jessica adams
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Damn funny author and supporter of the War Child charity, Jessica Adams talks about chocolate chip biscuits, astrology books and pink dressing gowns.

What inspires you to write?
I get excited about a period in history (like 1979, the subject of my new novel) or a curly situation (like being in love with your best man, in Tom Dick and Debbie Harry) or something amazing that's actually happened to me
(communicating with the spirit world, which features in I'm A Believer.)

How long does it take you to write a novel?
With corrections and editorial changes, it takes about nine months - like the average pregnancy.

Do you have a writing routine? If so, what is it?
I have no routine. I eat a lot of wheat-free chocolate chip biscuits, type in my pink dressing-gown and then collapse around midnight. I wish I could have a routine like Agatha Christie and P.G.Wodehouse did, but it's never happened.

Has your life changed since you became a novelist?
I don't iron my clothes any more.

How do you cure writer's block?
I never get writers' block, touch wood.

What is your all-time desert island book?
That's easy. An astrological ephemeris (record of the planets and their positions.) If you're going to be stranded, you need to know what's going on in the cosmos.

What are you reading at the moment?
The new Nick Hornby book, 31 Songs.

What's the biggest myth about being a writer?
That it makes you a nice person. I've met some writers who are so ghastly they should be kept in an attic.

What advice would you give budding authors?
Just do it. Most people talk about writing a book and never get beyond Chapter Three. Finish it - it's really not that hard. Show friends you trust, then rewrite it if three friends all tell you the same thing. Then choose an agent (loads of websites online will show you who to choose from) and send a letter, a three page synopsis, and...if they give you a thumbs-up after that...the entire manuscript. Don't scatter-gun agents. Do expect to wait a few weeks to hear the yes or no. Don't be put off by rejections - remember J.K.Rowling!

What can readers expect from you in the future?
Cool For Cats is out in Summer in the UK and Australia this year. It's set on a music magazine in 1979 and has cameos from Reg Mom
bassa and Clare Grogan. My next astrology book is Astrobloke, out in late 2003. In the USA, a hardback edition of I'm A Believer is set for release this Spring.