Good evening! It is double whammy night here at The Writing Garnet to celebrate Portia Macintosh’s publication day of ‘Truth or date?’. It is available to buy right now over on Amazon —> Truth or date?. Portia has written several other novels such as ‘Drive me crazy’ and ‘Bad Bridesmaid’. All of her books can be found right….HERE!
If you’re just joining us tonight, this is the second blog of our double whammy, so if you haven’t already taken a look at the book review of this novel, go looksee before reading this interview! It’ll make more sense that way. Our book review can be found here: Book Review – Truth or Date?
You know the saying ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’, yes? Well, that applies right here. I was convinced that Portia wouldn’t be able to spare any time today for a chat, so I was very pleased she said yes! It is with great pleasure I welcome to The Writing Garnet….Portia Macintosh!
Kaisha – Hi Portia, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to me! I want to start off by saying congratulations to you today as it is the publication day for your new book ‘Truth or Date?’! How nervous are you for this book to be released compared to your other releases?
Thank you so much! It’s my pleasure to talk to you – all about myself haha. I feel daft admitting it, but I’m kind of nervous this time. This is my fifth book, you’d think I’d be used to it, but there’s something about this one… It’s possibly the most influenced by my real life, so there’s a degree of: ‘if people think this is dumb, do people think I’m dumb? Am I dumb? I’m probably dumb…’ I have to admit, when I got my first few reviews and they were all good, I breathed the ultimate sigh of relief. Like: ‘as you were, Portia.’
Kaisha – For those that aren’t aware of your work (yet), could you tell us about yourself and how you came to be a writer?
In some ways my journey was pretty typical – another journalist turned author – but I started out writing books as a way to anonymously tell my stories from my time touring with bands. I fast realised that I loved writing fiction, even more than I loved writing about music. Since I signed with Carina UK, I’ve never looked back.
Kaisha – You have had several books published before ‘Truth or Date?’ what makes this novel different from your previous ones?
Well, like I said before, I think this one is the most influenced by my real life. I spent last year playing the dating game, being set up by friends, using every app I could feasibly download considering I eternally have the ‘storage almost full’ message on my iPhone – and I gathered enough information to fill fifty books. From the good, to the bad, to the just plain ugly, it’s nice to take real stuff and put it to good use.
Kaisha – The main character in your book, Ruby, seems the type of person that a lot of readers may relate to in terms of unlucky in love, and her attitude towards dating. Is Ruby based on anyone that you know? If not, how did you come about creating such a ‘totally me’ personality in her?
I’m Ruby. My friends are Ruby. Everyone who has ever been messed around by a man is Ruby. The poor girl has been through a lot – an absolute barrage of rubbish men – but I wanted to show people what we girls go through in our quest to find true love. I want my readers to follow Ruby’s story and think: ‘thank God, it’s not just me!’ – because at some point we’re all in the same sinking boat, waiting for a sexy lifeguard to save us from a sea of dating misery haha.
Kaisha – Millsy, Ruby’s best friend, is such an immature player which you have written brilliantly. However, he seems the ‘annoying best friend’, did you find yourself wanting to tell him to grow up when you were writing him?
Millsy is a blatant swipe at all of my immature male friends who think they are LADs. Not a bad person, but with his priorities all wrong. I have lots of friends like Millsy, I’ve been on dates with guys like Millsy – and they’re charming, funny, and an absolute blast to be around, but at the end of the day, you can’t change them. So as much as I’d love the Millsys of the world to grow up, I know better than to try and change a guy like that – in and out of fiction.
Kaisha – You have written such a hilarious book, definitely not for a prude! Were those one-liners easy for you to write? Or did they come to you naturally?
Aww, thank you. Much to my family’s annoyance, I have quiet a vulgar sense of humour, and I’m very sarcastic, so one-liners make up a good 80% of my day-to-day dialogue. It was nice to have an outlet for them that didn’t see an elderly relative roll their eyes at me haha.
Kaisha – ‘Truth or Date?’ is very cleverly written, did you know straight away you were going to create characters that weren’t so clever? Naming no names!
Yes, definitely. One thing I wanted to make very clear is that, when it comes to love, we’re all idiots. We all make wrong choices, we all do stuff we’re not proud of. I think everyone has had a crush on someone they couldn’t have, or they’ve done something stupid to try and win someone over – sometimes absolutely crazy things we wouldn’t do if we were thinking straight. People are silly when it comes to love, so I knew my characters needed to be just as clueless.
Kaisha – Are there any characters in your book that you dislike? Be honest!
Yes – Heather. She’s so annoying, isn’t she? Now, don’t get me wrong, I have so much respect for people who chose to live a vegan lifestyle. I absolutely love animals, and I hate to think of anyone harming them in any way, but to commit to vegan life is a big deal and that needs commending. That said, I cannot stand anyone who preaches about anything, and I have this one vegan friend who saw me eating meat in a café, and proceeded to tell me exactly how animals are slaughtered – literally while the food is in my mouth. We all have our beliefs and that’s awesome, but we should all be allowed to ‘do us’ without criticism or being made to feel guilty, right?
Kaisha – If you could choose a book that has been written by another author to be one of the books written by you, which one would it be and why?
Ooh, that’s a good question. I absolutely love Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It made me wish I wrote thrillers.
Kaisha – Do you find that the more novels you write, the more pressure there is for each one to be more successful than the last?
I do, actually. Because the second you write a book that people don’t love, you’re going to think you’ve lost your touch, get the fear and never write again. OK, maybe that’s extreme, but it’s in the back of your mind, for sure.
Kaisha – Lastly, what are your plans for the future in terms of writing? What else can we look forward to seeing from you?
I have started book six already, which should be out at the end of year. I can’t say much at this stage – not because I’m being a tease, because I’m still trying to figure a lot of it out haha. What I will say…it might be a Christmas book. Maybe. I’m still trying to work out if that’s a brilliant idea, or just my way of justifying eating too much and listening to carols while I write it…
Such an honest interview! Thank you Portia for giving such a wonderful interview. You are right, people shouldn’t feel guilty for being themselves or doing what they feel is right, especially if someone else does something different.
Hope you all enjoyed reading the interview and the book review tonight, thank you for stopping by!