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Book lovers have different taste when it comes to stories they like to read. Everybody seeks for the different world where they want to set sail in and which can intrigue them. Those are love novels, crime stories, and psychological thrillers, as well as comedies that put a smile on people's faces and relieve them from the gloomy every day. A famous writer from Great Britain Alexandra Potter likes to write those kinds of novels.
She is well-known to readers in Serbia for her unusual love stories, which are permeated with comical situations, and she says that her environment inspires those kinds of works.
She points out that she has an active imagination and she claims that making people laugh is the best job in the world. Life is hard for many people and she sees the opportunity in her books not just to tell the story, but to entertain her readers.
She wanted to become a writer even when she was a small girl, although she doubts herself sometimes, she adds that it is important to always go forward to what you want and what fulfills you.
She talked about her beginnings in the exclusive interview for Telegraf, her inspiration, her process of the creating a quality novel, but also the about the impressions during the visit to our capital.
- Where do you find inspiration for your novels and are some of them inspired by true events?
I find my inspiration in lots of things - sometimes I can be reading a newspaper article, or overhearing a conversation, or from my own experience. I put a lot of my own experiences into my novels and I also have a very active imagination, so I find myself asking "what if this happened" or "what if that happened" a lot! What if? is my inspiration.
- The themes of your stories are always love, comedy and the girl who is seeking for that right guy. Do you see your books as modern fairy tales because the leading heroes always get their happy ending?
Life can be hard and I like to entertain readers with my novels and to provide them with a happy ending. After all, it’s what we all want, isn’t it? However, I like to take my readers on a journey first that has its ups and downs, laughter and tears. I have always liked romantic comedies and as a small girl I would watch old movies with Doris Day and Rock Hudson, or Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn and as I got older I adored films such as When Harry Met Sally and Four Weddings and a Funeral.
- How would you describe love in your own words and what's the craziest thing you've ever done for love?
Love is many things, but for me the true meaning of love is holding someone and never, ever wanting to let them go.
I have done many crazy things for love, but perhaps the craziest is moving to America!
- Do we as a society miss romance nowadays? Many ladies complain that men don't know how to seduce them.
Romance is missing in modern society today. I wrote about this in my latest novel, Love From Paris, where I compared a love story from the 1940s and today. Years ago people wrote each other love letters - they went dancing together - they engaged in a courtship. Today it’s emails - or texts - or apps on the phone such as Tinder. Everything is so fast. Everything is judged on simply a photograph.
Before men had to romance a woman - they had to COURT a woman - but I don’t think it is necessarily a man’s fault. Men are confused as both men and women are equal and many men I know are afraid to buy a woman dinner or open a door for them in case the woman is offended!
In my novel ‘Me and Mr. Darcy’ my character is sick of modern-day men and wishes she could date a man like Mr. Darcy… on a trip to England, something magical happens and she gets to meet him and date him, with some very surprising consequences…
- Your female characters are always fun and they are getting into various situations. They also have a lot of charm, they are very independent and female readers can relate to them. How much is that pattern important in your writing?
I like to use myself as inspiration for my female characters. I am romantic, but I am also very independent. I also like to think that I can be funny and make people laugh. I want readers to be able to identify with my heroine. She is every girl. She is like them.
- In addition to love and romance, there is also a lot of comedy in your books. Is the blend of a good love story and comedy a real recipe for success because it keeps the reader's attention from beginning till the end? Or you can see yourself in another genre?
I love writing comedy. Making people laugh is one of the best jobs in the world, but it can also be one of the hardest. I think love and comedy go together - and even when things go wrong, I think it’s important to laugh about it. Recently romantic comedies have gone out of fashion and everyone is reading psychological thrillers - before that, it was erotic fiction - but I have no plans to change my style of writing. I would like to write older characters - perhaps a heroine who is in her 40s like myself - but I am not about to write a murder mystery!
- You worked for Elle, Vogue, Cosmopolitan... How did that period of your life look like?
I was in my 20s and I loved working on magazines and traveling the world. I worked in London and Sydney, Australia and got lots of experience in writing articles and working on magazines and this really helped when I started writing novels as I knew what my readers would like read.
- Have you always wanted to become a writer? How does your writing process look like?
Every since I was a child I have wanted to be a writer. Recently I found novels that I wrote when I was only nine years old! At first, I thought I wanted to work on magazines, so I started writing magazine features and worked for various magazines in London and Australia.
However one day I decided to write a novel and the rest, as they say, is history. My writing day is usually like a regular working day - I wake up, drink my coffee, walk my new puppy and then start writing for the day. I like to do at least 6 hours a day, but when I am in the middle of the book I can do a lot more.
- Have you always believed in yourself or there was a time that you were thinking of giving up your writing?
Every writer suffers from self-doubt - I don’t know a one that doesn’t. Many, many times I have thought of giving up writing, but there is nothing else I would want to do as a career. Starting a novel is very hard - even if you have an idea - it is sitting down and starting those first pages, so my advice to any person out there wanting to write a novel is to KEEP GOING!
- Tell us your impressions about the first time you were in Belgrade. Do you plan to come to our country again and to hang out with your readers?
I really love Belgrade and the people. I have visited two times now - both times for the book festival - and I really enjoyed it. My readers are amazing! The best in the world. I hope to come back soon and meet much more.
(Telegraf.co.uk / A.Taskovic - firstname.lastname@example.org)