Carol E Wyer the author of Three Little Birds and nine other books-an interview by David Alan Binder

Post date: Jan 14, 2016 2:30:37 PM

Carol E Wyer the author of Three Little Birds and nine other books-an interview by David Alan Binder

Carol E. Wyer has written 10 books. You find some interesting answers below.

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1. How do you pronounce your name?

Wire. Everyone pronounces it “wee–er” or spells it incorrectly. I should have married someone with a simple surname like Jones.

2. Where are you currently living?

I live on a very windy hill surrounded by fields in Staffordshire, UK.

3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Although I liked writing stories at school it was during a lengthy spell in hospital that I discovered I had the ability to make people laugh. I spent over a year in and out of hospital, stuck in bed paralysed following a procedure on my spine that didn’t go according to plan. I used to write to my friends and family and describe life on a ward in hospital. Admittedly, the anecdotes were exaggerated but that added to the humour. The letters (some o them thirty and forty pages long) went down exceptionally well. 4. How long on average does it take you to write a book?

From conception to completed book takes a year although the non-fiction books can take longer due to the amount of research I have to do. I also try out a lot of the suggestions I propose in them such as zip lining, belly dancing, zorbing and stand up comedy, so that adds to the time element. The comic travel book “Grumpies On Board” took a very long time to research as me and my grumpy old man had to go on many of the adventures to write about them.5. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Get up at 5am. Write. Stop about 8am and do housework, eat breakfast, spend time with grumpy husband, go shopping and so on. Start again at 2pm. Work until 6pm. Cook. Eat, Watch two hours of television with husband. Start again at 9:30pm. Work until 3am or all night. I suffer from insomnia. It has advantages!

6. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

It’s not interesting but I am addicted to gummy jelly bears and chewy jelly sweets. I gobble packets and packets of them while I am writing and yes, I have to go the dentist after every book is completed and get new fillings! I really should give them up.

7. Did you self publish or have a publisher?

a. If publisher, who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?

I have two publishers – Safkhet publishing who have published seven of my books. They are Americans based in Germany.

Last year I signed my next two books with Bookouture, a British publishing house based in London. “Life Swap” will be out 22nd April and the second book in September.

8 How do you feel about eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

I like both eBooks and print editions but given some of my books are aimed at “older people” or are “gift books” I like to offer print editions as well as digital. Many of my readers prefer paperbacks and although lots have a Kindle, I frequently get emails saying how much they enjoy thumbing through a paperback copy. On a personal level, I am a speed reader so an eBook reader means I no longer need an extra suitcase for my holiday reading.

I self-published my first book in 2010 and it was quite a journey. Although I personally prefer working with publishers, I know some excellent authors who have made far more money than me and who are extremely successful. For a couple of years I wrote many popular articles and tutorials to do with self-publishing for website Indies Unlimited that sets out to help and guide self-published authors.

9. What process did you go through to get your book published?

The answer to this could be extremely long depending on which book we are discussing. I have trodden every possible route over the years I have been writing. Many moons ago when I wrote a series of illustrated children’s books that taught French, I typed out, copied and posted full scripts to hundreds of publishers in the UK. I got back enough rejection slips to fill an entire book.

Thanks to the Internet, it is much easier to seek a publishing house that might be interested in publishing your script. However, you need patience. Bucket loads of patience.

Last year, having completed the novel, I wrote to a few literary agents. Two had already expressed interest in representing me following several television appearances I had made, so I thought that might be the best way to go. It wasn’t. I heard nothing from three of them and one told me their books were full.

I then sent a synopsis, a letter and the first chapters to two major publishing houses. One expressed interest immediately and requested the full script but some considerable time later rejected it saying it didn’t fit in with their catalogue.

So having spent several months waiting for agents and publisher to respond, I decided to look for a publishing house that was energetic, had a good author list and was keen to support its authors and readers alike. I knew of and admired the team at Bookouture but lacked the confidence to send them my script. I thought it would not meet their high standards. I knew several of the authors published by them and had read their works. Nothing like reading a superb novel to crush your own morale! A conversation with a friend changed my mind and I submitted the script for “Life Swap”. Within two weeks I had a wonderful email saying how much they had enjoyed it and offering me a two-book deal. I’m still over the moon about it.

10. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Most of it comes from my crazy life, people watching and a ridiculously over-active imagination. For the non-fiction books I track down information in libraries or the Internet as well as doing groundwork. For “Grumpy Old Menopause” I contacted experts, doctors and women to compile a guide that would entertain and help get women through “that” time of their lives. It won The People’s Book Prize Award in 2015.

11. When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I wrote a series of books for children when I was thirty-one but my first stories were written when I lived and worked in Morocco at the age of twenty-four.

12. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Travelling! Me and the old grumpy guts get away as often as possible. I am a linguist so I love chatting, practicing and learning new languages although Polish completely foxed me last year when we travelled to Krakow.

13. What does your family think of your writing?

My husband puts up with it. He isn’t easily impressed although when I announced I had just written my tenth book last week, he did raise his eyebrows! Actually, some of the funny gags and lines have come from him and he loves being “Mr Grumpy” in the grumpy series of books. He has many fans on social media and when I tell him how popular he is, he evens manages a smile.

14. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Holding down CTRL A will allow you to highlight your entire script! I had no idea how to type or how to use Word when I began writing so I am completely self-taught. I still write out all my books in long hand first. Maybe one day, I’ll start by typing them out.

15. How many books have you written?

I’ve just completed my tenth book although one is collection of short stories that look at the darker side of love.

16. Which is your favorite?

I would have said “Three Little Birds” all about hope, love, fun and bucket lists until recently. Having completed all the final edits on “Life Swap” and giggled most of the way through doing it, it is now officially my favourite.

17. Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better write? If so, what are they?

The best advice I can give is keep writing, whether that be a post for a blog, articles or more stories. Keep going to perfect your skills. Also, edit, edit and edit! I am forever banging on about how important it is to have a well-edited script to either self-publish or send to a publisher.

18. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Yes! My inbox is invariably stuffed with emails. Some want to thank me for the laughs, especially if they are going through a hard time at the moment. Others talk about how much their own husbands are like Phil in my first two novels about a woman facing fifty and her recently retired grumpy husband. (Hmm- I wonder where that idea came from.) I also get to hear from people who are worried about retiring who have enjoyed my Grumpy books that give them advice as well as laughs.

19. Who is your main audience for your books?

Mostly women but they are aimed at anyone over thirty. The grumpy books are clearly for forty to fifty-year-olds although I find any age group will pick them up and read them

20. What do you think makes a good story?

Something that has a twist, or several twists.

21. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I wanted to be a vet until I failed Biology. After that, I didn’t have any plans until I left university.

22. How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

For “Life Swap” I immersed myself in the lives of the characters as I always do. I live through them when I am preparing a book. One of them, Simon Green works in a car dealership so I hung about my local dealership almost every week, asking questions and getting a feel for the place. It’s a miracle I didn’t end up buying a new car. I can’t divulge too much as to answer this question properly would be to reveal the twists in the book but maybe once it’s out, I’ll tell you what else I got up to, all in the name of research.

23. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one field or genre, how do you balance them?

My love affair with humour is too long a story to recount here but I have written about laughter and the importance of it many times in magazines and online. It is also the reason I now do stand up comedy. If I can make people laugh and just for a while make them feel better about life, then I have succeeded. That’s what I always try to do with my books.

Having said all of that, I have a darker side to my personality. Every clown has a reason for hiding behind the large red nose and I am no exception. I shall be releasing that side in my next book, a dark, psychological thriller that has been bubbling in my brain for some time.

24. What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Definitely the intimate tone and humour in all my books. I write like I speak, so if you read one of my books you should feel immediately part of the story or feel I am “chatting” to you.

25. What inspires you?


26. How did you get to be where you are in your life today?

Stubborn determination and a passion about what I do. Nothing pleases me more than to hear someone has enjoyed something I have written.

27. Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work

Voltaire’s “Candide” was the most influential book. I read it at university and I loved the humour in it. More modern authors like Ben Elton have also made an impact.

28. Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?

Full-time although writing and trying to be a full-time housewife, wife of a bored, retired man is very difficult. I have to juggle my time as much as anyone who works full-time.

29. What are some day jobs that you have held? Did any of them impact your writing?

I was a teacher and translator in Morocco. I taught in a private school in the UK. I ran a language company that taught in-house and did translations and I was a personal trainer, giving boxercise classes. The answer to the second part of the question is … no!

30. What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

The unique quirky humour in it.

31. What are some ways in which you promote your work?

I have given over fifty radio interviews, been on television, written by-line articles in magazines and on websites to help promote my work. I am a judge for a children’s poetry competition, I have swum with sharks for publicity as well as eaten locusts and mealworms and crocodile, been zorbing (going downhill in a large plastic ball), done a zip-wire, belly-danced and an indoor skydive. I blog for the Huffington Post, I do stand-up comedy gigs. I have done talks in libraries, handed out goodie bags of sweets with my business cards in them in towns, given away free books in competitions, done virtual blog tours, signings in book shops, send out press releases every time I do something. Won book prize awards and stood in streets promoting my book wearing a T-shirt…phew! Have I missed anything?

32. What do you like to read in your free time?


33. What projects are you working on at the present?

A psychological thriller and I am also doing research for another Grumpy book.

34. What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?

Where can I place an order for a million copies?


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