Mandy Baggot's new book, country music-themed Made in Nashville, was released last week. Mandy is currently working on her tenth novel and we love the idea of a Southern romance, so we just had to ask her a few questions!

Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
Scarred singer is put back together by hot redneck country rock star! Sparks fly!

What inspired you to write Made in Nashville?
I’ve had a life-long love for country music thanks to my grandad who played me the kings and queens of the genre when I was small – Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson etc. I also remember being taken to a record signing for Merle and Roy at a local Woolworths!

But the novel was really inspired by my visit to the Country 2 Country festival last year at the O2. Seeing all these great country artists performing live moved me and it was definitely the catalyst to producing the ideas for the book.

Where do you do most of your writing?
I have a desk in my bedroom but it’s not big enough and my laptop is on the verge of dying ! I would love a whole room just for me to write in, or one of those funky buildings in the garden. That’s my dream! I could fill it with Staedtler pens and put posters of half-dressed men on the walls.

What is your favourite book?
I don’t have a favourite book! I love reading contemporary fiction – romance, thrillers, women’s fiction – but there are so many great writers and stories out there I can’t possibly choose just one! But if I had to choose from something I’ve read over the last few years that stood out it was the Duke Becker Series by Gary Kassay. I adored Murder in Silence and Murder by Prophecy!

Which part of Made in Nashville did you enjoy writing the most?
The dialogue! I’m a dialogue girl, probably because I see everything like a film playing out in front of me. It was really nice to write another book set in America and get a feel for the accents. Jared Marshall is an Alabama boy so he has a strong Southern twang going on which I hope translates well in his dialogue.

Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
Keep writing and keep reading. Get advice from other writers and readers but also listen and pay attention to your own feelings and gut reaction for your characters’ paths.  If you've written a story that you love and you've put your heart and soul into it and made it the best that it can be, then get it out there!

Consider all the options. Don’t be afraid to self-publish. Don’t dwell on any rejections you might get along the way. If you love writing and you have a dream to make it your career then do it – never give up!

Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
Yes! I’m halfway through writing my 10th novel and as my very first book was set in Corfu I’m going back there for this novel. It’s very much a holiday read.

Two sisters, Ellen and Lacey Brooks are staying at the Blue Vue Hotel tasked with planning Lacey’s wedding. However, neither of them account for meeting the animation team and being drawn romantically towards two members of it. Lacey is finding the Zumba instructor hard to resist, despite her engaged status, and Ellen is attracted to sexy silent type, Yan. However, two of this foursome have secrets and what will happen when these are exposed?

There’s a lot of humour in the book but also some harder issues – the usual Mandy Baggot mash up – crying with laughter one minute, sobbing into your hankie the next!

Thanks, Mandy!

About the Author: Mandy Baggot is a romantic fiction author. In 2012 she won the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance. Her self-published title, Strings Attached, was also short-listed for the Best Author Published Read award. Also in 2012 she signed with American publishing house, Sapphire Star Publishing, who produced her novels, Taking Charge and romantic suspense, Security. In June 2013 she signed a two book deal with Harper Collins' digital first romance imprint, Harper Impulse. She is a regular contributor to writing blogs and on-line magazine, Loveahappyending Lifestyle

Mandy loves mashed potato, white wine, country music, World’s Strongest Man, travel and handbags. She has appeared on ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and auditioned for The X-Factor. Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and cats, Kravitz and Springsteen.

You can find out more about Mandy by visiting her website, Facebook, Goodreads page, or by following her on Twitter.

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