Tuesday 22 September 2015

Q&A with Liz Tipping, author of Five Go Glamping

Hi Liz – thanks for joining us! Can you tell us a bit about your debut novel, Five Go Glamping?

Hi Sophie! Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Five Go Glamping is a novel about the summer. Fiona and her friends have felt summer has passed them by without any fun and Fiona is feeling a little like her life is like too. She feels stuck in a rut at work and things are going well romantically for either. A glamping trip to the countryside sounds like just the things she needs, but when they arrive, it’s not quite the relaxing break they hope for.

Reading Five Go Glamping, I felt like there was a character everyone could relate to. Did you identify with any of them?

Yes, I can identify with nearly all of them in some way. I’m probably a bit like Fiona in that I can’t stand working in offices and can’t understand how people at work can get so upset about silly things! Although unlike Fiona, I wouldn’t have managed to stay working in the same office for years and years. I’ve had loads of different jobs and the most I have ever worked in an office is less than a couple of weeks.

I have a real soft spot for Sinead as well – I think she’s always striving to find ways of relaxing like all of us are- but I don’t do any of the bonkers stuff Sinead seems to.

I love Steph and her how frank she can be and how she speaks her mind, but I’m afraid I’m not as assertive as her most of the time – although I do think she is bordering on being a bit rude sometimes!

I loved the mix of humour, friendship and romance in Five Go Glamping – did you have a favourite moment or scene to write?

I love all the scenes with Brian Harvey in them. I loved writing about their cute little furry friend. Although sometimes, it was tricky to write. If the human characters were involved in some intense conversation, sometimes I would forget Brian was in the scene and would often be thinking “Hang on a minute, where has Brian gone? He was here a minute ago? What’s he doing? Where is he now?” And then I would have to rewrite the scenes making sure if Brian was there at the start, he’d be in the scene the whole way through.

Your debut novel had the perfect mix of a gorgeous cover, catchy title and enticing synopsis. But what draws you to a book first?

Thank you . I adore the cover for Five Go Glamping, When I first saw it, I couldn't stop looking at it. I stared at it for hours! I studied visual culture at University and used to be a graphic designer so I am really, really fussy about covers! I know you really shouldn't judge a book by the cover but I can't help it and I do find myself drawn to covers and the titles too. Titles draw me in too!

I also rely on friend's recommendations. I have one friend though who seems to loathe everything I love and whenever they have recommended a book to me, I have never enjoyed it! We've yet to find one we both like!

I’m new to the whole camping/glamping thing – and I do think I’d rather have been cosying up in the nearby pub! – but can you share your top tips for those camping (or glamping) for the first time?

I would say the first time camping, maybe try camping in a holiday park- one with a supermarket on site that will stock all the things you didn’t think of bringing. While a night in the wild might sound appealing, the convenience of a holiday park is probably the most sensible way to go for first time campers. They often have swimming pools and other amusements too.

My second tip if you are not used to an inflatable airbed is to inflate it more than you think is necessary. When it looks inflated and ready to sleep on, it won’t be. You need to make sure it’s solid. Test it out by lying on it.

Thirdly, even if you are in the middle of heatwave, camping is cold at night, so bring warm sleeping clothes, socks, and consider a hat too.

My fourth tip would be camp as near as you can to the shower block and toilet facilities. Last time we went camping, the shower block was a bit of a trek, which made for a fun dash in the mornings – not!

Can you tell us a bit about how your publishing deal with Carina came about?

Well, would you believe I was actually camping when my editor at Carina first contacted me! I saw an email asking me to ring when I was using the holiday camp’s wifi in the var, but I had the most terrible signal on my phone, so I had to wait until I returned from holiday to get in contact- it was agonising!

Is there anything you can tell us about book two? I’m excited to read it!

Thank you! I am really, really excited about Book 2. It’s another romantic comedy centred around a school reunion and it’s heavily influenced by some of my favourite films- and these are lots of other people’s favourite films too, so I think everyone is going to really identify with the characters and the story in this book. It’s almost done and ready to send off to my editor and I can’t wait to get working on it with her.

Are you still finding time to read yourself? Any recent reads to recommend?

Yes, I am still reading! I’m currently reading The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward – it’s such fun!

You’re going glamping with four other people, anyone at all. Who would you pick to go with you?

I love this question and came up with loads of potential campmates and I have finally settled on

1. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – because he’s massive and would be able to fell a tree for campfire wood with his bare hands if necessary. He seems like such a laugh and he has this lovely kind, chilled out presence as well.

2. Roisin Conaty. I love Roisin. I would love to sit around gassing with Roisin because she has me in stitches. She’d be such a laugh on a camping trip! She is hilarious and I wish she was my best friend and also she has lovely hair.

3. Can I have a fictional one? If so I would have John Shepherd form Stargate Atlantis. He’s such a laugh but would also be handy to protect the campsite from aliens – it could happen! But if I am not allowed fictional people, I will pick the actor who plays him, Joe Flanigan and then he could just pretend to be John Shepherd for the duration of the trip.

4. The fourth camp mate would have be a dog wouldn’t it? While I would love to have Brian Harvey from Five Go Glamping, if he wasn’t available, I would love to have Pudsey as a guest!

If there was one author who was going to tweet you or send you a message to tell you they’d loved Five Go Glamping, who would you love that author to be?

Another great question! That would have to be Marian Keyes!


Liz's debut novel, Five Go Glamping, was published on August 28, 2015. Find it on Amazon here.


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