Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
Daydreaming mum loses husband and career, writes blog, burns tea, meets movie star crush and...
What inspired you to write Mr Make Believe?
Well, I'm a mum-of-two who used to regularly write the front page for a national newspaper, a bit like my main character, Marnie Martin, and I know lots of mothers who are struggling to hold it all together at home; trying to have some kind of career while looking after the children and to strike a balance between it all. It can be isolating to be at home all day with the kids and I have always been a dreamer and asking around, I found lots of my mum friends had secret crushes on movie stars, which they used to keep themselves going when reality was tough. I picked up that theme and took it to an extreme, playing with the notion of what would happen if a mum whose life wasn't turning out the way she'd hoped got to meet her Mr Make Believe. The whole interplay between our real lives and our social media lives is endlessly fascinating to me so that was a big part of it too.
Where do you do most of your writing?
Sometimes I edit pages and write notes on the train if I have to go up to London from my home in Oxfordshire but most days I sit in a spare bedroom in my house and bash away at my keyboard. The letters have worn off it - I must get a new one.
I find it really hard to pick just one book! I love absolutely everything that Jilly Cooper has written. I would read her shopping list if she published it - I bet even that would be brilliant. But if I were only allowed one book, I would probably take Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Everything about it is perfect, starting with that first sentence - "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." I immediately want to read on.
Which part of Mr Make Believe did you enjoy writing the most?
Well, I loved writing all of the book; it was like a roller coaster ride and I didn't want to get off. But the best bit for me was definitely when Marnie got to know her Mr Make Believe a little better...
Who is your favourite literary heroine?
Becky Sharp, Vanity Fair. What a woman!
Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
Getting published is a long, hard road and rejection is a part of the process. Listen carefully to feedback and try to learn from it, especially if you are lucky enough to get criticism from people who actually work in the industry because they know the market. Keep believing in yourself.
Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
Yes, I'd love to tell you about my next projects. I am editing a prequel to Mr Make Believe, called Ten Easy Steps To I Love You, which features Marnie Martin but tells the story of how her best mate Belle Devine, the showbiz journalist, gets to meet her Mr Right. I am still in love with all the characters in Marnie Martin's world, so there may be a sequel to Mr Make Believe before too long as well. With my non-fiction hat on, I have a historical memoir coming out with Pan Macmillan at the end of July, which covers the lives of three sisters from London during the 1930s. It's called Keeping My Sisters' Secrets and it's a really moving story about them overcoming poverty and adversity, finding love as the Second World War looms on the horizon.
Mr Make Believe by Beezy Marsh
Hard-hitting newspaper journalist turned stay-at-home mum and part-time failing food columnist, Marnie is wondering when her life went so wrong.
While her husband Matt’s career takes off, she’s left with the impossible task of pairing socks and locating Lego. His late nights at the office are turning into late nights who knows where else and they haven’t had a proper conversation in weeks, sex in months, or a full night’s sleep in years.
On the brink of losing everything when a fantasy about movie star Maddox Wolfe leads to a missed deadline and a disastrous case of food poisoning, Marnie becomes Mrs Make Believe: anonymous blogger, secret spiller, and voice of imperfect mums everywhere.
However, Marnie Martin could never have imagined that her movie star daydream would walk off the screen and into her reality, turning her already muddled world totally on its head.
Will Marnie find happiness in the arms of the (literal) man of her dreams? Or will she find that true love is just make believe?