Melanie Blake is a pretty big deal – when you hear the term self-made woman she embodies it. As if being one of the UK’s leading music and entertainment managers wasn’t enough, Melanie has now turned author with the much anticipated novel. The Thunder Girls is here and it’s set to be the perfect summer read.
When I was asked to partner with Midas PR I jumped at the chance and a brilliant launch party I was able to get Melanie to answer a few questions.
Q: What was the main motivation for writing this novel?
A: The characters had been in my consciousness for as long as I can remember and in a way their voices were so powerful, I had no choice but to tell their story. I do feel like The Thunder Girls are real and I guess I’m sort of like a medium they’ve shared their story through. Often when I would write, their voices were so strong I would find myself typing away almost in a trance and even when I read it back to edit, I was so engrossed- I knew I was onto a winner.
Q: Female friendship is at the centre of the novel, why do you think this isn’t something widely seen in novels?
A: Publishers – lots of men are in power in publishing which is why you see so many male crime writers and not so many women writing about crime. What they fail to understand is that friendships are what make or break our lives so everyone who’s ever lived can identify with my book because we’ve all had those relationships, good and bad.
Q: Who were your writing inspirations?
The women that influenced me to write in my early career where Jackie Collins, Lynda La Plante, Martina Cole, Judith Krantz, Jilly Cooper and Helen Fielding.
Q: Your characters are working class – what’s your advice for the modern working-class women?
A: Never accept “no” for an answer. Never expect anyone to validate you. There’s an inherent stigma against working class, which is why you see so many successful working class and regional people often change their accents once they become successful. I never wanted to be part of ‘that club’. Being different is what makes us unique, despite what anyone tells you, never change. I spent my whole life being told “no” and when I stopped asking for approval, I started getting what I wanted. No-one is in charge of your own destiny but yourself. It doesn’t matter where you’re, from if you have a dream you must follow it.
Q: Do you consider this a feminist book?
A: 100% – although on initial reading you don’t realise it is until you get halfway through. I’m not going to spoil the story but to say that it’s clear by the way it ends that these women know their own minds and bow to no man.
Q: And finally, what is one thing you want people to take away from reading this book?
A: I want them to feel like they’ve been on an adventure, a white-knuckle rollercoaster ride that has moved them, made them laugh, made them cry, shocked them and warmed their hearts all at the same time, there’s a lot going on in this book.
A huge thank you to Melanie, Pan Macmillan, EDPR and Midas PR for this opportunity and my copy in exchange for this interview.
The Thunder Girls by Melanie Blake is out now, published by Pan Macmillan, priced £7.99 in paperback original.