I am an avid fan of Lucie Wheeler and I thoroughly enjoy watching Lucie’s Instagram stories. It’s been exciting to see the progress that Lucie has made. I am over the moon to be on the Mums Just Wanna Have Fun blog tour. I caught up with Lucie for a wee natter.
Single mum Nancy will do anything for her little boy. Jack’s autism makes life difficult at times, but she’s determined to ensure he lives the best life possible. So, when her best friend Harriet suggests a holiday to Ibiza, Nancy is torn: will Jack cope with the change in routine…will she?
Workaholic mum Harriet convinces Nancy it’s the break they all need. A chance to have some fun with the kids, away from the stresses of normal life. And she’s determined to switch off her laptop, ignore her inbox, and just have fun with her kids for seven whole days…
Cocktails and kids’ club – what could go wrong?
Ibiza is beautiful, but Jack struggles with everything, Harriet refuses to put her laptop away, and Nancy begins to think she’s made a huge mistake. And then Nancy meets Cameron and his young son, Aiden and discovers that sometimes the best fun happens when you least expect it…
Can these two single-mum’s swap their mummy guilt for sunglasses and sangria?
Lucie lives in Essex with her husband, daughter and her English Bull Terrier, Dame, who loves to sit under her desk as she writes and keep her feet warm. Never one to sit still, she always has lots going on in her life at any one time. Currently, she is writing her novels alongside studying for a degree. As a graduate of The London School of Journalism and one eighth of the writing group, The Romaniacs, Lucie is passionate about writing and continues to source new opportunities to share her words with the world. In 2013, Lucie won a New Talent Award at The Festival of Romance and is now represented by literary agent , Kate Nash.
You can also find Lucie spending too much time on social media! She loves to connect with her readers though, so do pop by and say hello to her! She can be found on:
all under the name Lucie Wheeler.
She loves reading, spending time with friends and eating chocolate – when she gets to do all three, she’s a very happy lady!
What book truly inspired your life and why?
I would have to say all of the Harry Potter books by J K Rowling. The reason for this is because it was reading those books that inspired me to stop doubting my ability to do it, and to start believing that I could write a book. I had spent years dabbling about with writing and doing it just for fun, but when I read these books I felt an overwhelming urge to take myself more seriously. The feeling I felt when I read those stories was immense. I felt completely enthralled in the story, I loved the characters and I felt I was actually there. I couldn’t believe that words on a page had made me feel that way and nothing had done that to me before. I enjoyed reading but those books took me to a place that I had not been before. And I remember saying to myself back then – if I could make just one person feel, the way these books made me feel, then I will be happy. So I decided to write with determination and drive and with a view to, one day, be published. And in May 2017, that dream came true.
How did you pick who you dedicated your book too?
Because of the message in this book, I knew that I wanted to dedicate this book to all the mums and dads all over the world. Parenting is hard, especially if you have to constantly deal with judgement or ask for help from others. Parents should be supporting one another not passing comment and judgment so I wanted to embrace this in my dedication and throw out my arms for a big virtual hug and tell everyone how amazing they are doing.
Because my books are always true to real life, a lot of my content I get from everyday living. I work in schools so I am around children a lot and I also study children academically at university as part of my degree so I can get an element of research from there too. I have trained a lot with children who have autism and I have some friends who have first-hand experience so their stories heavily influence my writing. I follow a lot of parents on social media and I watch – quite obsessively at times – a lot of YouTube videos about parenting and mum life so I gain inspiration and reality checks from those sources. Aside from all that, the more technical research comes from text books and online sources but like I said, these real life stories are easier when it comes to research compared to books with more accurate content such as historical fiction.
What was your favourite read of 2017?
I read some incredible books in 2017 but my absolute favourite was Flawed by Cecelia Ahearn because I feel like that book has changed me. On a personal level because of the strong self-image message but also on a career level, because it pushed me to start writing my YA more seriously.
If you had to take three books on a desert island what would they be?
Calm by Fearne Cotton:
This book is incredible and it has so many great tips and advice in it that I feel I would be able to keep myself feeling calm and happy and could dip into it at any time just to bring my focus back to where it needed to be if I was stressed or worried.
Matilda by Roald Dahl:
My favourite Roald Dahl book. I just love reading this story and I never get sick of it so I think I would always enjoy opening this up and getting lost in Matilda’s world.
The Silver Locket by Margaret James:
Margaret James was my tutor at The London School of Journalism and when I read this book (the first in her Charton Minster series) I absolutely loved it. I went on to read the two that followed very quickly afterwards. I believe there are more in the series now and I am keen to read those too, but this first book will always mean more to me because I read it just as I was starting to write my first full length novel and I remember feeling incredibly lucky to have been taught by such a wonderful writer. I think I would continue to enjoy reading this book over and over and it would be a good one to take onto the island with me.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?
I wrote stories and was rejected for over ten years before I got my big break.
I have always been interested in reading and as I progressed through my teens I tried my hand at writing but it was only ever a hobby, nothing to take seriously. It wasn’t until I had my daughter – and discovered Harry Potter! – that I decided to stop messing around and if it was something I wanted to do, to believe in myself and start writing with a view to one day being published. I trained at the London School of Journalism and kept sending out my work. In 2013, after years of rejection, I was very lucky to win an award for my writing: The New Talent Award! As a result, I was approached by an agent and within weeks I had signed to her agency. Another few years went by and we were still sending work out – this time to bigger publishers because I now had an agent – but still, we were getting rejections. I felt deflated and ready to give up but my agent and my family kept me going. I kept writing and getting feedback and re-writing, practising my craft and looking for new ways to make my writing better. And in 2016, I got the email I had worked so hard for – an editor at Harper Impulse wanted to meet with me. In June 2016 I went up to London to Harper Collins’ HQ and met with the very lovely Charlotte Ledger who took me for tea and cake and it was in that café that she told me they would be offering me a two book deal with them. Fast forward to May 2017, and after just over ten years of hard work, rejections and nearly giving up, my dream finally came true.
Can you share with us a photo that tells a story?
I chose this picture to share with you because it is one of my favourite, un-posed photos. This was taken a couple of years ago at a woodland festival that I attend most years with my best friend and her two children. I love coming here because, in a technology based world, it is so nice to come here for the day and embrace the outdoors and music and natural based products. We sit on the floor inside a huge tent and listen to music whilst singing along and it just feels like we are going back to nature and taking away the electronic element of childhood which quite easily becomes so dominant in children’s lives. I sneakily took this photo when the girls were chatting about something they could see on the other side of the lake. They were so content to skim stones, laugh together and run around in the fresh air and it really made my heart smile. I know times are changing, but when you strip back to basics like this, it feels wonderfully refreshing.
What would you like your readers to know before starting your book?
Whilst I talk about parenting experiences in my book and, in particular, those who experience challenges, I am very aware that every single person’s experience will differ. No two families with autistic children will experience the same, and no one person’s post-natal depression will be the same as another’s. But the intention with this book is to show just a snippet of these characters lives with these challenges in the hope that if someone is reading the book and they feel they can relate, then I hope they find comfort and reassurance in knowing they are not alone. Yes, this is a fictional story, but it is based on real life experiences from real life parents.
Do you have any questions that you would like to ask your readers?
I am always looking for more story ideas to write about that will appeal to mums and dads out there so if there are any parenting topics you would love to see addressed in my stories, please do let me know! J
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