Author and radio presenter
UAE based radio presenter, turned author Brandy Scott’s debut novel, Not Bad People is getting the television treatment. The New Zealand author has been based in Dubai for years, and is a presenter on the Business Breakfast show on Dubai Eye 103.8
Her debut novel was released in March of this year, and has been picked up by television producer, John Barnett to be adapted for the small screen. The eight-part TV series will follow three Australian friends who decide to mark New Year’s Eve with lucky lanterns. The decision triggers a chain of disastrous events. For our May issue, we chatted with Brandy to know what it was like writing this book.
Have you always wanted to write a novel?
Always. I preferred books to people as a child; I became a journalist because I wanted to earn a living from writing. But I wasn’t really thinking novel-size thoughts until I broke up with a boyfriend in my mid-thirties and was left with a big hole in my summer holiday plans. Rather than sit around Dubai in July moping, I took myself off to a writing festival in Iowa and realised, thrillingly, that writing a book was something I might actually be able to do. Best break-up ever.
How long did it take you to write Not Bad People?
Has this been a passion project for a long time? It took me about a year to write Not Bad People, and then another couple of months to do copy edits with my publishers. It actually took less time to write the book than I expected, and longer to edit it, because I had to edit two versions – one for the Australian market, full of nappies and jugs, and one for the Americans, full of diapers and kettles.
What inspired you to write a novel about what happens when tragedy ensues and how people behave in particular situation?
The idea for Not Bad People came from a letting go ceremony I was invited to a few years ago. A group of us wrote down the things we wanted to be free of – bad habits, resentments, cellulite – and each tied our list to a sky lantern. As I watched the lanterns fly away, I wondered to myself what would happen if they hit something. And that’s where the first chapter of the book comes from.
How has writing a novel changed the way you view things? Do you take a notepad everywhere you go?
I should do! I keep buying notebooks, and then I forget to put them in my handbag and take them with me, so I buy more notebooks… I’m developing a serious stationary habit. But the main thing that’s changed is how I view the ups and downs of life. My motto now is that bad days are just material for a new book.
What would you tell someone who has a book inside of them but doesn’t necessarily know how to execute their story or anything about publishing? What advice would you give them?
The only real advice is to write. Write and read. If you’re a big reader, you’ve probably already absorbed a lot of what you need to know about how sentences and paragraphs should sound. The trick is to develop the discipline to sit down and keep at it, even when you don’t feel like it/your friends are all out having fun/ the weather is beautiful. But there are some great resources out there to help you get and keep going. Books I always recommend include Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, Writing a Novel by Richard Skinner, and This Year You Write your Novel by Walter Mosley.
Brandy’s book Not Bad People is available for purchase on Amazon for AED 45.