Friday, 11 September 2015

Author Interview: Carol Drinkwater

Hello Carol, thank you so much for agreeing to an interview, I am pleased to welcome you to my blog.
Merci, thank you for inviting me...
So tell me a little bit about yourself, where are you from and what do you write?
I am an actress who has evolved into a writer and an occasional screenwriter/director. I have several awards and was probably best known as an actress for my role in All Creatures Great and Small.
I have written 21 books to date. The Olive Farm series of books has sold over one million copies worldwide and my novellas written for Amazon, The Girl in Room Fourteen and Hotel Paradise have bot hit number one slots in both Europe and the US.
I write fiction and non-fiction and scripts
Where do you find your inspiration?
I live on an olive farm in the south of France and the love story that brought me here has been an ongoing and constantly renewable source of inspiration for several of my books particularly those known as the Olive Farm Series, and my new novel to be published next year The Forgotten Summer has also been inspired by this region. It is set on a vineyard in the south of France.
What can you tell me about your typical writing day and what your process is?
I start early (6 – 6.30 am) and work hard and long hours. My husband does the cooking so that I can concentrate on the typing! When I am writing I am consumed. Little else exists, and then I stop for a few weeks and do other things for a while such as looking after my land and olive trees or building. I enjoy structural work, such as building fences, extending the house. I don’t do the heavy physical stuff myself but I love the process of its creation. We are currently extending our olive groves and I am enjoying all the preparatory work. And then I return to writing, ready to start afresh... We are fortunate to have a lovely pool so I swim when not working or go down to the sea. The nature and history of the Mediterranean, visible from everywhere on the land, is also a huge inspiration for me.
I go over my work many times before I hand in a manuscript. Six or seven drafts.
Can you tell me about your journey to publication? How did that all happen?
It was relatively easy for me to get published because at the time I was very well known as an actress and my first book, children’s novel, The Haunted School, was picked up by Penguin in Australia where I was shooting a mini-series. The story is set in Australia so it was quite normal that it should have been the Australians who bought it first. From there I moved to Michael Joseph UK for a couple of adult novels. Quite coincidentally I am now back with MJ for The Forgotten Summer and a novel beyond it.
The Haunted School was made into a mini-series and won the Chicago Film Festival’s gold award for children’s film. It got me off to a good start.
What do your family and loved ones think of your success?
They are delighted, of course.
So what’s next for Carol Drinkwater?
I have a new Kindle Single going live on Amazon in about two weeks, A Simple Act of Kindness. The Forgotten Summer will be published early next year. Now I am having one of my little respites where I prepare the material for a new novel to be delivered summer 2016. Busy!
The Fun Stuff:
Well, work is hugely the fun stuff. Otherwise, travelling or land work, reading. I have a very impressive film collection so that keeps me occupied too.
What is your favourite TV show right now?
I have no idea. I don’t watch TV – only to screen movies
Who is your ultimate celebrity crush?
I have no idea. I have spent my life working with “household names” so that is not real a source of attraction for me.
Who are your favourite authors?
So many! Marguerite Duras, Borges, Isabel Allende, Graham Greene, Jean Giono.... the list grows!
Which book from another author do you wish you had written?
The Lover, Marguerite Duras or Allende’s The House of Spirits or Me Before You, Jojo Moyes.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions Carol.
Anglo-Irish actress Carol Drinkwater is perhaps still most familiar to audiences for her award-winning portrayal of Helen Herriot in the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small. A popular and acclaimed author and film-maker as well, Carol has published nineteen books for both the adult and young adult markets. She is currently at work on her twentieth title.
When she purchased a rundown property overlooking the Bay of Cannes in France, she discovered on the grounds sixty-eight, 400-year-old olive trees. Once the land was reclaimed and the olives pressed, Carol along with her French husband, Michel, became the producers of top-quality olive oil. Her series of memoirs, love stories, recounting her experiences on her farm (The Olive Farm, The Olive Season, The Olive Harvest and Return to the Olive Farm) have become international bestsellers. Carol's fascination with the olive tree extended to a seventeenth-month, solo Mediterranean journey in search of the tree's mythical secrets. The resulting travel books, The Olive Route and The Olive Tree, have inspired a five-part documentary films series entitled The Olive Route.

Carol has also been invited to work with UNESCO to help fund an Olive Heritage Trail around the Mediterranean with the dual goals of creating peace in the region and honouring the ancient heritage of the olive tree.
To find out more about the lovely Carol Drinkwater, check out the following links: