Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Interview with Talli Roland - and Giveaway!

The thing you simply must know about Talli Roland, if you don't know it already, is that she loves cupcakes. Okay, so maybe that's not the thing you must know, but it is pretty darn important. Other important things include the fact that she is the author of the awesome The Hating Game - and she happens to be an incredibly lovely person too.

On with the interview!


Hi, Talli! Your debut novel The Hating Game will be out in paperback tomorrow (09/03/2011). Can you tell us a little bit about the book?

The Hating Game features Mattie Johns, a man-eating woman who decides to go on a dating game-show to win the prize money she desperately needs to save her recruitment business. She thinks she’ll sail through the show no problem… but little does she know the male contestants aren’t just anonymous strangers, they’re her very unhappy exes. Add in an ambitious executive producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end, and you have the recipe for lots of on- and off-screen drama!

I've read the book - and loved it! One of the things I found most interesting was your protagonist Mattie. You almost love to hate her when the novel starts and there's a great change in her as the story unwinds.

What put you onto writing someone like Mattie? How much of her did you draw from personal experience, if anything?

I’m so happy you enjoyed the book – thank you!

I had so much fun writing Mattie, mainly because her thoughts are so direct and she certainly doesn’t pull any punches. But underneath her tough persona, she’s actually very vulnerable. I think everyone has an outer shell they use as protection. Mattie’s just happens to be a bit thicker than most!
Okay, serious stuff. You're being sent off to a desert island with three books and an unlimited supply of wine. What are the three books?

Thank goodness you’re giving me an unlimited supply of wine! Okay, well, hmm… One of the books definitely has to be The Time Traveller’s Wife. I could read it over and over – it’s such a beautiful story. Next up, Emily Giffin’s Something Borrowed because she does such a great job giving the typical ‘love triangle’ story a modern twist. Finally, I’d take an English-Arabic dictionary, so when I’m finally rescued from the island I can stun my in-laws with my mad language skills.

I'm totally with you on The Time Traveler's Wife, but my favourite choice there is the English-Arabic dictionary. Brilliant!

What's the worst thing about being a writer? What's the best?

There’s one thing about being a writer that’s both the best and the worst: being your own boss. I love setting my own schedule and knowing I’m in control of my future – and being able to sneak a cheeky glass of late-afternoon wine, if I want! On the flip side, it’s pretty damn scary. There’s no safety net to catch you if you fall, and if you don’t get the job done, there’s no-one to blame but yourself!

That scares the heck out of me too! What advice would you give an unpublished, aspiring writer? What's the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?

I know it sounds like a giant cliché, but don’t stop writing. Seek out help and advice from other writers, go to workshops and conferences if you can, but just keep writing! The best piece of advice I’ve heard is from Nicola Morgan, who runs a wonderful website called Help! I Need a Publisher. She said it’s not enough to be persistent – you need to be able to learn from your mistakes as a writer to get better! It sounds obvious, but that was a light-bulb moment for me. I’d written a few novels without really taking the time to assess what I was doing wrong and how to improve.

And finally - what would you do if you were trapped on a dating show with your ex-boyfriends?

I’d run away screaming and begging for mercy! I am nowhere near as brave as Mattie.


See? Isn't she lovely?

Thank you so much for that interview, Talli, and for being so fabulous to know. 

Now as I mentioned in the interview, The Hating Game releases in paperback tomorrow (Kindle edition available already here). UK readers can probably find the book in most stores, but here are a couple of places you can find it online too: here's the book on and on The Book Depository (I got the latter link via Talli's blog). Congratulations on your release, Talli!

And, to celebrate the release of the paperback and the amazingness of having your debut novel out in the world, I am giving away a copy of The Hating Game, very kindly signed by Talli! 
All you have to do to be eligible is leave a comment on this interview. I'll pick the winner at random in about a week.

Stop by Talli's blog this week, if you haven't already - she's giving away tons of books to celebrate her launch week!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!


  1. Whoop whoop! :) Thank you so much for having me here and for asking such wonderful questions, too! And, of course, for your kind words!

  2. What a lovely interview! And yes, Talli is lovely :o) I am looking forward to reading the book even more after reading this.

  3. Congrats to Talli on the paperback publication of The Hating Game. Looks like such a fun book!

  4. What a great interview! Talli seems a lovely girl, I'm definately tempted to read this now we've met her. xxx

  5. Loved the interview, and the book sounds like a blast! Thank you, thank you!

  6. Thank you so much for the lovely comments, everyone. Cupcakes for all! :)

  7. Oh this sounds fab and Talli seems great. I'm sure I've heard about it somewhere else - have you mentioned it on here before? If not, it was probably on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books (which is an awesome website btw).

    Curse this book ban! I'll pop it on the Amazon wishlist for now.

  8. Nice interview, Sangu. And I'm so excited for you Talli. (Here's hoping for that signed copy!)

  9. Alex and Bish, thanks for dropping by! Good luck in the draw.

  10. Thanks so much for stopping by, everyone! Good luck to you all for the giveaway :-)

    Alex, yes, I have mentioned The Hating Game before, so you could've heard about it here.

    (Just got an email about this, so I'm clarifying: the giveaway is open internationally, you don't have to be a UK follower or commenter to win!)

  11. Great interview!!! The book sounds great. I can't wait to read it :)

  12. Great Interview!

    LOVE TALLI.... I am so wanting to read this book and thanks for the chance to win a signed copy!


  13. Great interview! (I want a book.) :)

  14. Thanks for posting the interview - I learn a lot from author interviews - I'm sure I'd heard about the cupcake thing before.

  15. Congratulations Talli for the release of THE HATING GAME in print!

    It sounds so much fun. Thanks for the chance of winning a signed copy. I'm so much looking forward to reading your book!

    Thanks Sangu for this interview.

  16. The Hating Game sounds like such a fun book!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. Great interview! Glad to hear I'm not the only one who likes and dislikes being my own boss.

    I'm enjoying your blog, I'm off to poke around a little more.

  18. Hi, Sangu and Talli,

    Haven't been back here since I visited some time ago. Nice interview. Wishing Talli lots of success with the book.

  19. What a fun interview! I really enjoyed reading it! And I'm definitely up for trying to win a copy of Talli's book! Will link this giveaway to my blog as well to help spread the news!

    And congrats on your release, Talli!

  20. Definitely sounds like a fun read, wouldn't mind winning a copy, but I'd accept a cupcake as consolation.