Thursday 27 February 2014

Twenty Questions with... Portia Macintosh

You'll soon understand why I couldn't wait to get Portia into my Twenty Questions hotseat. I mean...LOOK...her day-to-day life is about as far removed from mine as it could be: hob-nobbing with rockstars, touring, a job in the music industry...and then there's the behind-the-scenes books!

So, without further ado, please welcome Portia MacIntosh onto my blog, author of Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place released last week by Carina UK, Harlequin...

ACT ONE – all about you…

When she was fifteen-years-old, Portia MacIntosh fell in with a bad crowd… rockstars. 

After disappearing on tour and living the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle for a few years, Portia landed a job in the music industry – but only so that she didn’t have to join the real world just yet.

Now in her twenties, Portia is ready to spill the beans on the things she has witnessed over the years. Well, kind of. If her famous friends knew that she was borrowing their lives to inspire her fiction, they would stop inviting her on tour and banish her from the inner circle. Then she really would have to rejoin the real world, and she’s still not ready.

Portia only started writing novels to share her secrets, but then she realised she actually quite liked writing – maybe even more than she likes living on a bus with a bunch of smelly boys – and has since tried her hand at writing about other things.

1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

I am an accidental author. I started writing novels as a way to tell my tour stories anonymously – after over ten years touring with bands, I have quite a few - and using them to inspire fictional tales seemed like the best way.

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

My books have been written under very unorthodox and often chaotic conditions. Because I didn’t set out to be an author, I wrote my books whenever I had time. So I was still doing the day job, still gigging and touring. I didn’t always have a laptop on me, so I would write entire chapters in the notes of my phone or on pieces of paper. I’ve written in some weird and wonderful places. One thing I can safely say – I haven’t ever written at a desk.

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing?

Not really. I’ve read a lot of chick lit over the years, so when it came to writing books that’s the genre I wanted to write for. I love it.

4) Is there one piece of writing (or life?) advice that has stuck with you, or that you would like to share?

You know what, I was given a lot of advice when I first started writing. I submitted my first book to a few agents and while several liked it, they all told me the same thing: publishers do not like books about the music industry, and that I should write about something else. I read so much online about how no one gets publishing deals anymore, no one makes any money writing and that you’ve got to write at least x number of books before you’ll one good enough to get published. If I had taken too much notice of all of the above, I would have given up long before Carina offered me my deal. I’m not saying that it was bad advice, but even the best advice isn’t right for everyone.

5) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

My favourite book is The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.

My voice features on a UK Top 10 single.

My scariest tour moment was when I woke up on the bus in the early hours of the morning to find a stranger standing over me, watching me sleep, because someone had left the door open.

6) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

Oh, it's hard to pick just five things. I can't live without my family of Apple products, my iPhone, iPad and my MacBook - they make my world go round. I couldn't live without make-up and, more importantly, the world wouldn't want me to. I have lots of shoes that I couldn't live without. They're collectors editions that I won't wear outside my bedroom.

ACT TWO – all about your new release…

Behind the music…
Being best friends with a mega-star has its perks and Nicole Wilde, music journalist, laps them up. But when said friend, Dylan King, gorgeous lead singer of The Burnouts, has zero sense of self-preservation – once a drop of alcohol hits his blood stream ‒ and an inability to keep ‘little Dylan’ in his pants, it also comes with responsibilities. Now, Nicole has to track down Dylan in time to play a charity gig tomorrow. Half a dozen groupies, a haunted hotel, a tattoo parlour, a reality show runner-up and a crazy bed-hopping, sleepless night later – will she find him before the tour bus leaves town? And when she does, is it time to head home? Or to jump on the tour bus and go along for the ride!

7) Congratulations on your recent release of Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place what was your inspiration for writing Nicole’s story?

I wrote Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place and How Not to be Starstruck (out 31st March) as a way to tell my tour stories anonymously. Nicole is a music journalist and, like me, she has grown up around bands. I used my real life experience to inspire her fictional ones.

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

It flowed, and as it did it was like free therapy for me. It was a way to let it all out. The good memories, the bad, they all got thrown in and mixed up and they came out as something far more pleasant. It was my first real attempt at writing fiction and, thankfully, things went smoothly.

9) I see Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place is your debut, how long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

Well I actually wrote How Not to be Starstruck first, and Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place as a prequel. It was only a couple of years ago that I decided to write books, and have written three and a half in that time. I didn’t set out to be an author, so I didn’t have a writing routine or anything, it would be a case of getting words down if I was bored on the road or wide awake in the middle of the night.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?
Grabbing my own phone from my handbag, I call Dylan’s number and after several rings a girl answers.
‘Dylan King from The Burnout’s phone,’ she chirps with a giggle. I hate her already.
‘Hello, can I speak to Dylan, please?’
‘Who are you?’ she asks rather rudely.
‘I’m Nicole. Who are you?’
‘Nicole who?’
‘Nicole Wilde.’
The girl pauses for a moment before she replies, adopting a more serious tone to her voice.
‘Do you work for him?’
I tell her yes. She’s probably more likely to help me if she thinks I’m someone official.
‘Oh, OK.’ Her voice relaxes again. ‘Well, we just had sex and he told me I’d get a signed CD. Is it your job to bring me it?’
Oh dear. I wish I could say that this was the first time something like this had happened, but I’d be lying. Every now and then Dylan meets a girl with real integrity, a girl who won’t sleep with him just because he is Dylan King from The Burnouts – lucky for Dylan, these girls can usually be talked around with a signed album.
11) Over to you, what can you tell us about Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place to make us rush out and buy it?

It will whet your appetite ahead of How Not to be Starstruck. My books are a unique insight into the music world. I’m not a kiss-and-tell girl that no one trusts and I don’t work for the band – I’m there as a friend, and that grants you a level of access that most have no idea about.

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?

How Not to be Starstruck is out 31st March, I have another book out in the summer (that isn’t about the music industry) called Like Father Like Son, and a couple of others yet to be announced.

QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…

13) Plotter or pantser?

A little bit of both.

14) Digital books or print books?

I love digital books because I can carry so many around with me at once. You can’t beat real books though.

15) Tea or coffee?

I love both… but… coffee.

16) Extrovert or introvert?


17) Facebook or Twitter?


18) Christmas or birthday?


19) Morning person or night owl?

I am actually nocturnal. Touring broke me.

20) Sweet or savoury?


And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for taking part, Portia, I wish you every success with your new release.

To discover even more about Portia Macintosh, and to keep up with her latest projects and shenanigans, you can visit her at:

Tumblr     Twitter     Facebook

Buy it now…

Add to Goodreads
ISBN: 9781472090973
Released: 20 February 2014

Amazon UK / US
Nook UK / US (B&N)

1 comment:

  1. What an utterly fantastic life it sounds like! And I love the excerpt! Bet the book's doing well! Good luck Portia!


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