FRIDAY FIVE: Perdita and Honor Cargill

Welcome to the first Friday Five! I’m very happy that my inaugural guests are Perdita and Honor Cargill, mother-and-daughter authors of the hilarious WAITING FOR CALLBACK, out 28th January 2016. Pre-order here.
THE QUESTIONS (All painfully literal images my additions. Can never resist a cat pic)
Question: What advice do you wish someone had given you when you started writing?
Perdita: This writing business is peppered with painful periods of waiting. Expect them and don’t worry about them. Try if you can to fill them with positive things (like working on the next book) – easier said than done. Weirdly one of the themes of our book is that waiting is a very active and difficult thing…
Honor: You’ll get offered a lot of help along the way, take it. Editing in particular is brilliant. Also publishing firms are waist deep in cake, it is every author’s duty to help them get through it.
Q: Who is your favourite minor character?
Both: We squabbled over this because we both wanted to choose Eulalie (we’re not counting Moss (Elektra’s BFF) or Archie (her crush) as minor characters). Eulalie is Elektra’s step grandmother and she’s French and very extravagant and frankly a bit inappropriate. Elektra loves her best of all her relatives (not just because she takes her shopping…). We have literally no idea where Eulalie came from or why she is French. (But if you know the Wodehouse novels you’ll know where her name came from…).
Q: What are your five Desert Island Books and why?
Both: We chatted about this and think that there would be something comforting about taking a series of books so we could each disappear time after time into a whole distinct but consistent world. It would have to be a world as far removed from the whole sand and sharks things as possible …
311132P: Don’t judge me but I’d go for Regency and romance. I think there’d be something very lovely about dropping into a virtual ballroom after a
hard day spear fishing. I’d like to say I’d take five of the Jane Austen novels (I’d probably leave behind Mansfield Park because I can’t warm to Fanny Price and Sanditon obviously) but I might go for the comfort of
five (any five) of the Georgette Heyers.
orange-my-man-jeeves-wodehouseH: Wodehouse for sure. It’s my comfort place. I listened to
the audiobooks every night for years and I know them backwards and still find them as funny as the first time I listened to them. Any five of the Jeeves & Wooster series would make me very happy.
Q: What would your daemon be and why?
P: I’m shy and wary as a person so something like a hare – except I can’t run at all (not even slowly) so an unusual hare.
H: I identify with the whole sociable and curious thing meerkats have going on (although to be honest I’m probably mixing up the meerkats in the insurance adverts with the real ones..

Q: What do you think about writing at the age you are?* 
P: Getting a first book deal in my fifties is just a great adventure. I always wanted to be a writer but I started pursuing it so late that I never expected it to happen and I feel very lucky. Also I know it sounds like a cliché but writing funny contemporary teen novels (especially with a teenager) keeps me young (on the inside).
H: I’ve been lucky, I’ve started very young but it’s a collaboration. Our characters are teenagers so I’m pretty confident with the voice (writing dialogue is my favourite bit) but I’m less sure whether I’d ever have wrangled the book all the way to the end if I’d been doing it on my own. Also it’s been a fantastic excuse to skip sports lessons…
(*Question five is the authors’ chance to choose a question they wished I’d asked them)
51BhIp2-jYLGeek Girl meets Fame meets New Girl in this brilliantly funny new series!

When Elektra is discovered by an acting agent, she imagines Oscar glory can’t be far away, but instead lurches from one cringe-worthy moment to the next! Just how many times can you be rejected for the part of ‘Dead Girl Number Three’ without losing hope? And who knew that actors were actually supposed to be multi-lingual, play seven instruments and be trained in a variety of circus skills?
Off-stage things aren’t going well either – she’s fallen out with her best friend, remains firmly in the friend-zone with her crush and her parents are driving her crazy. One way or another, Elektra’s life is now spent waiting for the phone to ring – waiting for callback.

Can an average girl like Elektra really make it in the world of luvvies and starlets?

WAITING FOR CALLBACK is available for pre-order here.
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Perdita used to be a barrister but was happy to hang up her wig and gown and (finally) start writing. Honor is 17 and at school in London doing her A levels. Other than the writing and drama she has a strange niche interest in classical archaeology.  They live in North London and are represented by Hannah Sheppard at DHH Literary Agency. Waiting for Callback is the first in a series and they’re working on book 2 now.
Honor’s photo credit: David Locke 2015