Tasmina Perry is a best-selling author and journalist.
She trained a solicitor but was disappointed when it was nothing like LA Law.
As a teenager she was obsessed with magazines but never stopped to think that magazine journalism was an actual career. Sometimes she has to pinch herself that she has worked for Elle, Glamour, Marie Claire, and interviewed the likes of David Schwimmer, Cate Blanchett, Heidi Klum and Angelina Jolie.
She is a travel junkie and co-founded cult travel magazine Jaunt from her kitchen table. One day she might bring it back.
A multi Sunday Times bestseller, Tasmina has sold two million copies of her books and has been translated into 21 languages. Her debut thriller has been optioned by Sony Pictures and is in development with Fast and the Furious producer Neal Moritz.
She is a sought-after speaker and has appeared at festivals, conferences and educational institutions around the UK and US, as well as appearing on Radio 2, Radio 4, Sky News and the BBC.
She has been a Marie Claire/Prince's Trust Mentor.
She knows a lot about writing and promoting bestsellers and wants to help you write one too.
Is it true that Robbie Williams is the reason you became a writer?
Sort of! I'd just finished law school when I met Take That in a cafe in Manchester. I went up to Robbie and asked if I could interview them because my secret dream was to be a writer. Take That were just starting out so it must have been one of their first ever interviews. A couple of years later, they were big stars, and I used the interview to secure a junior writer's job at More magazine. I had just qualified as a lawyer, so it was quite a big leap for me to take but it was the start of my writing career. So yes, without Robbie Williams it might never have happened!
I worked through one of the golden ages of magazines. I interviewed celebrities on private jets, got invited to premieres and fashion shows - I even raced to the South of France in a fleet of Capris! But around the time that I got married, I realised that I wanted to have a more flexible writing career, especially if I was going to start a family. I actually began writing my first book Daddy's Girls on honeymoon, got an agent a few months later and a publishing deal off a partial manuscript a few months after that. I finished the day before my son was born. There was no greater motivation than the prospect of giving birth!
How did you switch from journalist to novelist?
Why have you set up write with me?
Writing novels has changed my life. I've worked in treehouses, jungles and beach houses and taken season long sabbaticals to Australia and America. I wish I could have told my 23 year old self, working unhappily in a law firm, that making a good living doing some creative, doing something you love, IS possible.
So I'm passionate about encouraging other people to be creative and I started wondering - how can I do that in the most efficient and helpful way. It struck me that I work best when I have other people alongside me to bounce against. When I started Daddy's Girls I was working at In Style magazine and my colleague Polly Williams was also writing a novel. We'd regularly compare notes on how we were doing - when she got a agent, it gave me encouragement that I could get one too, and when she got a book deal I realised that becoming a published author wasn't an impossible dream.
Writing can be a solitary business but it doesn't have to be. Connecting with likeminded people helps make it fun. Having someone else to encourage you, or challenge you can spur you on when the easiest thing is to give up and go and watch Netflix.
So Write With Me is about creating a community of writers or would-like-to-be writers. As I write my new novel, I'll encourage you to write too and share some of the things that I've learnt over my years in publishing.
I've put writing prompts at the heart of Write With Me because I think that a lack of routine is the single biggest thing that stops people starting and finishing novels and I believe that nudges and prompts can help with structure and motivation to get things done.
Write With Me is very much a work in progress. I'll be adding supper club and salon dates soon.
This is an exciting time to be a writer. the demand for creativity and content has never been higher. Digital publishing has taken away the gatekeepers so really - the only thing stopping you - is you.