Friday, 6 February 2015

Helen Lederer - Losing It - Blog Tour!

Helen Lederer, actor and comedian, is soon to add author to her CV with her first novel "Losing It" to be published next week (12/2/15) - a laugh-out loud comedy about 50-something Millie, who desperately wants to lose her debts and some weight, and hopes fronting a diet-pill campaign is the answer to both worries.... 

So, as part of her blog tour, we took the opportunity to ask Helen some questions about writing, comedy and tantric sex.....

Firstly - I'm old enough to remember the days of Naked Video and the first showings of the Young Ones and Ab Fab, but how would you briefly sum up your career ....
You've obviously written comedy material for stage and TV before, how different is settling down to write a full length novel? 
Well the early monologues for Naked Video were co-written, it has to be admitted, by wonderful Ian Pattison who wrote Rab C Nesbit. We had such fun writing them – his style was outrageous and SO RUDE! My character was a precursor to the Bridget Jones type and the first single women with half a brain to be found musing with a filo fax. I’m proud  of that and thank you for remembering Naked Video !  My career began after I did stand up comedy –and as de- railing as it was, it was a great way to learn how to write sparsely but with content  in order to attempt to induce laughter! Writing the novel was an amazing adventure. I’d write for ten hours at a stretch and forget to breathe - sadly I was able to make regular trip to the fridge –just as Millie would. I loved the freedom to venture inside the bitter private negative head space - as  well as describe places and people -in a way stand up would not allow – no time you see!

.... and was this something you'd toyed with before, maybe slaved over in secret for many years, or something that popped into your head almost ready-written?
 I always used to write –in fact I have a teenage file which has the word ‘anthology’ written on it. I used to write poems a lot and read them out loud to people (or  ‘over share’ as we might describe it now) I abandoned  three novels before Losing It was born - and I’m glad I did  - now I am in the zone. 

Will this mark a permanent move away from acting and stand up?

I’m hoping to write the next book as soon as I finish in Hollyoaks, but when you get the call – you get the call – I might turn up on stage again. 

With a 50-something heroine, Losing It falls into a genre that I like to call 'chick lit for grown-ups'. Do you think that's a fair description of the genre? Do you have a better way to describe it? 
I love the term chick lit for grownups. I labelled it  ‘Mid Lit’ as this is  a shorter  way of copying Chick Lit – but differentiates  itself  from ‘Granny Lit’ – as that role has as yet not happened to me and I’m not sure what Granny Lit gets up to…Knitted Thongs… ? Noooooo 

I found Millie to be someone I could easy empathise with, and, however bizarre they are at times, her experiences always ring true. Did you base her and what happens to her on personal experience? 
Yes –always. I did  attend a tantric  sex couples workshop where the straddle was demonstrated ( I was writing about it!)  – and yes, I was invited to take a herbal diet pill for money and strangely I’m still not slim  …

Do you think today's average 50/60 year old is looking for more from life than previous generations? That we're no longer prepared to be written off as old and past-it?
Definitely! We are closer to our own offspring in lifestyle –we tend  not to favour a twin set and a perm and  we rarely wear sensible shoes. We look and act younger and offer value in the work place – as well as socially. Life is for living in the fast lane.  

Do you have plans for any more novels? Perhaps some further adventures for Millie...
Oee yes!! I know this area now and I can’t wait to start the next book – it’s called ‘Extra Time’

Thank you Helen for taking the time to join us today and best wishes for this and future writing projects. 

Next week Maryom will be reviewing Losing It but meanwhile catch up with the blog tour so far

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