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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Interview with Francesca Prescott

TW: Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to interview with You Gotta Read Reviews.

FP: Hello Tami! I’m honored you are interested in hearing more about me, so the pleasure is all mine. Thank you for having me.

TW: Reading about your childhood on your website made me misty eyed and had me dreaming of traveling away from here to join you in that time past. Was your childhood a springboard into your writing?

FP: Writing about my childhood for my website made me misty eyed, too! In fact, when my father read my bio, he called me, sobbing, and all he could say was, “Francesca, I love you!”, over and over again! It was a wonderful, moving, memorable moment.

I’ve always loved to write. As you learnt from my website, I moved to Switzerland from the UK when I was two years old, when my mother was certain that my father was more than just the gorgeous, sweet-talking Romeo in Speedos she’d met at Milan swimming pool while working as an au-pair (they’re still together, forty-odd years later, so I guess he was!). Prior to that, my mother and I had been living with my grandmother, to whom I remained extremely attached until she passed away three years ago. In fact, I learned to write very early because I wanted to send letters to my Nana. I would sit at the living room table with my tongue poking through my front teeth , telling her all kinds of things and asking her when she was going to come and visit. Nana came as often as she could, and I always dreaded the day when she had to go home. I can distinctly remember climbing all over her, pleading her to “stay another week!”. My father worked for an airline at the time, which made it easier to change her ticket and postpone her departure, which she often did.

My mother has always loved books. She spent hours reading me stories, but also encouraged me to write my own, and Nana was soon being bombarded with pony stories, too! She kept them all, including my letters; my parents found them when they undertook the difficult task of clearing her apartment. Writing is probably in my genes because my uncle is a well-known journalist and writer in the UK. Some of his books were made into films, and one of them, “Stardust” was dedicated to me. I was about 14 when that happened, and I was immensely proud, even though I wasn’t allowed to read it for a few years because it “wasn’t suitable”! His name is Ray Connolly, his most recent book came out two years ago. It’s called “Love out of Season”, it’s a romantic comedy and it’s gorgeous.

TW: Every author seems to have a TBR pile. What authors are in that pile and which authors can you not live without?

FP: Oh dear! My TBR pile grows bigger every day; you should see the mess of books beside my bed! And now, with e-books, my cyber pile is probably even bigger than my print pile. Father Christmas brought me an e-reader, but I’m a total techno-twit and have been having problems downloading certain e-books onto my reader. Stuff like that drives me crazy; you almost need a PhD in rocket science to use the washing machine these days! However, to answer your question, some of the authors in my pile are: Elise Chidley’s “Your Roots Are Showing” (I had a sneak peak at the first chapter the other day and I know I’m going to enjoy it), Jenny Gardiner’s “Sleeping with Ward Cleaver”, Malena Lott’s “Dating Da Vinci” and Lindsay Townsend’s fabulous new historical romance, “Blue Gold.” My friend Jami Davenport has a new book coming out soon called “The Gift Horse”, I’m looking forward to reading that as well. Oh, and an author I absolutely adore is Bill Bryson. He’s brilliant and always makes me laugh.

TW: I’ve heard great things about “Mucho Caliente!” and read some great reviews. Actually one of our reviewers will be posting a review of it soon, and I can’t wait to see what she has to say. Tell us where you got the idea for this book, and also tell me some more about the possible sequel to “Mucho Caliente!”

FP: I’ve been thrilled with the response to “Mucho Caliente!” and do I hope you’ll enjoy reading it when you get the chance. The idea for the book came to me while visiting one of my closest girlfriends who lives in Ibiza, a beautiful island off the coast of Spain. We were hanging out at the cabana of a trendy beach, sipping margaritas and feeling languidly sundrenched, when I spotted one of my favorite pop stars, strutting his stuff salsa style on the dance floor. “Let’s go dance!”, urged my girlfriend. Unfortunately, I had already morphed into a giant, wobbly, sunburned Barbapapa and couldn’t possibly leave my wicker bar stool. Besides, I was wearing a bikini and strongly suspected there might be an embarrassing tic-tac-toe pattern on my backside! So I just ogled him from afar (trust me, you’d have ogled too!), wishing the tall, blonde, ugly mug (yeah, right!) he was dancing with would get her hip gyrations in a twist and fall over, but the sneaky thing had clearly been practicing. So I flew home and comforted myself with an eighteen month, perfectly legitimate, extramarital affair in front of my computer!
I was so into my story that “Mucho Caliente!” just about wrote itself, resulting in a fizzy, giddy, uplifting giggle of a book. Just the other day, I was delighted by a review from a reader on Amazon saying that she was sad she’d finished my book because she felt like she’d lost a group of best friends. I felt exactly the same when I wrote “The End.” My attachment to the characters, combined with comments like hers, make it very tempting to write a sequel. I’m working on something else at the moment, so it will be a while before I get to it, but I think Gemma’s parents might play a big part of a sequel. They’re only briefly mentioned in “Mucho Caliente!” but they’re a pretty wacky pair and I’ve a feeling they’ll stir up all kinds of trouble!

TW: What kind of things do you do for fun? I’ve seen some of your pictures, read about your love of horses and heard you on your friend’s music track, when do you have time for writing?

FP: I’m lucky enough to enjoy my work so much that it’s fun. Of course, there are days when getting a decent paragraph down is as painful as having my corns picked out by my chiropodist (ugh!), but the bottom line is that I absolutely love what I do. To counterbalance the effects of sitting in front of my computer for hours on end I try to do Pilates two or three times a week. I really feel (and see…) the difference when I don’t! I’ve always loved horses, and do a lot of riding; there’s nothing like an hour in the saddle to clear my head. And Kwintus (my horse) is such an angel; he actually chuckles when I walk into his stable!

You mentioned my recent foray into the music business; how exciting was that?! However, chances are I’m a one hit wonder; I doubt my twenty-second appearance on Drew6’s cover of Blondie’s “Call Me” will have Simon Cowell banging on my door. But I’d love for Drew6 to have a hit single with it. I’ve known Drew, the lead singer, for years now; he’s a lovely guy, his voice is incredible and he’s a great performer as well. I was so excited the other day when I discovered his new album, “We Kiss” on I-Tunes Switzerland, and emailed all my friends telling them to buy, if not the entire album, then at least “Call Me”! Just think: I’m almost a rock star!

TW: Francesca, it’s been so fun having you interview with us today! Please feel free to drop by anytime to guest blog with us!

FP : Thank you so much for interviewing me, Tami. I’ve enjoyed answering your questions, and would love to be able to guest blog with you once in a while.
I wish you all love, light and laughter,

Francesca Prescott

“Mucho Caliente! – Wish upon a Latino Superstar” is available in print from Amazon.com and from Barnes & Noble.com. It is also available as an e-book from BookStrand.
“We Kiss” by Drew6 (www.Drew6.com) is available in record stores, as well as from I-Tunes.
For more information about Francesca Prescott (including an audio link to her fabulous performance on “Call Me”!), please visit: www.francescaprescott.com


Lindsay Townsend said...

Super interview, Francesca, great fun and informative. Fascinating about your international background and childhood! Lots of luck with your writing and rock star careers!
Warmest wishes, Lindsay
Lindsay Townsend

Francesca Prescott said...

Thank you, Lindsay! I found out that "Mucho Caliente!" is nominated for Book of the Year at Long and Short Reviews, so would love everyone to go and take a look at the reviews and possibly vote for Mucho! www.longandshortreviews.com .

Tami said...

I've already voted, and I certainly expect it to win! :) Yeah! I got the postcards Cesca! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Francesca Prescott said...

You're welcome, Tami! THANK YOU!!

lastnerve said...

Hi Francesca! Great great interview! I about died laughing at the remark that you probably had marks on your bottom due to the chair. I have also voted and I can't wait to read your future books! Thanks for being just who you are and bring so many laughs into this world.

Jami Davenport said...

As Franscesa's CP, I can vouch for her wonderful writing. I've also had the honor of reading two of her other books, which I loved. So lady, when are you going to get a few more out there for your loyal fans?


Francesca Prescott said...

Hi Last Nerve! Well, that dreaded criss-cross on your backside you get from sitting on beach chairs is awful, don't you agree?! I always end up walking like a crab, trying to hide it, which isn't the best idea as it only makes people look at you weird! Thanks for voting for me. I'll try to hurry up and get my other book(s!) ready.
xx cesca

Francesca Prescott said...

Hi Jami, Merci beaucoup! I'm doing my best, but so many things to do, and not enough hours. I'll try to speed up, I promise!
xx cesca

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Francesca,
Wobderful interview. You life story reads like a novel.
I have voted for you also. Good luck.
Your Aussie friend Margaret

LK Hunsaker said...

Wonderful, fun interview! I have Mucho Caliente sitting here waiting on me and look forward to it.