Friday, 1 April 2016

My Life In Books ~ talking to author Carole Matthews

My Life In Books is an occasional feature on Random Things Through My Letterbox 
I've invited authors to share with us a list of the books that are special to them and have made a lasting impression on their life.

I'm really happy to welcome Carole Matthews to Random Things today. 
I've been reading Carole's books for almost twenty years now. 

Her first novel, Let's Meet on Platform 8 was published in 1997, her latest ~ her twenty-eighth,  The Chocolate Lover's Wedding will be released in paperback on 7 April 2016.

Carole's published novels: Let's Meet on Platform 8 (1997); A Whiff of Scandal (1998); More To Life Than This (1999); For Better, For Worse (2000); A Minor Indescretion (2001); A Compromising Position (2002); The Sweetest Taboo (2003); With Or Without You (2004); You Drive Me Crazy (2005); Welcome To The Real World (2006); The Chocolate Lover's Club (2007); The Chocolate Lover's Diet (2007); It's A Kind of Magic (2008); All You Need is Love (2008); The Difference A Day Makes (2009); That Loving Feeling (2009); It's Now Or Never (2010); The Only Way Is Up (2010); Wrapped Up In You (2011); Summer Daydreams (2012); With Love At Christmas (2012); A Cottage by the Sea (2013); Calling Mrs Christmas (2013); A Place To Call Home (2014); The Christmas Party (2014); The Cake Shop in the Garden (2015); The Chocolate Lover's Christmas (2015); The Chocolate Lover's Wedding (2016)

My Life in Books ~ Carole Matthews

The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger  As an only child, I'd been an avid reader all of my childhood, but I read this book when I was about thirteen and it was the first book that really blew me away. 

Perhaps I identified with the cynical teenager, Holden Caulfield as most teenagers would!

The Lord of the Flies by William Golding   I hated pretty much every book that I read as a set text in English lessons at school. Doing my English A Level nearly put me off reading for life. 

No one should be forced to read Chaucer!  The exception was The Lord of the Flies which I found totally gripping.

Lucky by Jackie Collins   I've said 'Lucky' but it could really be any of her books.

It gave me a love of reading commercial fiction and bad boys!

Riders by Jilly Cooper  For the same reason as above, really. 

Her books defined a generation and were fabulous fun. I haven't read them for a long time and not sure I'd find them so appealing now. 

Maybe I should give them another look.

Living It Up, Living It Down by Norma Curtis   This was probably the first book I read that featured ordinary people living in places that I'd been to. Before reading about movie stars, yachts and country estates - things that as a working class, northern lass, I'd never experienced. 

It gave me the idea that I might be able to write something too.

Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding  The book that launched a whole new genre of novels. 

I hope one day to meet Helen Fielding and buy her a big, sparkly drink. Due to the popularity of Bridget and books in that style, I've had lovely success in the UK and the USA and a career that's allowed me to write twenty-eight novels.

Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes   No one writes books quite like Marian Keyes, though I'm always very pleased to be compared to her!  Her first book, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, is still my favourite of hers.

A stand out book in the chicklit/romantic comedy genre.

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory  I think if I had the sort of brain that could retain historical facts and dates, I'd love to write historical fiction. As it is, I leave it to the fabulous Philippa Gregory, Elizabeth Chadwick and Alison Weir.  

This is probably my favourite historical book of Philippa Gregory's and a good place to start if you haven't read her work. Though I'm a big fan of them all.

Dark Matter by Michelle Paver   I do love a good ghost story and this is one of the best I've read. Set around an Arctic expedition, it's truly dark, atmospheric and, literally and emotionally, chilling. 

It will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. 

You won't want to turn the light off!

One Day by David Nicholls   A perfect piece of writing, in my humble opinion. I really identified with the subject matter. 

His last novel, Us, is also a cracker. I love his writing.

Thanks for having me, Anne. What a hard task to pick just ten books!   
Carole Matthews ~ April 2016 

Carole Matthews is the Sunday Times bestselling author of twenty-eight novels.
In 2013, Summer Daydreams was shortlisted for the Melissa Nathan Award for Fiction about Life and Love. Carole was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists's Association Romantic Comedy RoNA in 2012 and inducted into the Reader Hall of Fame by the inaugural Festival of Romance.

Her novels dazzle and delight readers all over the world. She was given an Award for Outstanding Achievement by the Romantic Novelists's Association in 2015.

She is published in more than thirty countries and her books have sold to Hollywood.

For all the latest news from Carole, visit
Find Carole on Facebook     Follow her on Twitter @carolematthews


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