Question & Answers from Michele Gorman
1. I love your ability to infuse your writing with laughter, while still touching on sensitive issues, is this how you naturally see life or is this your writing persona?
Thanks so much, it’s a fine line to draw and I’m so glad that you think I’m managing to do it! My writing voice is very much my ‘real life’ voice, and I’m ridiculously optimistic, so writing chick lit is a very natural fit for me. When I first began writing, probably like many new writers, I sought to emulate some of my favourite authors. I love John Irving for his ability to be both funny and dark. But that wasn’t my natural writing voice and it sounded a bit forced. I remember a writing friend who read my very first manuscript (she was a kind, kind friend, because it wasn’t very good!). She said ‘Why don’t you write books like you write your emails?’ At the time I thought, “Because I want to be the next John Irving” but I soon realized she was right.
2. I think I read somewhere that there is such a Club in existence and I guess that’s obviously your inspiration. Did you have some similar characters in your book, did you meet any of the club members?
You’re right, there is a real-life club called The Curvy Girls Club. It’s a virtual club, with around 900 members on twitter (@CurvyGirlsClub3) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/thecurvygirlsclub)
I set it up after writing the book because after spending six months with my fictional characters in their club, I really wanted such a fun, supportive place to exist in real life. The idea was that the club would post positive messages to help members feel good about themselves, and that might encourage others to start real-life clubs of their own. I haven’t yet heard of a real-life club but I’m always on the lookout. Hopefully even if real-life clubs don’t sweep the country, women reading the book will take away the main message: that we can be happy with ourselves, imperfections and all!
The inspiration for The Curvy Girls Club book came from a conversation I had with my mum, in which she challenged the idea of what’s “normal”. ‘Honey,’ she said. ‘If most of the population is overweight, how can being slim be normal, when it’s not the norm?’ It was an interesting question and started me thinking about why we use an ideal that few people actually achieve as the norm when it comes to looks? I started to imagine a place where people aren’t judged on their looks. Of course, I couldn’t make it an easy road for the characters – where’s the fun in that? 🙂
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