On reflection, I’m not at all sure the above title is accurate, might be more truthful to say, ten things my readers should be warned about.  

Marilyn Messik

Marilyn Messik

Firstly, I should confess that my default setting is mild hysteria, but please don’t spread that around. I earn my living as a copywriter writing business material for companies, so feel I should at least attempt to project a cool, calm and responsible exterior to avoid alarming the clients.  

My overriding vice is books and I mean real-life books, I have been known to dally with a Kindle occasionally but to be honest, it’s a mere flirtation with nothing beating the scent, weight, texture and sheer pleasure of the real thing. I have a shamefully large, to-be-read pile, because if I don’t have a book (or several) lined up after the one I’m currently enjoying, I get decidedly twitchy. And believe me, I’m no fun when twitchy. 

My favourite foods are Halloumi Cheese and Chocolate – not together, obviously. And I appreciate you’re probably all now shrieking cholesterol!

I’m an appallingly avid eavesdropper in restaurants and hotels – why are other people’s conversations always so much more interesting than your own? Overheard phrases and their subtexts stick firmly in my mind and almost certainly come out in my writing. 

All characters in my books have their feet firmly rooted in real life though I hope most of them don’t recognise themselves.     

When it comes to research I’m aware just how spoilt we are nowadays, by all the information that’s right there at our fingertips. Is that a good or a bad thing? The jury’s still out on that one.

My favourite film is Blue Heaven with Steve Martin – written by the great Nora Ephron. And my favourite song is Why Paddy’s Not at Work Today. And if you’re furrowing your brow, take a look at the lyrics and see why it so tickles my perverse sense of humour.  http://www.irishsongs.com/lyrics.php?Action=view&Song_id=386

My writing process consists of long periods staring at a blank screen and moaning softly to myself for quite a while, before hopefully being hit by a frenzied attack of inspiration. We authors are an emotionally needy bunch and I never put a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door because, trust me, I’m disturbed enough already.

I believe writing should be done every day, like running. If you’re a runner you need to run daily, if you don’t, you feel there’s something missing. Mind you, in the interests of honesty, I should say the last thing I am is a runner (no, not even after a bus!). But the writing routine, once you get into it is addictive and I think endorphins are probably involved, so you get what I mean. 

I fall flat on my face when it comes to publicising and promoting myself and my books. At that stage of the game I’m ashamed to say that I feel a pressing need to pull a paper bag over my head and go and rock gently in a corner.