Welcome to my stop for the blog tour of Diary of an Adorable Fat Girl by Bernice Bloom. Today’s stop also includes a guest post by author Bernice Bloom who chats with us about the importance of research when writing… and some of the possible crazy side effects. Hope you enjoy.
Mary Brown is funny, gorgeous and bonkers. She’s also about six stone overweight. When she realises she can’t cross her legs, has trouble bending over to tie her shoelaces without wheezing like an elderly chain-smoker, and discovers that even her hands and feet look fat, it’s time to take action. But what action? She’s tried every diet under the sun.
This is the hysterical story of what happens when Mary joins ‘Fat Club’ where she meets a cast of funny characters and one particular man who catches her eye.
The story is laugh-out-loud funny and will resonate with anyone who has dieted, tried to keep up with any sort of exercise programme or spent 10 minutes in a changing room trying to extricate herself from a way too-small garment that she ambitiously tried on and is now completely stuck in.
Bernice Bloom is the big, new name in comedy writing…this is the first full-length novel after her series of laugh-out-loud mini books.
Purchase from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diary-Adorable-Fat-Girl-Full-length-ebook/dp/B071P2QW68/
Guest Post by Bernice Bloom
The importance of research & how you can sometimes look like you’re completely mad!
The moment I knew I had gone too far with the research for my Adorable Fat Girl series of books was when the beautician asked me to remove the cushion from the front of my shirt.
“But I need it there,” I said.
“Um. Why?” she asked.
“Because I’m trying to work out what it would be like to come to a beauticians if I was really fat.”
“OK,” said the beautician, backing away from me. “Why’s that?”
“I’m just trying to feel what life would be like for a really obese lady called Mary Brown.”
“Why don’t you ask Mary Brown?” said the instructor.
“Because she doesn’t exist. She’s in my head. I made her up.”
“Riiiight,” said the lady, looking very worried indeed. Honestly, I’m surprised I wasn’t carted off for psychological evaluation.
One of the most entertaining parts of writing novels is the research. If you’ve got any sense at all, you set your books on beautiful desert island where azure waters lap against soft white sand and handsome waiters run around serving you rum punch on a silver tray. Unfortunately, I didn’t do that, so I couldn’t justify a trip to the Bahamas or Bermuda to research my books. Instead, I had decided to write a series of novels about an incredibly fat woman. How do you research a book about a very overweight woman? Obviously, you can watch overweight people and see what they do, how they move and how they conduct themselves, but if you want to feel what it’s like, you have to get in there and give it a go. Over the past few years I’ve tried doing everything as a fat person…been on safari, on trains, planes and on coach journeys, surreptitiously shoving cushions up my jumper while looking around and watching people.
I wanted my books to be light-hearted and funny, but also an honest reflection of life as someone carrying lots of weight. I wanted the books to be a laugh, but never to laugh at people who struggle with their weight. So – I went along to fat club and asked whether I could ‘watch’. They looked at me like I was stark, staring mad. Then I went to the pub with them afterwards and listened to their conversation.
I became good friends with one lady who became the inspiration for Mary Brown. She told me that she was going on holiday and the thing she was dreading most was putting a seatbelt on when she got onto the plane because she knew it wouldn’t go round her, and even though she had requested a seatbelt extension, it might not be there, and that would be awkward and embarrassing.
I realised that these little things; like not being able to wear a seatbelt, were dotted through everyday life. It wasn’t so much the big occasions, like being asked to be a bridesmaid or wearing a swimming costume in public that were awful, though I appreciate they could be particularly tough, but everyday things…the little things in life that were that much harder if you were overweight. These were the things that made life so difficult. I listened to stories about how people would laugh and point, and look disgusted. I wanted to reflect all of that in my novels.
I think that doing research at this level, for so long, has given me a real insight into what life is like for very overweight people, and how hard it can be to lose weight when you have come to depend on food for comfort. It’s also created amusement and confusion in my family. My niece called me earlier to check I was going ice skating tomorrow with her for her 7th birthday. She added: “Aunty Bernie, will you have a pillow under your jumper?”
You know; I probably will.
Hello, my name is Bernice Bloom and I am a writer (I write light-hearted rom-com style novels and also work as a magazine journalist and advertising copywriter) and jewellery designer. My recent series of novels is called ‘Adorable Fat Girl’ and it features a heavily overweight woman called Mary Brown. She is bright, funny, friendly and bonkers. She’s also fat. The books blend the comedy of her efforts to lose weight with a more serious backstory about what happened to her in the past that had led to the issues that make her prone to over-eating. I’m fascinated that there are so few overweight heroines in literature. Women can be manipulative, evil, even murderers in fiction, but not fat! Certainly not fat and beautiful with loads of friends! Then along came Mary and she’s developed quite a fan base of people who love the fact that the heroine is large. She gets lots of letters and I have ended up taking her on lots of adventures!
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