MBA: Tell our readers a little about yourself?


CAROL: Thank you very much for inviting me here.

Well, where shall I begin? I live in a typical British village in rural Staffordshire surrounded by fields (and populated by the entire cast of ‘Watership Down’) with my husband who has just retired and who is now under my feet. Fortunately, he is not as dreadful as Phil; the husband in Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines.

My 23 year old son left the nest last year. In truth he only managed to fly a few yards before landing a mere seven doors away from us. We don’t see too much of him though. He doesn’t pop back with his dirty washing or for an evening meal – obviously years of my appalling cooking put him off.

I used to be a teacher and a linguist. I actually began my working life abroad, in Casablanca, Morocco. After a few years I came back to the UK and worked for a Private school. One of those where the teachers all wear black gowns-no, not Hogwarts, but similar. Later I ran my own language company working in schools and for companies. I taught a variety of languages, including basic Japanese, to all ages and translated documents-not in Japanese. I gave up several years ago when I had a recurrence of spinal difficulties and problems that began when I was a teenager. In order to deal with my health problems I became a personal trainer. That led me to become a trainer for others particularly for older people who, like me, had undergone major surgery and needed careful handling. I am currently determined to enjoy my fifties and am currently learning Russian, attempting to get the hang of Kick Boxing and am writing a series of novels which take a humorous look at getting older.


MBA: What made you decide to write “Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines”, if anything?

CAROL: Last year I wrote a list of all the things I still wanted to achieve. As I approached fifty I decided I would start with the thing I most wanted to do; write novels. It wasn’t too hard to decide on my genre as I have always been interested in humour. Being a child in the seventies I was brought up on a television diet of comedians, sit coms and light-hearted shows. Although I studied much classical literature at University and specialised in Old English and French I now find I enjoy reading humorous material by authors like Ben Elton or Janet Evanovitch. I decided there wasn’t enough literature for women who were of a certain age and certainly not enough ‘fun’ material. I wanted to make people smile, or better still, laugh out loud and really associate with the characters and situations in the book. I chose the theme of getting older, after all, there comes an age when you no longer look forward to your birthday, and tried to present it in the most positive way I could. After all, fifty is the new thirty. People are living longer and staying fitter than ever before. They should enjoy the years ahead not be put off because they are deemed to be too old or ‘past it!’

MBA: What where some of the challenges in writing “Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines”?

CAROL: I thoroughly enjoyed writing the book. I almost enjoyed it too much because it became an obsession for a while as I tried to work out how to weave in the surprises and twists that occur in it. It became incredibly difficult to put the story down. I resented having to stop typing to go and perform mundane acts like vacuuming the hall or going out shopping to buy food for our empty fridge. If my husband interrupted my train of thought by conscientiously bringing me a cup of tea, I would get quite annoyed. I found myself thinking about the characters when I should have been concentrating on other things like ironing or cooking. I realised I wasn’t being fair to my husband and began to work overnight while he slept. I worked overnight almost every night for two months and lived ‘normally’ in the daytime so it didn’t affect my family too much. Yes, I got very tired and sported a fabulous pair of bags under my eyes but it was worth it.

As for the book itself, it wasn’t too challenging but required careful orchestration of characters and plots so the time frame worked out correctly.

MBA: What is a typical writing day for you?

CAROL: I am currently writing the sequel to the book which is called Surfing in Stilettos.  I promised myself I would work every morning from 6am until 11am then 8pm until 10pm. Unfortunately, we have decided to move house, only a few miles away from where we currently live, but I have to dispose of twenty-five years of accumulated junk and simultaneously cajole builders who are working on renovating the new house to get it ready in time. This means I am currently working on the book from 9pm until 2am so I can’t wait to get moved and have a normal life again. I really have to type when the ideas threaten to fill up my brain so much it will explode so whatever the time I will type away.

MBA: With the holiday fast approaching, what are some of your favorite memories, traditions, foods and such?

CAROL: I used to love the holiday season and like many families we had a routine which involved opening stockings filled with small presents whilst drinking Bucks Fizz in the morning, eating traditional turkey and bullet –like Brussels sprouts followed by Christmas Pudding, then falling asleep in front of the television which always seemed to show a James Bond movie after the Queen’s Speech. My son’s favourite part of Christmas Day was when I presented everyone with a hand-made box at the Christmas table. It was instead of a Christmas cracker and inside would be a small gift, a popper, a noisy blower of some description, streamers, sparklers and funny jokes which I spent weeks writing out for each individual. There would also be silly table games or puzzles to do. One year I wrote out the words to some well known Christmas Carol’s in French – they had to sing a Carol of their choosing in French before I would serve lunch, while I accompanied them on a Kazoo. It was huge fun. Since my son left home we have abandoned the whole idea of Christmas. My husband is a complete Grinch, so I now sit with a large bottle of red wine and watch my DVD collection of Desperate Housewives.

MBA: What is on the on the horizon for you and your writing?

CAROL: As I mentioned earlier, I am currently working on the sequel to Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines and have a third book in my head which will be about aging disgracefully. I write regularly at my blog Facing 50 with Humour and would love to write a sit com for television so that will undoubtedly be my next big project.

MBA: Carol, tell our readers where to find you and where your books are available?

CAROL: You can find out more about me and my books at my website where you can not only read samples and reviews of the book but can join the fun at my blog. Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines is available in eBook format from Amazon or Smashwords . You can buy the paperback version from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other on-line retailers or can be ordered from all good bookshops. All details are on my website.




Publisher:YouWriteOn (June 26, 2011)


ISBN-13: 978-1908481818

Book Description(from Amazon)

Publication Date: June 26, 2011
Amanda Wilson can’t decide between murder, insanity and another glass of red wine. Facing 50 and all that it entails is problematic enough. What’s the point in minking your eyes, when your husband would rather watch ‘Russia Today’ than admire you, strutting in front of the television in only thigh boots and a thong? Her son has managed to perform yet another magical disappearing act. Could he actually be buried under the mountain of festering washing which is strewn on his bedroom floor? He’ll certainly be buried somewhere when she next gets her hands on him. At least her mother knows how to enjoy herself. She’s partying her twilight years away in Cyprus. Queen of the Twister mat, she now has a toy boy in tow. She really shouldn’t have pressed that send button. The past always catches up with you sooner or later. Still, her colourful past is a welcome relief to her monochrome present; especially when it comes in the shape of provocative Todd Bradshaw, her first true love. Soon Mandy has a difficult decision to make; one that will require more than a few glasses of Chianti.