With 66 five star reviews, Joanna Bolouri is one of the most talked about debut authors of 2014. Well, she is in my eyes. With her brilliantly hilarious book The List reaching above expectations, she’s got her readers eagerly awaiting for book number two. She’s constantly cracking us all up on Twitter, but I wanted to know how she felt about writing the dreaded second book. Joanna very kindly wrote a superb (and funny) piece for you all. If it doesn’t make you purchase The List *cough* £3.50 on Amazon *cough* then you’re CRAZY!!
Writing is a labour of love and just like labour, it can make you scream, sweat, shit the bed and cry, but at the end you get something that you created and will love forever, even if everyone else thinks it’s a bit weird or sounds funny.
When I wrote The List, I hoped that someone would publish it. That’s a stupid statement actually, I didn’t write a book so I’d have something hefty to wedge under my wonky garden table did I? What I mean is, I hoped that a publisher would see what I saw and that maybe, just maybe I’d see it in Asda one day and freak out, shouting – ‘I FUCKING WROTE THAT’ while someone nearby calls security.
I was a single parent when I wrote The List and I’m still a single parent, only now I’m one who’s a bit older and a lot more fucking tired…and sweary. Kids do that. There was no pressure when I wrote my first book but now that The List will be published in 14 countries and the reviews have been amazing (and even my mum liked it), I’m scared that the second book will be the one that violently boots me back into the queue at the job centre. But I still have hope.
People often say, ‘isn’t it easier writing your second novel because you know what you’re doing now?’ and the answer is ‘WHAT THE HELL MAKES YOU THINK I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING?’ Seriously, this writing stuff doesn’t come easily. I can’t type for shit and I’m still not entirely sure what syntax is but my burning desire to communicate through misspelled prose leaves me no choice but to dive in and hope for the best.
Don’t get me wrong, this pressure comes solely from me. My agent and editor are amazingly un-shouty (that’s a word) and supportive but I’ve now realised that this shit is realz, it’s both exciting and scary.
My next (soon to be renamed) novel I Followed the Rules is another rom com which sees journalist Cat Buchanan forced to date only by rules laid out in self help dating book The 10 Rules of Enticement. So what am I hoping for now? Honestly? I’m hopeful my second novel won’t suck.