Join me this week for an utterly charming interview with Bold Strokes Books author, MA Binfield. This interview has me adding yet more books to my To Be Read list and wishing this pandemic was over so I could take another trip to the UK to hang out with a fellow Taurus.
MA Binfield is a romance author known for titles such as One Small Step and Not This Time. MA is stranded on that little island off the coast of France known as the United Kingdom. It’s a magical place, with endless mugs of tea and lots of the kind of weather that makes you stay home to read and write. MA is tall and hopelessly romantic. She is fond of the ocean and Scotch eggs, and loves writing about women loving women.
Speed Dating Round
Coffee or Tea? Tea. All day, every day
Book you’re reading right now? The Sea Within by Missouri Vaun
Book you’re looking forward to reading? Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
Favorite color? Green
Favorite movie? Two films I can always watch if they come on TV – Notting Hill and Terminator 2!
Favorite actress? Kristin Scott-Thomas
A joke? It’s far too long. It involves a pun on the words psychopath and cycle path – and I have told that joke to people a hundred times!
Last thing you ate/drank? A satsuma
Favorite thing to cook? A Sunday roast
Word you can never spell right? Tangential – for thirty years, I thought it was tangenital.
Favorite season? Summer
A bucket list travel destination? Lake Baikal, Siberia
Would you rather be cold or hot? Cold
TV show you’re bingeing right now? Scandal
One feature you want in your dream house? A gym
Favorite beverage? Tea. I’m never going to say coffee, no matter how many ways you ask me!
One random thing about you? I’m a qualified soccer referee.
The one app you always end up opening? Twitter
A nostalgic TV show? Cagney and Lacey or The Bionic Woman (I am such a lesbian!)
Best decade? This one. OK, it didn’t start all that well, but we only get to live in the present and I’m trying to make the most of it.
Favorite romance trope? Enemies to lovers
Playstation, Xbox, Switch, or PC? I don’t do gaming. Not unless you count Mah Jong!
PC or Mac? PC
Horoscope? Taurean, and proud of it.
Your favorite pairing? Fish and chips 😉
The Tea and Biscuits Round
Let’s settle in with a cup of tea (coffee, whatever you like to drink), pull up a comfy sofa and talk about books and writing.
Tell me about your favorite place to write? (if you’d like to include a photo make sure you have the rights to it if it’s a public place and attach it to the email you send through to me).
I’ve got a little writing corner in my house, but for most of last year I wrote lying down on my stomach, propped up on my elbows. I wouldn’t recommend it but I had a disk problem and it was about the only way I could comfortably write.
I wrote most of Not This Time over the course of a couple of months in Porto in Portugal. I left my job and gave myself some time off. I wrote stretched out in the garden of an apartment we rented there, and when it got too hot, I moved inside. It was idyllic, actually. Shame all books can’t be written that way!
What is your writing software and hardware of choice for each phase of writing (Planning, writing, editing, formatting, etc). PC? Laptop? Phone? Mac? Windows? Scrivener? Word? Google Docs? And why do you love it?
I do a lot of outlining and sketching of characters, plot, chapter outlines by hand, using a notepad, pieces of card, post it notes. Then I use Word on my iPad when I’m at the early drafting stage. The lack of functionality doesn’t matter because I’m just splurging. Then I switch to Word on my laptop when I’m getting serious about the drafting and starting to edit a little.
When you start a new project, what’s the very first thing you do?
Doubt myself and the idea! Then I do a deep dive into the characters – who they are, what their lives have been like to this point, what they’re doing, what they’re going to do, how they feel, etc.
How do you get to know your characters?
I don’t know. They just exist. It sounds pretentious to say it, but they do. They are just around, in my mind, waiting for me to write about them. I don’t know everything about them, but when I start to ask the questions, they give me the answers. One of the main characters in One Small Step was a kind of diffident, emotionally guarded soul. But she revealed herself to me as someone who wrote poetry but had never had the courage to show anyone or read to anyone. It became really kind of important, and I was kind of cross about it because I didn’t know anything about it.
Do you prefer to plot or see where things take you?
I plot … a little. But allow myself the flexibility to take unexpected turns. I wouldn’t recommend it. It takes me a lot longer than it should to write a book for that reason.
Do you like listening to music when you write? If so, do you have a playlist you’d like to share (include a link), or an artist you’d like to mention?
I listen to playlists on You Tube Music. I have my own Liked Songs playlist, which is full of pop music – Taylor Swift, girl bands, whatever I like that’s current. But I’ll delve into 1970s disco, Prince, 1980’s alternative/new wave stuff. Anything and everything that isn’t classical.
What’s your number one piece of writing advice?
I don’t feel qualified to give advice. I’m still such a newbie, and still learning so much from others. Don’t leave it too late. Don’t keep putting it off. Does that count? It’s advice I should have given myself.
What do you love about the genre you write in?
I’m ridiculously romantic. I love reading all the tropes, but I mainly want prolonged angst, and eventually a wonderfully happy happy ending. It’s such an escape – and I love to be assured of that happy ending.
Social Media Links
Other Links you’d like to include: https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/authors/ma-binfield-306