In this exclusive interview Lynne Hackles talks about being a writer and her debut novel Gail Lockwood and her Imaginary Agony Aunt. With a unique and captivating storytelling style, Lynne has managed to leave readers spellbound and craving more. In this insightful conversation, we delve into the inspirations, challenges, and triumphs behind the creation of her first novel. From writing inspiration to the hardest parts of the writing process, Lynne provides us with a glimpse into the creation of Gail Lockwood and her Imaginary Agony Aunt.
1. What inspired you to write this book?
A friend told me a story about how she became Slimmer Of The Week and when asked how she had lost so much weight, she lied and said she’d stuck to the diet. The truth was very different. She was in love and getting plenty of exercise in the bedroom. I knew I couldn’t use that in a story for any of the women’s magazines and, eventually, realised it could be the start of a novel. In the end, it only played a small part.
2. If you could set the scene for this book in one sentence, what would it be?
It’s about a woman with no qualifications searching for a job and being hindered by her eccentric mother, problem daughter and useless agony aunt.
3. Who is your biggest inspiration?
Laurie Graham. I love every word she has ever written.
4. When you’re not writing, what do you like to do for fun?
I used to like meeting up with writing friends. Our little group was called Ladies Wot Lunch. I enjoyed going out to eat. This all ended when a tragedy during the first lockdown in 2020 left me with a form of agoraphobia. For fun now, I write and write. And when not writing, I read.
5. In your opinion, what is the hardest part of writing or being an author?
I’m not sure there is a hard part to writing unless it’s the occasional author I interview for Writing Magazine who, when asked for enough words to fill the 750 word slot, send me 5,000. It can be difficult to cut that down to size.
6. Favourite quote from the book?
‘It’s a brothel,’ shouted Gail through the keyhole. ‘Specialising in black leather and cream cakes.’
Behind her, a man juggling with a six pack of lager, a strongly scented bag of chicken balti and the keys to the flat opposite, struggled to tap Gail’s shoulder.
He grinned at her. ‘Got a card handy, love?’
7. What do you hope for readers to get out of the story?
I hope readers laugh out loud and are cheered. We all need something to cheer us up during these tough times.