Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
Charlie’s lost her zest for life but a crazy ‘Carpe Diem’ list will transform it.
What inspired you to write Take A Chance On Me?
In my late teens I spent thirteen weeks in hospital thanks to spinal difficulties. Hospital radio was the only thing that kept me sane at the time as I was flat on my back, unable to move. That gave me the kernel of an idea for the setting of the book.
The story is one of loss, love, and friendship, and of course, about seizing the moment.
After major surgery on my spine and again in my twenties, I was told I would always have problems, especially as I aged. I made a conscious decision to live my life just as I wanted – I have quad biked up mountain paths, driven a 4X4 over glaciers in Iceland, learned to kick box, flown helicopters, scuba dived and dived with sharks, and much more and although my spine is degenerating badly now and I can’t move or walk very easily, I have the knowledge that I managed to do and enjoy many things in life. I wanted to share that message that no matter how bad life seems you can make it better.
Either in what I call my garret, which is a room in my house with no windows, only a skylight. That way I don’t get distracted by the view or what is happening outside. I chew through endless packets of sweets and type. However, I also write in the garden of a little gite—a pigeonier—part of a small working farm, in France. We go there every year. It is in the middle of nowhere and is where I plan and write my plots by hand in a notebook. Yes, I write it all out in pencil first!
What is your favourite book?
Candide by Voltaire. I studied it at Uni and it is the reason I write humour today.
Which part of Take A Chance On Me did you enjoy writing the most?
That’s a difficult question as I enjoyed writing it all but the scenes where Charlie does her challenges were the most fun, especially as I had to do the challenges myself to get a feel of them. The bellydancing scene was a laugh to do and I love some of the dialogue with Mercedes. I really liked her character. She has some great lines.
Who is your favourite literary heroine?
I am a fan of Janet Evanovich’s books so it has to be Stephanie Plum, a female bounty hunter who’s a spunky combination of Nancy Drew and Dirty Harry.
Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
You need tenacity, patience and good luck. Don’t be in a hurry to get your work published. It is understandable that once you type “the end” you will want to see your book in print but you have work to do before that happens. Make sure a professional edits it and get beta readers to offer you suggestions before you submit. It will take months to get responses from publishers or agents so use that time to build up a social media profile or write your next book…then cross your fingers. Don’t give up!
Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
Following a compilation of short stories that look at the “darker” side of love, called Love Hurts, I am embarking on a series of thrillers for Bookouture. I absolutely love writing them even though I manage to scare myself with what I write! The first will be published next January.
You can find out more about Carol Wyer and her novels at her website, Twitter and Facebook. She is also a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association.
Take a Chance on Me by Carol Wyer
When Charlie’s husband leaves after ten years of marriage, her spirits hit an all-time low. She just isn’t sure how to pick herself up again. So, best friend Mercedes makes it her mission to put a spring back in Charlie’s step with the perfect bucket list.
As Charlie takes a chance and bungee jumps and belly dances her way through an array of adventures, her love life also begins to look up and she’s soon enjoying a few dates as a newly single woman. She begins to realise that finding romance, might not be so hard, especially when you’ve got someone like journalist Jake who has an adorable little boy and is very easy on the eye.
But is Jake too good to be true? As Charlie’s challenges on the bucket list get bigger, so do her questions about Jake. Should she continue to hold out for the fairy-tale? Or should she take a chance on Jake and hope for a happy ending?