Today I welcome Carol Cooper author of “Hampstead Fever”.
Hi Carol, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us about yourself and your background.
I’m a British doctor, journalist and author. I write on health for The Sun newspaper, broadcasts on TV and radio, and have a string of non-fiction books to my name including an award-winning textbook of medicine. I also write novels, my latest being Hampstead Fever, a contemporary tale of urban life. I practice part-time as a family doctor in London and teaches medical students.
Blog: Pills & Pillow-Talk http://pillsandpillowtalk.com
Facebook page: Carol Cooper’s London Novels https://www.facebook.com/onenightatthejacaranda/
When did you start writing?
I was a very truthful child, but from a young age I loved writing stories. One of my tales was about a witch who died as a result of smoking in bed. Looking back, I have always had a hankering to write a novel. It took me a while to do it because I detoured via non-fiction and journalism.
What motivated you to start writing?
I started to write a novel while I was still at university, but it didn’t go anywhere as I was just a sponge then, soaking up other people’s ideas. I had few original ideas of my own, and no real experience of life. After practicing medicine for a couple of decades and raising a family, I realized that I did actually have something to say that could make a novel. Or two or more…
What is your favorite book and what is your favorite author? Why?
I think my favorite book, or at least one of my favorites, is still Mary McCarthy’s The Group. It follows the lives of a group of friends, all recent graduates, as they make their way in the world, and I love the way the story unfolds covering all the different strands.
Where did you find inspiration for your stories?
Inspiration is all around once you stop and listen. I love overhearing people talk on the bus or in the street, and of course I’m hugely inspired by the patients I see. Ill health can bring out the best in people, as well as the worst.
Are your stories based on someone you know or on events you have experienced?
I’d never put a real person into a book, especially not a patient, but I do use snippets of events I’ve experienced.
When I’m writing I need silence. So how about you? Do you like to hear music while you are working?
It’s funny you should ask that, because my habits have definitely changed in the last couple of years. I used to like having music on while writing, but now I need complete silence. It feels like sensory overload if there’s too much going on.
How many books have you written?
About 14 non-fiction books, most of them books on parenting and child health – they were inspired by raising three sons as well as being a family doctor looking after babies and children. I’ve also got two novels to my name. One Night at the Jacaranda came out in 2013, and Hampstead Fever followed last summer.
What can you tell us about your next project?
I’m actually working on two more novels. One will feature many of the same characters as Hampstead Fever. The other one will be a novel set mostly in Egypt, where I grew up, so it will be rather different from my stories about dating in London.
About your book… here is the blurb:
It is high summer in London and trouble is brewing.
Chef Dan should be blissfully happy. He has the woman of his dreams and a job in a trendy Hampstead bistro. But his over-anxious partner, engrossed in their baby, has no time for him.
Stressed doctor Geoff finds solace in the arms of a mercurial actress. Journalist Harriet’s long-term relationship with Sanjay hits the buffers, leaving each of them with serious questions to answer. Meanwhile single mother of four Karen lacks the appetite for a suitable relationship.
Passion and panic rise in the heatwave. Who can spot the danger signs?
Available in bookstores and online through Amazon and other retailers.
Amazon link http://mybook.to/HF
What is your book about?
Hampstead Fever is a story of six people as their emotions rise one hot summer, and their lives intertwine and get complicated. It’s set in Hampstead, a picturesque and aspirational part of London that suits each character perfectly, though for different reasons.
Can you tell us something about the main character or characters?
It’s a multi-stranded story with several main characters. There’s Laure, an over-anxious new mother of 40, and her partner Dan, who’s making his way up in the world after wrongful imprisonment. Then there’s Geoff, a stressed doctor and a single parent, as well as a struggling freelance journalist called Harriet, and Sanjay, a charity worker who can’t quite come to terms with surviving a serious illness. Finally newly single Karen misses the intimacy of married life, but, with four children at home, finds she only has the energy for an unsuitable relationship.
Would you like to send a message to the readers?
Sassy and classy, Hampstead Fever embraces multicultural London. It’s a story of adultery, illness, breakups and reunions. If you like Nick Hornby’s novels, or enjoy films like Notting Hill and Love, Actually, then Hampstead Fever is for you.