Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Author Interview - Talli Roland

Today's blog post is an interview with the author of The Hating Game, Talli Roland.

Welcome to Life in Clarity Talli and thank you for popping by to answer a few questions.
I believe that The Hating Game was your first mainstream novel but not your first step in the published world. Tell me who Talli Roland was before she was Talli, what did you write? and why did you create Talli?

The Hating Game is my first novel, but I have two other non-fiction books published: 24 Hours London and 24 Hours Paris, hour-by-hour travel guides. They’re under my real name, Marsha Moore. Since I’m with the same publisher (Prospera Publishing) for both my fiction and non-fiction, they asked if I’d think about writing under a different name, to differentiate the two. I’ve always wanted the chance to choose my name, so I agreed! Roland is my mum’s maiden name. For my first name, I wanted something fun and a bit sassy – and that, when you Googled it, wouldn’t come back with a zillion results. Talli Roland it was!

Thanks Talli. I love the name! I'm sure half of us had wished we could choose our own name from the start of life!

Where did the idea for The Hating Game come about and how did it grow?

Dare I admit my inspiration came from reality TV andThe Daily Mail? I’ve always been fascinated by what happens behind the scenes of ‘reality TV’ and whether editors manipulate the audience towards certain voting outcomes. So, I asked myself: what would happen if you put one highly ambitious, tough woman desperate for money on a show run by a team of producers whose only interest is getting the highest ratings possible – and The Hating Game was born!

There is a lot of talk in the blogosphere of building a writers platform. I'm a follower of your blog and love it. How long have you been blogging and having just experienced blogging and releasing a novel what are your thoughts on how social media impacts on the release of a novel?

Thank you for following my blog! I’ve been blogging as Talli Roland for just over year, but I also had another blog under my real name (it’s currently on hiatus). Blogging is such a big part of my writing life – it provides invaluable information but, more importantly, has enabled me to meet lots of friendly, supportive writers. Having a blog has definitely helped me spread the word about. The Hating Game– for the release of my ebook, I organized a Web Splash and had over 400 bloggers signed up to post about my book on release day. But I have to stress that blogging is an interactive thing. To really get the most out of it, you need to visit other blogs and comment, too.

I absolutely love blogging and meeting people with similar interests, especially when you're working alone as a writer. Who would you say inspired you to keep going when you start to lose ground?

Guilt! Whenever I feel my motivation flagging – which, to be honest, is quite often – I tell myself I have the opportunity right now to do something I really love, and I shouldn’t waste that chance. So… get on with it!

The Hating Game is a great book and I'm looking forward to your next novel. Can I ask what you're working on at the minute?

Thank you! I’m working on Watching Willow Watts, the story of a small-town girl who is catapulted to stardom when a YouTube video of her one-off Marilyn Monroe impersonation gets millions of hits. Instantly, Willow’s small English village is overrun with fans flocking to see the ‘new Marilyn’. Egged on by the villagers — whose shops and businesses are cashing in — Willow decides to embrace her new identity, dying her hair platinum and ramming herself full of cakes to achieve Marilyn’s legendary curves. But when a former flame returns seeking the old Willow, Willow must decide: can she risk her stardom and her village’s new-found fortune on love, or is being Marilyn her ticket to happiness? The novel is due out in November from Prospera Publishing.

When you're not writing, what genres do you like to read?

I love chick lit – reading authors like Sophie Kinsella really turned me on to the genre – but I have a real soft spot for non-fiction. I guess it’s because reading fiction when I’m in the throes of writing stresses me out. I’m constantly comparing myself! With non-fiction, I can relax and enjoy it. I’m a big fan of travelogues.

Where's your writing space that you find you can be most creative in and what does it look like? (can we have a photo?!)

I love my office. I have a large corner desk overlooking a busy London street, where I can watch the buses zooming by and see all the local crazies (amazingly, there are quite a few, including a man who runs down the street each day, bellowing at the top of his lungs). The office itself is quite bland, but I like that. I have enough going on in my head!

If you weren't a writer what would your dream occupation be?

I know it sounds horribly clichéd, but I really can’t think of anything else I’d rather do. Writing is my dream occupation – I should know; I’ve certainly had enough of them!

If you meet someone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I would love to meet my ancestors (originally from Manchester) who decided to emigrate to the New World, and ask them how they felt about me reversing the trend!

Thank you Talli for such a great interview and for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us. I'm looking forward to reading more from you.

You can find Talli at the following places;


  1. Love your attitude Talli! "Whenever I feel my motivation flagging – which, to be honest, is quite often – I tell myself I have the opportunity right now to do something I really love, and I shouldn’t waste that chance. So… get on with it!"
    We can all use a bit of that. Great interview!

  2. I loved The Hating Game. Talli is an incredible writer, and SO beautiful. The book is witty, bouncing, full of life. I'll definitely be reading Willow. It's a great niche for the kind of stories and characters you love, one that has many followers. Congratulations! I also like non-fiction, the more personal of course, since memoir is it for me now.

    I can't think of "Talli" as Marsha Moore, probably because Talli is all I've ever known her by. Yes, one does want a name that isn't Googled to death. Perfect choice, Talli Roland. I once thought of using my maternal grandmother's middle name.

    And there are also a lot of questions I want to ask MY ancestors!

    This is a wonderful interview, Rebecca. Thanks for hosting Talli. I loved catching up with her. I haven't visited her for a while. So I had better get over to her blog right now!
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

  3. Thank you, Rebecca, for having me here!

    And thanks, Mollie. I have an enormous guilt complex about most things so I try to use it as a motivation tool!

    Ann! I haven't been over to your blog for awhile -- I must pop by. Thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate it, and you've made me grin now!

  4. Lovely interview! Both books sound fascinating and wonderfully current--looking forward to reading them!

  5. Hi Talli!
    Great interview!
    I'm with you...when I'm writing, reading fiction pulls me out of my story. So I tend to read books on the craft of writing when I get the urge to read. This also helps me when I get stuck on a scene.

    Good luck with your books. They sound wonderful.

  6. Thank you, Patti and Wendy! :)

  7. Great interview from the lovely Talli!

    Waiting excitedly for Willow Watts.

  8. Yay Talli, and Yay Rebecca!

  9. Lovely interview, Talli! Also gained some insight into why I've been reading piles of nonfiction lately while I immerse myself in my own writing. Thanks!

  10. Great interview, Talli! It would be so great to sit down our ancestors and ask them a bunch of questions, wouldn't it?

  11. Great interview, loved reading some more about you, Talli! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Thank you for this interview. I feel stupidly connected as Talli is the name of my MC's siter in my WiP and Willow is my gamer name :)

    The Hating Game is on my 'want' list, and I'm looking forward to adding Talli's new one too.

  13. and of course Talli is my MC's sister and not her siter :)

  14. Great interview! Shucks, I wouldn't mind knowing what your ancestors have to say as well :-)

  15. Brilliant interview with the lovely Talli. I have the Hating Game on my Kindle but haven't read it yet. Looking forward to getting stuck in.

    I've following Talli around cyberspace for some time now and am pleased that she's got another novel coming out later this year.

    CJ xx

  16. Thanks so much, everyone! And thanks again to Rebecca for hosting me!

  17. Awww love your writing space!!! The Daily Mail! For shame!! LOL!! I'm kidding, I'm kidding!! LOL! Good luck with Willow!!!! Take care

  18. Thanks for a great interview! I've yet to read Talli's book. I need to. :)

  19. What a great interview! I loved The Hating Game, and I'm looking forward to Watching Willow Watts. This is the first time I've heard what it's about, and it sounds fabulous!

  20. I love these great answers

    What a fabulous cover for WWW, I can't wait to read it.

  21. Thanks for a great interview. I'm seeing an intriguing story in the one of your ancestors, and the modern day girl going back to where they came from ...

  22. Thanks for this great interview, Rebecca! I can't wait for Talli's new book, sounds wonderful.

  23. Wonderful interview! Great answer by the way for who you'd like to meet. I wonder what they'd say.

  24. Interesting interview. Can't wait to read the Hating Game. I've heard so many good things about it.

    I agree that your pen name is sassy, which make it memorable.

    Wishing you all the best with this novel and the one to come in November.

  25. Lovely interview, ladies. I love the covers of your books, Talli. They are so whimsical and remind me candy - delicious and colorful!

    Cliché or not, I'm with you, there is nothing I'd want to do more than write.

    Congrats on your success!


  26. I've lost quite a lot of comments after the fiasco that was blogger yesterday, so I apologise if your comment is no longer here. Blogger doesn't seem to be having a great time of it at the minute.

    Anyway, Thank you so much for your great comments - Those still present and those not. I did manage to read them all before they were lost. Though I believe Blogger at attempting to restore them. Talli was a pleasure to interview, even when faced with my completely disorganised approach.

  27. higher search engine rankings seo price backlink service backlink builder