe. Thank the good folk who buy my stories.

After three novels, lots of ups and downs, the occasional bout of self-doubt and thankfully a whole load of utter contentedness, we’ve come a long way, baby. And we’re still going. Signing on the dotted. Raring to go. Now all I need me is a gold freakin jumpsuit, because Johnny or no, I’ve got me some serious body-poppin to get done tonight 🙂 xx

Since You’ve Been Gone

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Available to buy here!

‘The perfect summer read – warm, sexy and addictive!’  – Jenny Colgan

‘A thrilling debut from an exciting young author’  – Jackie Collins

‘A brilliant page turner…we’ve discovered a real talent’  – Lorraine Kelly

At the week’s start, Jesse and I had just begun the Monday morning ritual of divvying up jobs for the bakery’s days ahead when the first customer of the week, a Mrs Ludlow-Burns, had walked into Cake.

‘Testicles,’ she’d said tartly from the other side of the counter, ‘on a plate. If you’re up to the job?’ Her cool grey eyes had deviated then, first inspecting the displays around her, then giving all of Jesse’s six-foot-something a considered once-over. Jess, wide and athletic, had towered over the woman, but despite the pearls and tweed she was by far the more intimidating of the two. Outside, a chauffeur had stood waiting dutifully beside a Bentley, shining more violently than the sun. ‘And I’d like for them to be large,’ she’d added, holding up two gloved hands to make her point.

‘Human?’ I’d asked. It was all I could think to say.

She’d gone on to produce a pristine shoebox, Dior set in gold against the crisp white of the lid, inside a pair of brand new black patent leather peeptoe heels, as shiny and new as the Bentley.

We were instructed to put one of the shoes, specifically the heel, right through the thick of a testicle. Mrs Ludlow-Burns said she wanted the cake to look painful. Like marriage.

***

She’s loved and lost – will she ever learn to open her heart again? In one tragic moment, Holly Jefferson’s life as she knows it changes for ever. Now, to the external world, everything’s ‘fine’: she’s renovating her cottage, running her own business, Cake – and generally just getting on with it.

What she feels inside is a different story: lost, alone, unsure of the future – and certain she’ll never love again. When she meets handsome Ciaran Argyll, son of a self-made millionaire businessman, she thinks their worlds couldn’t be more different. He’s rich, confident and gets by on his looks; she’s just trying to get by.

However, there’s more to Ciaran than the superficial world that surrounds him, and he too is wrestling with his own ghosts. Will Holly find the missing ingredient that allows her to put her grief behind her – and embrace an unknown and unexpected tomorrow?

Since You’ve Been Gone book trailer:

Also available in the following titles…

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Spanish

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Italian

German

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French

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A Part Of Me

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Click here to buy…

‘A real talent’ – Lorraine Kelly

‘It caught me by surprise how much I loved it’ – Hello

‘He’s back,’ purred a honeyed voice from the crowd behind me. Another appreciative spectator. I kept my eyes trained on Rohan, wondering how many of these people had known him before his accident, and how incredibly gifted he must have been if losing his leg had made him any lesser an athlete.

Something clicked repeatedly near to my right shoulder. I turned and was greeted by a chunky black zoom lens and a scruffy chignon of blonde hair. She’d flown in from Barcelona a day early.

Megan took a few more action shots of her ex boyfriend before turning her pale blue eyes on me. ‘You really did keep an eye on them, didn’t you?’ She smiled, slipping the camera strap over her arm. She held her hands out to me for her child. I swallowed, knowing that my cheeks were on fire. Lily whimpered as I passed her to her mother, the indentation of my wrinkled dress on her cheek. Megan looked at me as if she could see the imprint Lily had left on me too, and just like that, I was redundant again.

***

After years of heartache, Amy and James’ dream of a happy ever after is looking like a reality.But all these years of waiting for their hopes to be realised has changed them. Can they find their way back to each other or is a hopeful new beginning on the horizon? An exploration of love, heartbreak and finding the ‘one’. A Part Of Me is in turns smart, laugh-out-loud funny and heart-warming – and above all, recognizable to women everywhere.

Letting You Go

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Out now! Click here for info

‘I loved it’ – Hello

‘Moving’ – The Sun

‘A riveting read’ – Sunday Express S Magazine

‘Tense and smart family drama’ – Heat

‘Where the hell were you?’ her father demanded, taking in the state of Alex’s nettle-stung arms and legs. Alex watched him look accusingly at Joseph Finn’s lower body, Finn’s matching affliction where the stingers had got him too. Finn’s shirt was inside out. As if he’d gotten dressed in a hurry.

Alex waited uselessly for her dad to turn that look of furious disbelief back on her. A stab of pain seared like a hot iron through her chest as she saw more devastated tears dancing down her dad’s face.

‘YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE WATCHING MY SON!’

***

What if a tragedy occurred and you only had yourself to blame? How do you move on from the past?

Alex Foster lives a quiet life, avoiding the home she hasn’t visited in eight years. Then her sister Jaime calls. Their mother is sick, and Alex must return. Suddenly she’s plunged back into the past she’s been trying to escape.

Returning to her hometown, memories of the tragic accident that has haunted her and her family are impossible to ignore. Alex still blames herself for what happened to her brother and it’s soon clear that her father holds her responsible too. As Alex struggles to cope, can she ever escape the ghosts of the past?

Hobnobbing Harper Collins Stylee

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Well. I am not a frequenter of fabulous, oyster-lavished* parties, let me tell you, but wowsers… what a truly fabbo do the Harper Collins lot put on last week!

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Last Tuesday was something of a surreal experience for me. Having spoken to several fellow authors that evening, I had the distinct impression that most of them were having a delightfully surreal experience too. Phew. I thought I might be the only one wandering around the V&A in my best frock, mouth slightly agape, bubbly in hand, thinking Whoa, this place is way-HAY bigger than the Blue Banana…

Never mind bigger. The V&A is stunning. The John Madejski Garden provided a slightly more impressive backdrop than the garden parties I’ve thrown at my place, you don’t have to wait so long to get a refill at the V&A either.

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It was perfect. The weather was perfect. The Alexander McQueen exhibit was perfect. Everything was pretty darned perfect. Fair enough, as someone who spends most of her life in jeans and flip flops darting from one health-hazard to the next while my 11 month old son tests my reflexes, I was already pretty excited about the whole affair, the invitation landing on my hall floor had kicked that whimageeel into motion a few weeks before.

After months slogging it out on my third novel, the prospect of a full scrub-up and an evening schmoozing with the likes of David Walliams** was nothing short of giddying. However, it wasn’t until I’d slurped a couple of cocktails with my editor at the Mandarin Oriental and flip-flopped my way down to the venue (heels were in handbag, obvs) that I realised how lucky I was to be there.     

By all accounts, the annual Harper Collins Summer Party is a pretty exclusive bash. Authors published by them (or indeed like myself, published by Harlequin – now part of the HC group) must have a book due for release during the same year to get a toe in the door, I’m told. I only hope they’ll have me, and my toes, back again next year… the chances of which are probably not helped by the fact that I accidentally managed to tip a glass of bubbly over the beautiful black silk dress of one of my colleagues. Groan.

Oh, and I also said something to the MD of Harlequin about feeling like I’d gotten my ‘big girl pants’… in the authory sense, of course, but still. Double groan.

Social ineptitude aside, I had the BEST time. One of the first people I spoke to was an enviably-attractive blonde called Rosie who I’d practically pounced on because she was sporting a lovely little baby bump which obviously bonded us in some exclusive way, I tried to explain, simply because I’ve recently added another sprog to our own clan, plus I’m always a little awed by women who manage to look anything other than the bloated sweaty mess I had when my pregnancy met the summer months.

I probably bored her senseless but she was very lovely and polite and didn’t at all show it if I had. Trust me, this was something I gave a lot of thought to later on having learned that Rosie is the editor of Hello magazine. Agh. At least I didn’t utter I carried a watermelon… I don’t think?! No offence to my colleague but thank goodness it wasn’t the editor of Hello‘s dress I lobbed my champers at. Shudder.

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Amid the fun and frolics though, despite my excitability, I did find myself having a brief moment of calm clarity. Not so long ago, while idly pondering how people ever actually got a chance at being ‘proper’ published writers, I felt as if I was stuck on one side of a very high wall, without the faintest clue how to bust through it and become one of the privileged minority I imagined on the other side, writing their novels, mingling with other equally privileged beings at delightful gatherings in London. It’s not all like that, as any author will say. Writing is mostly about late nights (not the fun kind), baggy clothes and baggier eyelids.

But last Tuesday night, for a few wonderful hours, there was no question about it. I was on the other side of that wall.

So keep writing, writers. Because you never know what may come x

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Think I was the only one who looked like a snap-happy tourist. Again, groan.

*I’m a bit of a philistine. I didn’t brave an oyster. My best friend warned me ‘it’s like licking phlegm off a turtle’. She’s a nurse. I trust her about this stuff.

**I didn’t schmooze with David Walliams, I didn’t even realise he was there until the next morning – doh.

Aside

Word Hoarder!

Euggh, I’m a bloody hoarder, I admit it, damn it!

Not only am I incapable of chucking out that funky jelly-mold I might remember to use this summer, or the trousers I paid too much for back in 2003 when I actually had a chance of getting them up past my lower thighs without a heavy duty lubricant and reduced blood-flow to my feet, it would seem that I’m now hoarding bloody words, too!

Ah well, at least I’m recycling a few bits along the way. Like this! I was asked to spill the beans lately on the inner workings of this little writer’s bubble I’ve been happily floating around in for the last year and a bit. It seemed a shame not to whack my rambling responses on here, seeing as the regular bloggy contributions I was determined to make have fallen by the wayside while I’ve been bashing out more novels (totes unexpected!) and yelling and the kids (not at all unexpected).

So! As my brain is currently empty and the peeps behind the 2014 Virtual Romance Festival were kind enough to delve into that bubble I mentioned, here’s what we nattered about…

 

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Tell us about yourself

Oh pants, I’m a waffler but I’ll try to keep this brief…

Bit of a dreamer, wayward hair.

Decent feet – hoorah! Horrendous roots – eugh.

Think my pals would say occasionally sensible, loyal to the bones, always up for a good cackle? The Hubster, on the other hand, well he’d just tell you that I’m generally pretty nightmarish to live with, untidy, disorganised and probably a bit bossy, blah blah blah.

Who listens to hubsters though, right?

ActualIy I do listen to him occasionally, it’s kinda in the contract. He’s my favourite pain-in-the-ass, which is why I married him ten years after our initial flirtations at youth club. Ahh, nothing sets the scene for romance more effectively than a smouldering look across the ping-pong table and a plastic cup of Tizer. The summer of the shell suit – they were the days, alright.

Turns out, getting hitched was a good move. Phew! Together we’ve made two more cracking pains in the ass (Radley Bo, 9 & Loch, 7) plus we have a third hellbat due to crash into the world in nine weeks, so we’re pretty darned fortunate as it goes.

Hmm, what else…

Guess I’m prone to bouts of uncontrollable hysteria, usually in places where you’re supposed to be grown up and stuff, i.e. wedding services, speeches etc. I blame The Hubster for those though. He always starts it with one of those throaty/nasal sniggers about something completely infantile and stupid, and then we’re off.

What else, what else, what else…

Ooh, I have an actual degree! My first professional innings in the working world were as an interior designer for an architectural practice in Birmingham, which I loved, but I left to become a homebody and look after hellbats 1&2. Let me tell you, two kids under two was bloody hard work. Once they were at school though, I set up my own business, Nouskie Noo’s, in the supply of contemporary celebration cakes daftly thinking I’d have a better work-life balance. Turns out, running a business was even bloody harder! Who knew?

Anyway, it’s all worked out smashingly now because after getting fed up of not seeing the family every weekend, and closing my little cakery bakery and sulking about it for a while, I happened across a little writing competition on ITV back in January 2013 and, flippin’ heck… I won!

Three book deals later with a brilliant publishing team and life at Casa Knight has been exciting, frantic and utterly awesome since.

 

Tell us about your latest book

So my latest book (blimey, that still sounds un-be-lieve-able!) is out June 20th and is called ‘A Part of Me’

The story follows Amy along her arduous journey through the process of adoption, and the hurdles she has to navigate and life-changing decisions she has to make in order to realise the one thing she desperately yearns for, a family of her own.

Amy’s so nearly there. She’s finally slogged her way through the bulk of the adoption journey when the rug is unexpectedly yanked from beneath her feet and everything quickly starts to fall apart. Amy has some very difficult decisions to make and very little time to make them before the adoption authorities suss that something has gone very wrong somewhere, jeopardising her application. The very last thing she needs while she’s trying to work out how to hold it all together is for a distraction to stroll into her office and throw yet more chaos and challenges her way, but that’s exactly what she finds herself up against.

When did you start writing?

I started writing as an angstful teenager, I guess. I kept a diary for around four or five years which helped me to deal with all the usual peaks and troughs of teendom – unrequited love (the shell-suit wearing sort), mean girls, frustrating parents etc etc. Of course, I called them journals back then, sounded less naff than a dreary diary. I still have them, and trust me, that stuff is definitely not up for public consumption!

I’d say I started writing properly after I closed my cake shop in the summer of 2012. I’d been writing a fantasy novel just for myself for about a year beforehand, but with the shop shut I really threw myself into it as a bit of release from all the stress.

The more I wrote, the more I got sucked into it. It got to a point where this story I was writing was always there, bubbling away in the back of my head – on the school run, while I was washing up, hiding out in the bath from the kids etc – little threads of ideas would join themselves up and the plot grew and grew until I realised that I probably had enough going for a trilogy.

I was thinking about trying it out on Wattpad when I got ‘the call’ from ITV.

I’d love to get it published one day, but after working alongside a super-fly editor for the last year, I realise that my 180k word fantasy novel will need a leedle bit of sharpening up before I do anything with it.

 

Tell us about your experience of getting a literary agent.

Well due to coming into the arena of writing the way that I did, my publishing contract was already a done deal way before I had any inkling of agents and all of that side of things. I remember having lunch with a lovely guy, Nigel Stoneman – Jackie Collins’ UK agent (she has more than one agent don’tcha know) – idly pondering how wonderful it would be to ever actually need an agent of my own. I didn’t really give it much thought for a while though after that. I was so busy trying to get Since You’ve Been Gone out on time. Plus, I couldn’t stop thinking about Jerry Maguire and the mental image I had of shark-like bloodsuckers with very big teeth, waiting to gobble up any royalties I might earn. (What can I say? I’m learning as I go along here)

It wasn’t until after I’d signed for my next two book deals that I really started giving more thought to looking into the whole representation bit. I was having another very nice lunch with the fabulous Victoria Fox when she walked me through the role of her literary agent. Foxy worked in publishing before heading out as an author in her own right, so when she raved about the Madeleine Milburn Agency I started to take note. I’d already been approached by the agency so I trundled down to London one morning and after another very agreeable lunch with Maddy Milburn, I done got myself my very own agent! And another few millimetres on the waistline. (There’s a lot of lunching involved in the writing world, I’ve found. I suspect the publishers and agents are quietly feeding us up to see us through endless months of ‘writing hibernation’ later on)

There are lots of reasons a writer needs a literary agent but I think for me, because so many wonderful opportunities have come like a bolt out of the blue, there’s always going to be niggling voice in my head that keeps warning me It could all go away again just as quickly, Nousk… you might not be offered another publishing contract, ever!

Yikes. What a total buzz-killer that would be.

Having a literary agent has helped with all that though. I still worry about that side of things but I worry significantly less now because I have someone in the arena with me who can think about that stuff on my behalf, which leaves me to concentrate on the best bits – the writing and eating.

 

When did you get your first book deal?

I won my first book deal live on ITV’s Lorraine show on Valentine’s Day 2013. The premise of the competition was to submit one thousand words only of a racy read and hope like hell someone tasked at the other end with sifting through thousands of other submissions took a shine to yours!

 

What tips would you give to other aspiring romance authors, looking to be published?

From my own experience, it would be daft not to say definitely keep an eye out on any competitions being run by the big publishers. Check their websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds etc. It might sound like a long shot but it’s a chance of exposure, you have absolutely nothing to lose and, turns out, people do actually win and go on to further publication.

I’d also say don’t wait for lightening to strike though. There’s nothing stopping you slogging away at it. Forget starting that new TV series of Whatever at 9pm every night, use that time to write. Use bath time to think. Keep a note book and write, every day, whether you think you’re getting somewhere or not. It’ll come.

Finally, get your work out there. Anywhere you can think of, literary agencies, publishers… get going.

 

Where do you write?

Mainly on my bed, propped up by lots of pillows and surrounded by discarded biscuit packets. I have a desk in the spare room/office/laundry dumping ground, but the chair gives me a dead ass and just the sight of my ironing pile brings me out in hives.

I’m 31 weeks pregnant at the mo though, so everywhere’s bloody uncomfortable anyway.

It is easy to get distracted in your own home though – it’s a sunny day so I’ll just put a load of washing out, etc – so when I need to really knuckle down in the daytime I’ll sometimes use my sister’s house while she’s at work. She can do her own washing, plus she has a kickass snack cupboard.

 

Where do you look for writing inspiration?

For writing inspiration, as in the act of writing, you’ve got to read. You can’t imitate anyone else’s ‘voice’, that part has to be yours alone, but it’s vital that you tap into what kind of writing feels comfortable for you and the best way to do that is read broadly and find a selection of precedents you can take a few pointers from.

 

Where do I look for inspiration when it comes to the plot itself?

People, mainly. And issues that strike a chord with me. I don’t really look for inspiration, inspiration tends to find you I think. If something jumps up and grabs your attention or resonates in you, for whatever reason, you’ve probably got a very good anchor to tie your novel to.

The main themes behind A Part of Me were adoption and adaptability.

After two years of misdiagnosis, my kid sister was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma at nineteen years old. She was given the option of harvesting her eggs to safeguard her future fertility, but as the tumour in her leg was the size of a large orange she thought it best to crack on with the eleven months of chemotherapy she had ahead of her.

Thankfully, she still has her life, and a Wolverine-grade part-titanium leg, but until she’s bonkers enough to try for a child she won’t really know what hurdles she might have to face on that front. Added to that, two of my old school pals had recently gone through the adoption process and I was completely knocked out by their dedication. I take my family for granted all the time.

Coming back to my sister, when I was thrashing out the synopsis for A Part of Me, she told me a hilarious story she’d heard at a Teenage Cancer Trust event. The guy had lost his limb to cancer, but had found plenty of opportunity since to put his prosthetic to fantastically distasteful comedic use. After hearing that, not to mention previously being flawed by the awesomeness that was the 2012 Paralympics, I knew I had to have a perfectly imperfect hero to throw a bit of trouble into the plot of A Part of Me.

 

Which other authors do you admire?

I’m just nearing the end of Dan Brown’s Inferno. I was in Majorca when I read the majority of it, but I might as well have been pounding the streets of Florence and Venice for the vivid imagery he provides in his writing.

I have to say one of my fave authors of late would be Liane Moriarty. I love her voice. As soon as I’d finished gulping down her novel, all I wanted to do was cyber-stalk her until she agreed to be my BFF. I was gutted when I couldn’t find her on Twitter.

Maya Angelou and Harper Lee have stood the test of time. More recently, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Jojo Moyes, Laurell K Hamilton and Suzanne Collins, to name but a few – all for different reasons, obviously. I think my favourite author is usually the last one I read though! Does that make me some sort of ‘reading philanderer’?!

 

Are you on social media?

Yes! Unless I’m in deadline territory and I don’t want my editor to think I’m fraternising with the masses instead of grafting!

When I’m not in deadline territory, I can usually be found wittering on, either on Twitter @AnouskaKnight or my Facebook page, ingeniously entitled Anouska Knight, or even on my very own blog page, wait for it… wait for it… anouskaknight.wordpress.com

 

If so, tell us what you like about it.

I love the whole social networking shebang for a few reasons. First off, it’s instant and allows a very quick interchange with the outside world. Writing can be quite insular if you’re not careful, so being able to dip in and out of the world community, particularly amongst likeminded others who also love their reading and writing etc, can be a total life-saver when you’re desperate for five minutes out of your own head.

I also love social media because, well, I’m bloody nosey, aren’t I?

Hi, my name’s Anouska Knight and I’m a nosey parker.

Take note, Liane Moriarty. As soon as I find you out there, I am SO going to Like/Follow/Poke you.

 

Personal Stuff…

Where were you born?

Lovely Lichfield, Staffordshire.

What is your earliest memory?

Probably falling down the stairs and biting my tongue off when I was two. Nothing sets a memory in stone like bloody horror. That said, I may have formulated the ‘memory’ after hearing about it in later years. Either way, shudder. They sewed it back on, btw.

Where do you live now?

We’re within walking distance of stunning Cannock Chase, which takes some beating as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Dog or cat person?

Dog! I’ve yet to find a pooch repeatedly climbing into my back garden, terrorising the rabbits and leaving brown pressies all over the place for the kids to step in. That said, I did rather warm to the cat that went viral a few weeks ago… the one that saved the little lad from being mauled by a dog. Didn’t that cat open the Super Bowl, or something?!

When were you happiest?

There have been a fair few contenders for that title I’m fortunate enough to say.

When Jim and I got the keys to our first home, when our sons were born healthy, when I was crying like a muppet in the loos at ITV after Lorraine Kelly pulled my name out of a gold envelope and everything changed for all of us.

But to pick one moment would have to be when my sister got her all clear from that horrendous disease. Moments of happiness have a habit of jumping on you out of nowhere, but that one we were holding our breath a long time for.

What advice would you give your 18 year-old self?

Don’t drink Tequila. Liquor of the Devil.

Don’t spend all of your student loan on CDs, you need to eat for three years, stupid.

Don’t smoke, you do not look like Audrey Hepburn, you look like Slash.

Don’t worry so much about what other people think of you, you can’t win em all and, honestly, why feel the need to?

Do take more money to Glastonbury, £40 is not enough especially as you’ll spend a quarter of that on baby wipes and ciggies in the village shop before you even leave. Dur.

Start writing fiction! Trust me, you’ll LOVE it, so get cracking!

Get Jim and go travelling for a year once you graduate. Before you know it, you’ll be Mum and Dad and who wants to go back-packing with a papoose? ‘No money’ is no excuse. You’ll manage it, somehow, now go get your dreadlocks on.

And finally, don’t laugh when the old girl in the flowery frock gets blown over by the hovercraft at Portsmouth harbour – no-one else will and while she may have her dress over her head, you’ll look like the plonker.

What was your most embarrassing date?

That didn’t involve shell-suits and ping-pong? This is going to sound pretty naff, but I’ve never really done the dating thing. It’s only ever really been The Hubster, and mostly we’ve just always hung out irritating each other.

What is your favourite romantic moment?

With The Hubster? Erm… I’m still waiting for it. He said ‘he’s saving it up’.

What do you wish for when you blow out the candles?

To not accidentally spit a little bit on the cake.

What is your favourite smell?

Christmas trees on Cannock Chase.

What book would you choose to take on a desert island?

How To Epilate With Sand, Because No-one’s Gonna Rescue An Island Yeti.

What music would you choose to take on a desert island?

Would have to be Moby.

Three people you’d like to be stranded on a desert island with.

(Assuming the body hair situation is under control)

The Hubster, because he looks after me.

Ray Mears. He’d be handy and, I suspect, a thoroughly nice fellow.

And probably… Matthew Mcconaughey-hey-hey-there-handsome, because who doesn’t like a hotty with a bongo, right?

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Family. Jim, Rad & Loch. Boring answer I know, but a fact is a fact is a fact.

What is your favourite romantic song?

Ahh, too many but I LOVE Scott Matthews’s Elusive. Absolutely beautiful.

What is your favourite romantic film?

It’s gotta be Dirty Dancing. The tension, the music, the Swayze. Yesss.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I believe in love at first fight if that counts?

Sure you can be utterly mesmerised by some gorgeous shell-suit wearing bad boy with a ping-pong paddle in one hand and a cup of Tizer in the other, maybe even mesmerized enough to start a relationship that will see you through some fifteen-twenty years together or more. But I think that real love is a grower, and deserves not to be rushed. Get your first heavyweight bouts behind you, then you’ll know if it’s love.

Unless his name is Matthew and he likes to play bongos in the nuddy.

 

WARNING: Gratuitous hottie pic alert.