1. Which songs/ movies can help lift you up out of a bad/ sad mood?

I have SO many go-to songs and movies that might help me out on days when I’m struggling with challenging emotions. But some faves are:
SONGS: ‘Ain’t Got No, I Got Life’ by Nina Simone, ‘Sitting on the Dock of the Bay’ by Otis Redding, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ by Queen, ‘Thank You For The Music’ by Abba and ANYTHING by The Beautiful South.
MOVIES: Something’s Gotta Give (Jack Nicholson is my FAVE), The Devil Wears Prada (Classic!), The Heat (Sandra Bullock & Melissa McArthy – comedy gold!), any of the Hunger Games or Twilight movies (my guilty pleasures!), Priscilla Queen of the Desert (need I say more?)

2. Can you share a funny story from your high school years? 

In the early 90s, my secondary school got shortlisted in a local radio competition. Because of this, we got a visit from Take That just as they were beginning to get famous. I’ll never forget Gary’s shock of bright, white, spiky hair  streaking across the school yard or the way Robbie ran into our sports hall pretending to bounce a basketball. I was obsessed with Howard at the time and made a beeline for him. He kissed me on the cheek and lifted me up off the ground in a big bear hug. I swore to all my friends I’d never wash my PE shirt or netball skirt ever again. They’re long gone now, but the memory lives on!

3. Who is your literary inspiration and why?

 I have a few but if I had to pick one it would be Elizabeth Gilbert. Not only does she write beautifully, but she is an absolute advocate for creativity which I love. When I first read Eat Pray Love, I had a bit of a panic because I’d already started writing the Life Is Yours Trilogy and the themes and structure were so similar I just thought, ‘Bloody hell – she’s already written my book!’ It almost made me give up. But then I remembered a lot of the things she talks about in the book, like finding your own voice and responding to your own individual calling and I knew there was room for both of us. I’m so glad I kept going and I think she’d be proud if she knew!

4. How do you juggle being a wife, mother and author? 

Very badly! Seriously, if each of those things was a juggling ball, they’d all be severely dented by now. I think it’s a myth that women can have everything, do everything. I’ve learned over the years that if you want to do something, then other things in your life have to be put to one side for a while. Now my kids are older, and if I want to finish a novel within a timescale, I’ll sit my family down and tell them they’re unlikely to see much of me until it’s done. I manage expectations. Likewise, if I feel the need to reconnect with my lads or my husband, I inwardly tell the writing it has to wait. Of course, there are times when I have to prioritise (like if one of my kids falls ill when I’m in the middle of a tricky chapter), but generally I find tipping the scales each time I want / need to do something is the only way.

5. What is on your top five activity list? 

Only five?! Ok, I’ll try: 5.) Eating dark chocolate with a huge mug of tea 4.) Yoga / meditation 3.) Walking by the sea 2.) Chatting like my life depends on it with my very best friends 1.) Chill time with the hubby and kids

You can find our book club here. https://www.facebook.com/groups/876922556116687/?ref=share

You can find all things Abi here. https://www.abigailyardimci.com/