About Pippa Franks:
Hi, I’m Pippa. I grew up in the pretty seaside town of Whitby, North Yorkshire. It’s famous for connections with Captain Cook, Dracula and the best fish & chips! I now live in Warwickshire, close to Shakespeare’s birthplace.
I write romantic comedies and have published the first two this year. The third is in progress. My own rescue dog is on the cover of my debut novel, The OMG Test. A percentage of sales are going to Dogs Trust.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve always loved writing, and I’m sure none of my teachers would be surprised to hear about my books. Publishing the first book was exciting, but scary too. My dream was always to write books that people enjoy reading. Now my dream has become a reality. Readers are saying in reviews they enjoyed the books, and that means everything to me. I know they won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but as long as some readers like my work, I’m happy. That’s my motivation to keep writing. I’m still trying to get my head round the fact that people I’ve never met are spending their time reading my books. I’m truly honored.
Tell us about your writing process.
Okay, I’m definitely a seat of the pants writer. I think of a basic story and decide where it should begin. Then I think of how it will end. That’s it! I start writing, and as the characters develop and I get to know them better, they take me off in all directions. Really! I scribble ideas as I think of them on bits of paper for reference. For instance, the book I’m writing now is still largely unknown to me. I’m on chapter two and have no idea yet how and when the story twists and revelations will occur. I only know what they are, and that may well change along the way.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
The truth is this: they become real to me. I know some people find this strange, but it’s true. I’ve deleted stuff, simply because my characters don’t like it! I do listen to them, it’s their story, not mine, after all 🙂
What advice would you give other writers?
When I started out on this journey, almost ten years ago, I knew nothing. Other than I wanted to write a book. It’s one thing wanting to, but another entirely knowing how to. Over the course of all those years, I read, listened, and asked questions. Bit by bit I changed the manuscript as my writing gradually improved. The first draft was dire, but I was still proud that I’d kept going until I wrote ‘The end.’ I mastered ‘show not tell,’ ‘passive voice,’ ‘point of view,’ and countless other things I’d previously been unaware of. I can’t remember how many times I’ve had my head in my hands, thinking how hard it all was. But I never gave up. That’s the key. Despite knock-backs, criticism or plain indifference, I kept going. Ten years on, I’ve published two books in the space of two months and by the end of the year I will have published three. It may have taken a long time to finally have the courage to hit that ‘publish’ button, but now that I have there’s no stopping me. My advice is this: I would rather try and fail, as opposed to fail to try. Looking back and regretting NOT doing it wasn’t an option. Go for it! Do not ever think you can’t. If I can, you can, believe me!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Years ago I sent early drafts to literary agents. Notice I say early drafts. Needless to say, the rejections that came through the post probably gave the postman a bad back for the rest of his life. That’s when I took a step back, and knew I must learn how to write properly. A couple of years ago, I submitted again. This time round I had some very positive feedback. But it was still a no. Not to be deterred, I did further editing, then decided to self-publish. At this point in my life, I don’t want to obsess over my inbox, waiting for agent replies. I’d waited long enough and decided to just go for it myself. I may change my mind in the future and try again, but for now I’m happy as I am. It’s hard, of course, you’re on your own. But I’ve gone through the whole process and I’m proud of my achievement.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think people will always love the smell of a bookshop and the feel of the paper. But I also think digital reading will continue to grow. It’s convenient, and let’s face it, cheaper too. I’m delighted that self-publishing isn’t as frowned upon as it used to be. I can honestly say that I read more self-published books than traditionally published ones now. I’ve found some fabulous new authors.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: I write romantic comedy/chicklit, but always with a deeper element, along with the fun and farce.
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.