Q&A With Gabi Coatsworth

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Q&A With Gabi Coatsworth

My latest Q&A is with Gabi Coatsworth. Gabi is the author of Loves Journey Home which is a memoir and her debut novel A Beginners Guide To Starting Over  it recently came out last month.

Q: Gabi when did you discover your love of writing and that it was your calling in life?

A: My original career involved writing, but it was mainly reports and travel brochures. But I’ve been a reader since I was able to read. As my children began to leave home and I had more time to pursue my own interests, I took a writing class and discovered I loved making things up! I’ve been writing ever since.

Q: Would you like to tell myself and the readers of this blog a little bit about your novels?

A: A Beginner’s Guide to Starting Over is my first novel, and it takes place in a small imaginary town in Connecticut, which turns out to look like quite a lot of small Connecticut towns! Widow Molly Stevenson owns a bookstore in town and her landlord is trying to put her out of business, and also date her using a very old photo for his online profile. Since her friends want her to start dating, she looks at some profiles and a voice behind her says, “You can’t go out with him— he’s at least seventy!” She turns to find it’s the ghost of her dead husband, who tells her he’s going to help her find a replacement who’s not quite as good as him. It turns out, he’s not very good at choosing suitable men…

Q: I read somewhere that you’re originally British but have lived in America for a long time. Which part of England did you live in? I would love to travel and see England someday. 

A: I grew up in London, and feel very blessed that I can still travel back there regularly, though I don’t think I’d ever move back, because my children are all here. I think you’d love England – there are so many literary connections, and it’s a fun city too.


Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to your novels? Hollywood is lacking in the creative department and could use more book ideas. 

A: Funnily enough, my agent sent the book to Hallmark, but they rejected it because it had a ghost in it, which they figured made it paranormal women’s fiction. That seemed to be too confusing for them, so I haven’t tried to sell it elsewhere. But I’m hoping to have an audiobook version out later this year.


Q: If you’re writing a new novel now, can you reveal any details?

A: I have two first drafts of follow-up novels. One is about one of the minor characters in this book, whom readers tell me they love. The other takes place around the town library instead of the bookshop. But both feature characters that are in book one.


Q: What advice do you give to anyone wanting to write anything in general?

A: My most frequent advice is, write badly. By which I mean that you can fix bad writing later, but you can’t fix no writing. Everything that’s ever published has had help from editors. And I tell people to aim low, by which I mean, don’t set yourself goals you can’t reach. Don’t plan to write three hours a day, seven days a week, because if you “only” write for 2 hours and 45 minutes you’ll feel like a failure. If you tell yourself you’ll write for half an hour three times a week, you’ll almost certainly write more than that, and feel like you’re making progress.