Sunday, August 7, 2022

Q&A with Jenny Colgan




Jenny Colgan is the author of the new novel An Island Wedding. Her many other novels include Christmas at the Island Hotel, which features some of the same characters. She lives in Scotland.


Q: Why did you decide to continue the story of your characters Fiona, Joel, Saif, and the others in your new novel?


A: I felt I just had a lot to say about these characters, I just wanted to finish the story! Plus I wanted to write a lovely summery story, I write so many set in winter time. I love the way the sun never sets in the north in the summertime, it's such a beautiful time of year.


And finally,  because of all the weddings that had been cancelled and postponed over the last few years I wanted to remind myself: it's so joyous to have weddings back again. We have two this year and I'm never missing a wedding again, I have decided. 


Q: What do you think the book says about wedding planning?


A: Oh I LOVED doing all the mad hypothetical wedding planning! I now think I'd probably be quite good at it. Although I am good at thinking up cool stuff, I'm not exactly sure how you get, e.g., an ice rink assembled at short notice. I really really loved all of that element of it, how, if you had a limitless budget how totally crazy would you make your wedding.


I loved reading about stupid over-the-top celebrity weddings too. My favourite detail was at Kim and Kanye's wedding they hired a stonemason to chisel each guest's name into a marble table instead of having place cards. That's the kind of craziness I was after. My husband and I got married at the same drive thru in Vegas as Ben and Jen. 


Q: Without giving anything away, did you plan for Saif's story to take the turn it did, or did the idea come to you as you were working on the story?


A: I knew exactly what way it was going to go and had for a while. I very rarely do this, I don't think anyone does,  but I wrote this book end first. 


Q: What do you hope readers take away from the book?


A: I hope you laugh, remember terrible weddings, remember lovely weddings, cry your eyes out, laugh again, cry a little bit then laugh one more time then put it down with a contented sigh. 🙂


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I have just finished a cool book about a pilot. I had to do a ton of research. I couldn't believe how ignorant I was about what pilots do all day. Now I know I have decided they are in my opinion totally amazing. There's also a chicken in it called Barbara but I didn't do quite as much chicken research. 


--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with Jenny Colgan.

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