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Deborah Wright Author InterviewDeborah Wright Interview

Deborah Wright won the Ireland on Sunday 'Write a Bestseller' competition. Fresh from the publication of her debut novel, Olivia's Bliss, Deborah Wright talked to Fiction-Net about things she loves. Namely, writing and chocolate.

Fiction-Net: Olivia's Bliss is your debut novel. Has this come with a huge sigh of relief or were you expecting to become published?

Deborah Wright: It was a huge relief because I took such a gamble with the book. It was two years ago and I was 22 years old. I had just done my degree at Oxford, so there was a lot of pressure from my friends and family to join the ratrace. Instead, I gave up my office job, I moved up North into a little attic room, borrowed money, borrowed a computer, lived off baked beans and busking and hence I wrote Olivia's Bliss - and I started getting so many rejections from literary agents and everyone was giving me lectures along the lines of "Deborah, you're a looney, grow up and get a job!" Mind you, I didn't take any notice. Writing the book was one of the happiest times of my life. I felt I was doing what I had always wanted to do. I was swimming in so much bliss and I poured that bliss into the writing, which I think accounted for the happy, uplifting, witty nature of the book.

When I spotted the Ireland on Sunday 'Write a Bestseller' competition, it was really a last hope. When they phoned to say I had won, to say I felt relieved would be an understatement!


Fiction-Net: Olivia's Bliss tells the story about someone falling in love with a father and son. Was this a theme you have always wanted to write?

Deborah Wright: I thought it would be fun to research because it entailed having to seduce ten different sets of fathers and sons - including a lovely boy called William who kept calling me Britney in his sleep and whose father, Charles was very posh and kept talking about organic farming and GM crops in our post-coital chats.

Only joking! Seriously, my agent told me to write about what I know. So I decided to explore a younger woman-older man relationship because for some reason everyone I go out with out seems to be over the age of 40. I hasten to add that Sir Henry Caldwell, the father in the book, is a terrible bully. I swear none of my ex's were based on him, I would never put anyone I knew in a book.

Then I introduced a younger man, Ricky. It wasn't until my sixth and final draft that I realised in a flash of inspiration how much fun it would be to make them father and son. I have a penchant for writing about love triangles. In my next book, the heroine is in a love triangle between two identical twins.

Olivia's Bliss by Deborah Wright - Book Review 

Fiction-Net: So what's always in the room when you write? A coffee, a cigarette or a little light music?

Deborah Wright: I am incredibly pure. Well, in some senses! I don't smoke, I've never tasted coffee and I was tea-total for 8 years - until last month, when I tentatively started drinking again. I did read somewhere that having a drink when you're writing can help with flow but I have such a low alcohol tolerance that it only takes me one Baileys to get completely off my head, so goodness knows what crap I'd end up writing.

Maybe to make up for all this boring abstinence, I am the world's worst chocoholic. I gorge myself on Toblerone when I write. I'm wild about animals and my cat always keeps me company - and I'm dying to buy a tarantula. You know the spider in the James Bond film that crawls over Sean Connery in bed? When I was younger, I got to hold him - the spider, not Sean Connery - and the sensation of it running up my arm was so deliciously tingly. It was cute and cuddly and I am still obsessed with getting one so it can wander over my desk and me when I'm writing.


Fiction-Net: Are you intending to promote your name to potential readers now or are you concentrating on your next project?

Deborah Wright: Both. I've just been to Ireland on a book tour, which was fantastic and I'm writing a few reviews and a few bits of journalism but mostly I am trying to finish my second book.


Fiction-Net: And what is your next project?

Deborah Wright: It's called Wild Girlz, about an all-girl band. It's a sparkling, sexy romance. It's more topical than Olivia's Bliss - it's about the destructive pressures of fame and the way the media shapes our culture. It's also a lot of fun - my heroine gets to meet everyone from the Prime Minister to Brad Pitt and be on everything from The Big Breakfast to Have I Got News for You.

I'm also starting off my third novel, in the same genre. I'm also finishing a literary novel which I've been writing for about five years, called The Dolphin Man. It's such a beautiful book, about madness, love and redemption that when I write it I feel as though I'm sitting in a cathedral - full of awe and peace. I am just so excited to be published. I've got 34 novels planned out, mostly romances, but some childrens' books annd some more unusual books. Sometimes, I feel so impatient - I'm bursting to get them all out but then I remind myself to slow down and enjoy them, one by one.


Fiction-Net: When you're not writing, what are you doing?

Deborah Wright: My life seems to be one long flow of writing! I am a bit of a writeaholic. I am so addicted to the bliss that I get from writing, I've been writing every day since I was 11 years old. I just write all the time - mornings, afternoons, evenings, Christmas Day. I'm generally very good-tempered but if I don't write for a few days I can get really moody from withdrawal symptoms.

Fiction-Net: Are you a bit of a recluse?

Deborah Wright: I'm not a complete recluse. My writing is punctuated by very long phone calls with friends, emails, eating out and meditation. And I love movies. Movies are so good for inspiration - much better than reading books. They ignite your imagination but you don't have the risk of absorbing someone's writing style. I go and see EVERYTHING that comes out. It means that frequently you end up having to sit through real turkeys, wanting to throw popcorn at the screen and idly fantasising about snogging the bloke sitting next to you but then you get some real gems that smash the boundaries of your imagination and change your life forever, like 'The English Patient', or 'Mary Poppins', or 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' - my three all-time favourite movies.


Fiction-Net: Any plans for your own web-presence?

Deborah Wright: I have got a domain name. My brothers are designing the site right now.


Fiction-Net: Finally, what inspiring message or words of advice do you have for our visitors who would like to achieve publication?

Deborah Wright: Having suffered lots of rejection, I really feel for writers who are still trying to break in so when people started to ask me for advice, I prepared a few pages of helpful guidelines. If anyone wants to send me an email ( I'll send it to them. I can't guarantee to get anyone published but it might be of help.

Read more about Deborah Wright at Fiction-Net.

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