Thursday, October 05, 2006

Interview with India Grey

India, thank you for granting us this interview — your first of many! Congratulations again on your recent book sale. We can’t tell you how excited and thrilled we are by the news.

Annie, lurking in the shadows: "We are? Oh yes, of course we are. Very excited and incredibly thrilled." [Annie rolls eyes heavenwards]

Now, let’s get started. First of all, tell us about the call. What were you doing at the time?
Annie: "Maybe, Eva, just maybe, she was on the telephone."
India: "Well, I was reclining on a pink velvet chaise longue eating Turkish delight—same old, same old [mutters Annie]—when the phone rang...(Oh, dear, my pants are on fire again, aren’t they? I’d actually just got back from picking the children up from school and was scraping yogurt and banana slime from the bottom of a lunchbox, but that’s totally sad. Do you think it would be OK if I stuck to the Turkish Delight version?)"
How shocked and amazed were you?
Annie: "Well, on the Richter scale of shock and amazement, I’d guess at a 10 – otherwise known as — now, what’s the word? Oh yes, ‘very’."
India: "Yes. Very."
Rumour has it that you’ve sold to the Presents line. Is that true?
Annie: "Well, if it’s not, Presents really ought to sue whoever’s responsible for spreading such an evil rumour. They have their reputation to think of, you know."
India: "Ok, Ok, so the Turkish Delight part was entirely fabricated but the Presents bit is true."
Did you specifically target that line?
Annie [sniggers]: "Of course she did."
India [sniggers]: "Of course I did."
Annie: "Because she thought she was going to get lots of prettily-wrapped gifts."
India: "Because I love the glamour and I love the settings and, yes, I love the heroes too. And I think that when your life involves quite a lot of yogurt-slime in lunchboxes all of the above are important."
Is this really your first book and first submission? Wow!
Annie: "Yes, wow."
India: "Yes. Wow!"
How long did the process take, from first submission to successful book sale?
India: "Hmmm. From the very first submission of the first three chapters and synopsis, it’s been about 18 months, but during that time the editorial staff at HMB have been astonishingly kind and helpful. In the end the time between writing the last words on the last page and getting that phonecall was about ten hours, and I spent at least two of them in bed eating cream cakes in celebration of finishing the manuscript."
Annie: "Cream cakes and Turkish Delight? Fat! Fat! Fat! The chaise longue will never hold up."
Tell us a bit about the story. [Eva immediately starts fantasizing about dark, dreamy Raphael, an idiotic smile on her face.]
Annie: "Raphael? Wasn’t he one of the Ninja Turtles who used to live in a sewer?"
India: "Oh, Annie, your cultural references are so limited. Well, Eva, it’s a story about a girl pretending to be someone she isn’t in order to find out if her man is the person she thinks he is. Does that sound confusing? Oh well, lets just say it’s about sex and shopping and saying sorry."
Have you a title yet?
Annie: "Now you’re getting carried away, Eva. It takes more than a published book to make a Lady out of a commoner."
India: "Yes! Yes! Oh, I’m so glad you asked that! I have a title and I love it. It is The Italian’s Defiant Mistress… Soooo Coooool."
When is the book due to be published?
Annie: "Good question, Eva."
India: "July 2007."
What are your next steps with regard to the book?
Annie: "To do a world tour and publicise it, Eva. Naturally, I shall accompany her."
India: "Thank you, Annie. I shall need someone to carry my designer luggage, tip doormen, etc. To be honest (and that doesn’t come naturally as you’ll see from the Turkish Delight incident earlier) I’m not sure what happens next. Do I get proofs to correct or something? I hope so—then when I’ve done them I can go back to bed and eat more cream cakes in celebration of finishing all over again."
We know you’re working on another contemporary romance.
Annie: "That would be the one stuck at 11,000 words, would it?"
India: "Ah, yes, I was going to mention that. The word worm will certainly need to be updated a little—to something more in the region of 00,000. I’ve learned so much in the process of revising the first book that I’m afraid there’s only one thing for it. Back to the start!"
Would you care to tell us a bit about it?
Annie: "Like the first 11,000 words perhaps?"
India: "I’d love to—if only I hadn’t deleted them all…"
To what do you attribute your remarkable success (besides hard work and dedication, of course)?
Annie: "Funny thing that, I attribute my remarkable failure to the same things."
India: "Duuhh. My lucky mug, of course."
Would you care to tell us your real name?
India: "Well, I could, but then I’d have to kill you. Just call me India...[India stares smokily into the distance in the manner of a Bond girl or similar]...India Grey..."

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Blogger Amanda Ashby said...

Yay, I do love hearing a good call story (and I'm sure if that Annie hadn't kept interuppting it would've been even better. JOKING!)

But it's still very exciting, especially since I remember meeting you at Penny's not long after they first requested your 3 chapters.

I do believe your words were, 'I don't know what I'll do do if they reject it.'

I guess it's one of those things you will never know. Well, that and the age old mystery of where on earth do all the dust bunnies come from??? (I mean, seriously, there can't be that much fluff and dust just floating around in one small house. Can there?)

6:35 pm  
Blogger India said...

God, did I really say that? How totally brainless (not to mention dishonest.) I completely knew what I was going to do if they rejected it and it involved chocolate trifle, wine and loud, loud music.

Thank you for not slapping me at that point Amanda. You're too nice!

9:33 pm  
Blogger Annie said...

May your dust bunnies reign supreme, Amanda!

9:34 pm  
Anonymous Sharon J said...

Is it proper Turkish Delight or the Fry's variety?

12:19 am  
Blogger India said...

Neither. It's the new Cadbury's one... you know heuuuuge bar of Dairy Milk with the turkish delight sort of integrated cleverly into the middle of the squares.

I know, I know. Low rent. But scrummy. And that chocolate-round-the-mouth look is so glamorous, don't you think?

9:30 am  
Blogger Sue aka MsCreativity said...


Finally, some details! I LOVE the title and I can't wait to read it in 2007, though I guess I'm gonna have to.

What's made you start over on your other wip? I ask because I've been considering doing the same with mine... but, (before you shout at me again ;-)) I'm NOT giving up - I wouldn't dare!!

Sue :-)

12:25 pm  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Funny interview! Now doesn't the banana slime look much better now? Each time you scrape it from the bottom of a lunch box, you'll be gazing longingly at the telephone. :)

1:14 pm  
Blogger Stacy Dawn said...


11:03 pm  
Blogger Annie said...

Have just nipped over to Amanda Ashby's blog to see a comment from Christina Phillips saying blogger won't let her comment on Scribes Sanctuary but 'how funny is that interview and huge congrats to India.'

10:22 am  
Anonymous Sharon J said...

I can picture you with the chocolate around you mouth, India, and to be brutely honest, glamorous isn't the first word that springs to mind. Or should I be saying that to a bona fide romance author? I really need to be taught my place!

10:23 pm  
Blogger Christina Phillips said...

LOL Annie! Thanks for relaying my good wishes!

7:41 am  
Blogger India said...

Thank you Christina-- glad you got here!

Sue-- have started new book again because I just wanted a clean slate. In the revisions process of the first one I discovered that I'd made some really basic errors: things I was aware of being potential pitfalls, but which I hadn't realised I had fallen into! (These included H and h being separated for too long, secondary characters being too dominant and character motivation not being quite clear enough.) I also found the revisions process surprisingly difficult, which was why I decided I'd rather try to get this one right from the beginning. I know there'll be lots of revisions this time too, but I'm aiming to get the foundations strong in the first draft and add more detail in the second, so hopefully will avoid the problems I faced first time round.

Now all I've got to do is write the blooming thing. Better get back to it. After one more cup of tea....

1:21 pm  
Blogger Trish W said...

This is a shout out to India/Imogen - could you email me please at ???

Many thanks
Trish Wylie

3:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



9:21 pm  

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