Wooo hooo!! It’s the end of the week and I’m rejoining the Spellbound Books International Women’s Day Festival. Today I’m interviewing the ultra glam and fabulous Eileen Wharton, author of Shit Happens.
Massive thanks again to Zoë O’Farrell of Spellbound Books for inviting me to join the festivities and to Eileen for answering my questions!
Rose Starling, abused wife, is living on benefits with her three children on an estate in a small town near Newcastle. Trying to keep one step ahead of the tallyman she dances in the shadows of various illegal dealings.
She’s got problems though when bits of her ex-husband keep turning up in different places and the slimey DI Savage seems to be bending the evidence to link her to the murder.
Adding to her troubles, she has to work in a topless bar to make ends meet and she’s being pressured into taking a “ job” for hard as nails Vera Devlin from the estate.
Desperate to extricate herself from the mess, she breaks into her old marital home to find the diary of her dead husband, setting off an explosive chain of events.
Set against a backdrop of Northern council estate life, this fast-paced, gritty, humorous novel exemplifies the problems caused by poverty, piles and unruly children.
1. In 10 words or less, describe your book?
One woman’s struggle against poverty, piles and her unruly children.
2. Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
I was living as a single parent (of unruly children), the phone had been cut off as I couldn’t afford to pay the bill. I sat down to write and the first chapter of Shit Happens was born. (Incidentally I’ve never had piles.)
3. Talk us through a typical day for you?
Breakfast with Idris Elba on my yacht. Dinner with George Clooney in Miami. Okay, the truth: Depends what day it is as I teach Monday to Wednesday. That involves much wailing and gnashing of teeth. A typical writing also involves much wailing and gnashing of teeth. I sit at my desk in my writing room which I refuse to call an office. I drink lots of tea, eat lots of toast and send lots of messages while flicking between social media platforms. When I can procrastinate no longer, I write and edit. Sometimes I send submissions to agents and publishers and sometimes they like what I write and agree to publish me. Thank you, Spellbound Books. Sometimes they ignore me for eighteen months or so then send me a big fat rejection. Then I kill them and bury the bodies. (Only in fiction… Apart from that one time … only kidding … or am I?)
4. What sort of books do you read and what are you reading at the moment?
I’m a voracious reader and love all kinds of fiction. From children’s picture books and the classics to dark serial killer thrillers and romance. I’ve lost my reading mojo a bit recently. I read a few brilliant thrillers and then a couple of meh ones. I’ve just started We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker and it seems to be beautifully written. I’m also reading a romantic suspense book by my friend, Kerry (K A Richardson.) I don’t usually like romantic suspense but the character of Gabe has gripped me. Ooh er! I like to support northern writers, particularly working-class writers, female writers, writers of colour and the disabled. I have lots of mates who are writers so I can’t mention them all or we’ll be here all day.
5. Can you share anything about your work in progress?
Oh no! It’s top secret. I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you! Oh go on then: I’m writing and re-writing a psychological thriller and a number of children’s books. I’m co-writing a sit-com with my fiancé, Stephen Russ (AKA Hatman) and I’m rewriting novels to be published later this year by the inimitable Spellbound Books. Watch this space.
6. Who reads your first draft?
Nobody. It’s terrible. No one reads any of my work until about draft fifty-four when they tell me it reads like a first draft! (and I find a viaduct to jump from.)
7. Just for fun: what would your Mastermind subject be?
Kebabs or sex or the menopause. Maybe sex while eating kebabs during the menopause!
Massive thanks Eileen for answering my questions and I love your original typical day – can I come along?!
Who Is Eileen Wharton?
Eileen Wharton is an Oscar winning actress, Olympic gymnast, and Influencer. She also tells lies for a living. Her first novel was published in 2011 to worldwide critical acclaim. And she’s won awards for exaggeration. It did top the Amazon humour chart so she’s officially a best-selling author. She currently has five ‘lively’ offspring ranging from thirty-three to fourteen years of age, and has no plans to procreate further, much to the relief of the local schools and police force. She lives on a council estate in County Durham. She has never eaten kangaroo testicles, is allergic to cats and has a phobia of tinned tuna. She’s retired from arguing with people on the internet.
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