10 questions with author Gillian McAllister: ‘I do 1,000 words before lunch and 1,000 words before dinner’

Gillian McAllister

She is writing goals personified.. At age 35, Gillian McAllister is a multiple Sunday Times bestselling author and what’s more this is her second career as she was previously a lawyer. Gillian always wrote but it was during a long bout of glandular fever she penned her first novel, which was never published. Her debut, Everything but the truth, reached Number Six in the Sunday Times bestseller list. Every single one of her subsequent four novels has hit the top 10. Her latest, How to disappear, about a family in the witness protection programme, is out now.

  1. What’s your name and where do you come from? 

I’m Gillian McAllister, originally from Staffordshire. I practised law in Birmingham city centre and now live rurally in Worcestershire where I write full time.  

2. Do you write fact or fiction and in what genre?

I write fictional psychological thrillers.  

3. Are you traditionally or self published and which route do you consider best? 

Traditionally published – each to their own, but I would have absolutely no idea how to market and place a book! 

4. What’s your work schedule like when you are writing? 

I do 1,000 words before lunchtime and another 1,000 before dinner. 

5. What advice would you give to budding writers? 

Finish the manuscript first. No. Matter. What. 

6. Who/what are YOUR favourite authors/ books? 

I love to read the literary side of crime novels – so Susie Steiner, Rosamund Lupton, Renee Knight.  

7.Are you a plotter or a pantster? (i.e do you  plan out your work of fly by the seat of your pants?!) 

I do plot religiously (on Microsoft Excel, rather bizarrely) but, to be honest, I never really get it right first time, and almost always delete my entire draft 1 before beginning draft 2. By which time, I know what the book is about. Frustrating but true.  

8. What helps you focus? 

A broken router.  

9. How long did it take you to write your book/books? 

It takes 10 months each time, mostly.  

10. Where can we find your book/s? 

At the moment, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, and always: online and Waterstones.  

Gillian is on Twitter and Instagram @gillianmauthor. She also blogs at www.gillianmcallister.com

If you are an author and would like to take part in ’10 questions with..’ please email me at nicolakadam@gmail.com in the first instance. The questions remain the same each week, for guidance.

All of these Q&As will later appear in multiple JPI Media (local) titles across the UK (think Lancashire Post/Edinburgh Evening News/Sheffield Star etc). To contact me in my role at JPI Media please email nicola.adam@jpimedia.co.uk

I also interview a small number of authors as a presenter at BBC Radio Lancashire and I’m particularly but not exclusively interested in northern writers with a back story for this. My email is nicola.adam@bbc.co.uk

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