Friday 19 February 2016

Blog tour - The Glittering Art of Falling Apart by Ilana Fox (Author Guest Post)

Today I'm delighted to be hosting a guest post by Ilana Fox, author of the wonderful 'the Glittering Art of Falling Apart';


1980s Soho is electric. For Eliza, the heady pull of its nightclubs and free-spirited people leads her into the life she has craved - all glamour, late nights and excitement. But it comes at a heavy cost. Cassie is fascinated by her family's history and the abandoned Beaufont Hall. Why won't her mother talk about it? Offered the chance to restore Beaufont to its former glory, Cassie jumps at the opportunity to learn more about her past. Separated by a generation, but linked by a forgotten diary, these two women have more in common than they know . . .

Here Ilana talks about her writing journey;


When I first decided to see if i could write a novel, lots of people didnt really believe Id a) actually be able to finish a full manuscript, and b) get an agent. In a way neither did I - it seemed like a fairytale, a fantasy -  but I was determined to see if I could give it a go. So I did.

Back then I was working at the Daily Mail where Id just launched reader comments on the website and was working 14-hour days (dear world, I am sorry), had extortionate mortgage repayments and had such little money that I couldnt even afford a proper internet connection at home.

Instead of a snazzy MacBook Pro, I had a super-old laptop that my fathers company was going to throw away as the battery was on its last legs. The only way I could get it to work was to keep it plugged in all the time, and if the plug fell out at any time the laptop would instantly die - and Id lose all my work! Strong sellotape and pressing save a lot got me through it, along with a steely determination to get the first draft done: I wrote for three hours every evening and for 12 hours every Sunday until Id finished.

I finished the first draft of the novel in nine months, and the jubilation of having actually finished a manuscript from start to finish was achievement enough for me. Still, I wanted to see if I could have feedback from an agent, so I chose one who I thought sounded quite good (Michael Sissons at PFD, how naive I was: hes an actual literary agent legend) and wrote him a rather cheeky letter asking if hed like to read my manuscript. It seems odd now that I approached him by letter instead of email, but this was what the publishing industry was like back then. Plus, I still didnt have internet access at home.

When I received a letter back from Michael, I couldnt quite believe it. Nor could I believe that he wanted to read my manuscript, which he did (along with his daughter, as she was much more my intended readership), but he also got me my first two-book deal with Orion. Its not an exaggeration to say that Michael changed my life and that I am forever grateful.

Fast forward to my fourth novel, THE GLITTERING ART OF FALLING APART, and things are quite different. Everyone talks about the second difficult novel, but I experienced it with this one. I was quite pleased with my first draft, but in retrospect it wasnt great. My editor, Kate Mills, made me rewrite the manuscript and then rewrite it again, and at one point my living room walls were covered in huge fluorescent post-it notes and I was curled up in a ball refusing to turn my laptop on. Ive never worked so hard on anything before - or for as long! - and even though I dont think any writer is fully happy with what theyve written, Im really proud of this book. The characters really did get under my skin and I hope they come alive for the reader as much as they did for me.

The Glittering Art of Falling Apart is available now from Amazon online and Orion

You can read my review again here.

Don't forget to follow the rest of the blog tour!

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Many thanks to Ilana Fox and Elaine Egan at Orion for allowing me to be part of this glittering blog tour.

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