‘The Next Big Thing- ‘Coconuts and Wonderbras’

I am delighted to be invited to be part of The Next Big Thing by Jae De Wylde author of – ‘Sleeping People Lie’ and ‘The Thinking Tank. Check out what she is up to here Jae De Wylde and here jae-de-wylde-blog Thank you for inviting me Jae. Now to those all-important questions on my own ‘Next Big Thing’

What is the working title of your book?
Well first up, ’Coconuts and Wonderbras’ has just been recently been released so I am gratefully past the working title stage.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Most certainly from my first visit to Cambodia. I have since been again. But the idea to set a comedy in such a colourful country appealed very much. ‘Literary agent Libby Holmes is desperate for her boyfriend, Toby, to propose to her and will do anything for him and if that means dieting for England then she’ll have a go. However, when Libby’s boss introduces her to her new client, Alex Bryant, her life is turned upside down. Alex Bryant, ex-SAS officer and British hero, insists Libby accompany him to Cambodia for a book fair. What she hadn’t bargained for was a country in revolt.

What genre does your book fall under?
Most certainly under Romantic Comedy. I love writing things that make people laugh. Libby’s character is very funny as are those of the people around her.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
If I were choosing actors for the roles of Libby and Alex I would most certainly like Emily Blunt to play the blundering but loveable Libby and Ewan MacGregor to play the action hero Alex. I would most certainly choose British actors as it is a British comedy.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
‘Coconuts and Wonderbras’ is a roller coaster of fun and comedy as Libby bundles along in an effort to get her man.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
‘Coconuts and Wonderbras’ is published by Raucous Publishing and is available from Amazon, Waterstones and W H Smith. It is available on Kindle and Kobo as well as paperback, of course.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft took seven months. Comedy is a lot harder to write than people think. The humour is important and I like to get it right. I try to write a 1000 words a day.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It’s difficult to compare, but other people have compared me to Sophie Kinsella, which is very flattering.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Inspiration for me comes from all over the place. I get ideas while sitting in the launderette. My own funny experiences in beautiful Cambodia inspired me a lot though.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
All my books have a feel good factor and are guaranteed to make you laugh.

Now it’s time for me to hand the baton of The Next Big Thing on to my five chosen authors… In my case three.
I am very happy to pass the torch to bestselling author Jo Carnegie of whom I am a big fan. www.jocarnegie.co.uk/ Jo spent her early career as a fledgling reporter on Bedfordshire’s Biggleswade Chronicle before working at more! and Glamour magazine, and most recently as deputy-editor of heat.. Her latest novel ‘Horse Play’ which is set in Churchminster.’A place where women know exactly what they want, and it’s not cream tea with the vicar.
A place where anything can happen . . . so be careful what you wish for.’

Sarah Rayner (www.thecreativepumpkin.com/) is the bestselling author of ‘One Moment One Morning’ and ‘The Two Week Wait’ Both wonderful books that will move you profoundly. Sarah for many years combined life as an author and copywriter until her novel ‘One Moment One Morning’ enabled her to write full time.
Sue Guiney (sueguineyblog.blogspot.co.uk/) is another fave writer. Her novel ‘Clash of Innocents’ is wonderful. Set in wonderful Cambodia, it is a gripping read. Sue is a writer of fiction, poetry and plays. She is also a teacher of fiction, poetry and plays. Born and raised in New York, she has made her life in London with her husband and two sons. Her next big thing is the 2nd novel of her Cambodian trilogy, called Out of the Ruins: A Novel of Cambodia.” This, the 2nd of 3 novels portraying lives within modern day Cambodia, and looks at the problem of women’s health care and the sex trade. New characters from the West arrive in Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat, to set up a new clinic for women. So much good is accomplished, but can good and evil exist side by side?
Just to say finally – I would LOVE reviews for Coconuts and Wonderbras’ on Amazon, Goodreads and wherever else you would like to post them. I always appreciate my readers and very much want to hear what they have to say.
Lynda x

Doughnuts and Valium (the best combination)

Even this sight of me doesn't drive the builders away
Even this sight of me doesn’t drive the builders away

I thought to myself, because I do that sometimes. I talk to myself also (more than I should) but let’s not go there. I thought to myself, let’s write about this building work, after all it might be cathartic. Before I even wrote three words there were tears falling onto the paper blurring the words Okay, there would have been had it been on paper written in ink. In fact the words may well have been blurred by the scarlet red of my blood, so suicidal have I felt. But… there is always something good to be found. I don’t have to worry about dieting. It’s quite impossible to cook anything. The slow cooker is buried in brick-dust, the kitchen no longer exists and even heating up two TV dinners has become a skill. Balancing one on top of the other, making sure the dish covering one is just large for the top to take another TV dinner while continuing to rotate nicely. Wednesday night has become fish and chip night while Sunday has become Roast dinner down the pub. I buy the builders doughnuts and myself hot cross buns. I’m drinking copious amounts of wine (mostly because the doctor won’t give me Valium and wine is the next best thing) I don’t have to clean (no point) I use someone else’s bathroom as I don’t have one (luxury) and I always have a man about the place. Some of them are admittedly as good as useless but I have men never the less. I don’t have heating but I do have a small electric fan heater which we sit huddled over. I have found washing using a bucket isn’t so bad. I’m beginning to wonder what the fuss is about sinks. So between popping pain killers and laughing till I cry I am managing to stay sane amidst the chaos which begins every day without fail at 7.30. Come rain or shine I drag myself from my bed at 7 or earlier and am sitting in my tatty towelling robe when they arrive. They sadly realised quite early on that I am no Brigitte Bardot so why pretend? If Andrew can cope with the morning nightmare of me then so can they?
There is Mark, also known as ‘Dipstick Mark.’ Named thus by us. Dipstick Mark swaggers around all day swigging from his never-ending cans of Red Bull. I imagine he is flying by the end of the day and seems incapable of doing anything without an ensuing disaster. He plumbed in pipes for the heating and then forgot to turn the water on. We attempted to later that evening only to have a flood. Dipstick Mark returns to repair said damage and fits a tap in the bathroom so we have water upstairs. He then forgets to turn the water back on. When we do turn on the water we discover said tap has a leak. ‘Dipstick Mark’ almost flooded out our bathroom and ruined our new ceiling.
There’s lovely Dan, who I would adopt if I could. I’m not sure life will be the same once Dan goes and I won’t be able to shout ‘Dan,’ every time something doesn’t seem to work. Dan flies out to bring in the washing if it rains and takes in any deliveries. It’s like having my own manservant but without the ‘Mam’ bit.
There is lovely Kevin, the boss. He doesn’t say much but does plenty. There are two Steve’s otherwise known as sparky and the plumber. Not being versed in this language I spent several days waiting for someone called Sparky to arrive. I finally said to Dan,
‘I must keep missing Sparky. I haven’t met him yet.’
Dan patiently informed me that Sparky is the trade name for electrician. Well, I’m not to know that am I?
I’ve had four periods during the time they have invaded my home. Trying to insert a tampon while sitting in a portaloo with three builders outside having a tea break is no fun at all.
I’ve read builder nightmare stories of course but you never think it will happen to you. Oh, be afraid be very afraid. These builders are all the same. I’m actually lucky to still be alive after a rain of scaffolding came hurtling towards me. I have slipped on the mud inside the house not outside I hasten to add. Lovely Dan places the dust sheets neatly on the stairs every day showering the living room in a cloud of grey making the room resemble smoky Joes by the time he has finished. There was also the day they forgot to tell me that although I could see a cat flap hole on the outside, they had actually plastered it up on the inside. That night the cat couldn’t

Bend the cat has a tea break
get out to pee, hence the house reeks of cat pee now.
The worst thing possible they have done is… filled my fridge with Snickers bar. The overwhelming temptation has proven too much and was a disaster for my diet. But I am proud to say I weakened only once and stole one. ‘You’re roughing it very well,’ said Kevin. Is that a gloat I see on his face?
But enough of my story telling. Have a look at the photos.
All donations to the new building fund to repair builder damage can be sent to me directly.
Lovely Dan

Our living room/bathroom/kitchen/junk room

Living room

Bendy thinks ‘Ah this looks promising.’

This looks even more promising


Our current draining system

But it will be worth it