Earlier today I reviewed Ali McNamara’s latest novel From Notting Hill to New York … Actually and I’m very pleased to welcome Ali back to One More Page as she answers my questions about the book and her research as part of her latest blog tour. Welcome Ali!
From Notting Hill to New York … Actually is a sequel to the brilliant From Notting Hill with Love … Actually although it can be read as a stand-alone novel; for readers who haven’t met Scarlett and friends yet, please could you tell us a little about it?
From Notting Hill to New York … Actually is about Scarlett O’Brien a film fanatic and complete dreamer, who always likes to find a happy ending. When she gets the chance to visit New York for a holiday, she takes her best friend Oscar, and they embark upon an exciting adventure that will changes both their lives forever.
Did you always plan to write a sequel and why did you choose to set it in New York?
When I wrote the first story, I never even considered a sequel; I was so busy just trying to get that book published. It was my first novel and it was a long process from writing it to eventually finding a publisher that liked it enough to put it on the bookshelves.
But there seemed so much more of Scarlett’s story still to tell, and characters were so popular with readers, that a sequel seemed the natural thing to do.
You went on a research trip to New York while you were writing the book; what was your favourite part of your trip and the most surprising thing about New York?
So hard to choose one thing! But I think going across to Liberty Island and Ellis Island for the first time was my favourite.
And the most surprising: How much I fell in love with the city. I’ve been lucky enough to go back twice since!
Scarlett certainly has some exciting adventures in New York; what would your ideal day in the city involve?
An American pancake breakfast to begin the day, then in no particular order; shopping along Fifth Avenue, a stroll around Central Park, and at some stage frozen hot chocolate in Serendipity II would be a must!
The end of the Serendipity movie; with the two main characters on the Woolman ice skating rink, Central park – gorgeous and romantic.
I loved flamboyant Oscar and I’m so pleased to see him again in From Notting Hill to New York … Actually; who was your favourite character to write and why?
Funnily enough – Oscar! He’s just such fun to write, and in this novel you get to see his naughtier side too…
Which three songs should be on the soundtrack to From Notting Hill to New York … Actually?
New York, New York – Frank Sinatra
Empire State of Mind – Alicia Keyes
Arthur’s Theme – Various Artists, but my personal favourite is a version by Ronan Keating.
And finally … what can we expect next from Ali McNamara?
I’ve just completed my fourth novel due out in November 2013, to be called Step Back in Time. It’s a rom-com with a difference. It’s has music theme and it’s set in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
Thanks Ali – I totally agree with your favourite film moment and the new book sounds very exciting!