Monday, 16 January 2012
Author Spotlight - Q&A with Angela Britnell
STEPH: I don't know much about "Opposites Attract." What's it about?
ANGELA: The 'Opposites Attract' dating agency has the theory if normal matchmaking hasn't worked for you then try it their way. They turn things around and purposely mismatch people. Holly and Brett are content with their single lives but their parents aren't and give them subscriptions to the agency. Holly, an uptight British policewoman and Brett, a laid-back Southern writer couldn't be more opposite. They're thrown together on a weekend in Paris. It turns magical but secrets, lies and sheer stubbornness threaten the romance before it hardly gets off the ground. Holly and Brett will fight love all the way and it’s a question of who’ll give in first.
STEPH: Where did you find the inspiration for the story?
ANGELA: So many people these days find love in what would’ve been considered unconventional ways. I kept reading about on-line dating sites and agencies and they all stress how carefully they try to match people. It got me thinking about what would happen if they purposely did the opposite. Also I’ve been married for nearly 30 years to a wonderful man and we're opposite in many ways. I’m pretty sure no dating agency would ever have matched us.
STEPH: How long did it take to write?
ANGELA: I think about four months – it was one of those stories which flowed pretty quickly.
STEPH: Did you have to do a lot of research for the story?
ANGELA: Not too much. The three settings for the story are all places I’ve been. Plymouth in England was very familiar as it’s not that far from where I grew up and I lived near there while in the Royal Navy many years ago. I’ve been to Paris several times so just needed to do some online research to refresh my memory about certain places. As for the Smokey Mountains I’ve visited there multiple times. On one visit there I photographed a log cabin which a year later was the inspiration for Brett’s favorite home.
STEPH: Holly is the heroine. What are her strengths? Weaknesses?
ANGELA: Her strengths are that she’s very smart, determined and completely focused on her job. She’s also very loyal to the mother who’s essentially brought her up alone. The problem is that the same determination and focus are also her weaknesses at times. She doesn’t believe it’s possible to have a private life and do her job well. Holly’s seen a lot of police marriages fail because of those conflicts. Also she is wary of loving a man ‘too much’ because she saw how hard it was for her own mother to keep going after her father’s tragic death.
STEPH: What does Brett find appealing about Holly?
ANGELA: Physically he’s very attracted to her and enjoys the fact she’s intelligent and he can talk to her both in and out of the bedroom. He appreciates her witty sense of humor when she relaxes enough to show him that side of her.
STEPH: Hollywood is calling. Cast the main characters.
ANGELA: I’d try to persuade Dierks Bentley the country singer to take the part of Brett – he just looks so much like the Brett of my imagination. Emily Blunt could do Holly well – she’d just need a little time in the tanning salon to mimic Holly’s Mediterranean coloring better!
STEPH: Do you have a eBook reader? If so, which one? What do you like about it?
ANGELA: I got a Kindle about three years ago and love it although I still read plenty of print books as well. I travel back to England frequently and it saves me carrying five or six books in my carry on bag. Another bonus is the fact I can watch TV and read at the same time without my hated bi-focal glasses by adjusting the Kindle’s font size.
STEPH: What's your writing space like?
When my oldest son moved out several years ago I commandeered his bedroom and turned it into my office. I painted it peach and put up lace curtains to guarantee he wouldn’t want it back! I’ve got a lovely oak desk which belonged to my father-law, a sofa, bookcase and most important of all a tea table. Without regular doses of hot tea this writing brain doesn’t function!
STEPH: Fun question: Do you make new year's resolutions? Did you make one this year?
ANGELA: I have done in the past but not this year – it’s one less thing to fail at!