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Be inspired every day with Living North
Milly Johnson
June 2014
Reading time 3

Ahead of the launch of her new book The Teashop On The Corner, we caught up with Sunday Times bestselling author Milly Johnson, a five foot tall, pancake-loving, romantic comedy writer from Barnsley

Something no-one else knows about me? I’m writing a very dark crime novel under a pseudonym.

In Yorkshire we are a friendly, kind and witty breed. But I wish the weather was better! I’d like it to be Mediterranean sunny here from 1st May until the end of September. I do like the seasons but I love sitting in my garden in the sunshine.

If I had a full day off, I’d go for a full English breakfast at our local Rob Royd farm shop with my partner Pete, then to the cinema. We’d spend the afternoon trawling around antique shops looking for treasures then we’d find a lovely Italian restaurant and have a long relaxed dinner.

I can't do without red lipstick. I feel naked without it. 

There is an Italian restaurant in York's Low Petergate called La Vecchia Scuola and it’s absolutely beautiful. They serve the best Tiramisu outside Venice.  I’ve had to put it in my latest book, The Teashop on the Corner, though I moved it nearer to Barnsley.

My favourite view is standing in the graveyard in Haworth on a foggy November day and looking at the Bronte Parsonage. It’s hauntingly beautiful.

It makes me so mad when people don't say 'thank you' when you've opened the door for them.

By the end of today, I hope I've managed to empty the dishwasher. It’s a job I hate to do and feel better when it’s done.

My tipple of choice is Peller Cuvée Sparkling Ice Wine from Slurp. It is the most divine fizz on the planet.

One question I've always wanted to know the answer to: Who is Jack the Ripper?

I would love to swap places with Anne Boleyn on her wedding day. I think Henry would have been a real dish and there would have been plenty of sparks between them.

With a spare £1million, I’d give it to my friend who runs Yorkshire Cat Rescue to build the centre they have been tirelessly raising funds for.

I would name my racehorse Paperback Writer. I’ve never been that bothered about being published in hardback – in paperback I sell by the shedloads and it’s been lucky for my career to be marketed as mass-market fiction. 

My chosen subject on Mastermind would be Greek Mythology. I had a great teacher at school who did a mythology project with us and I’ve loved it ever since.

When they invent time travel, I'll go to a point in the future when mechanical wings were commonplace and people could fly individually.

If I wasn't an author, I would have liked to have been a criminal psychologist. I've loved reading about the intricacies of the human mind for many years. Psychology fascinates me.

My most treasured possession is a Parker pen my dad bought me to do my O Level exams with.

My proudest achievement is winning the Romantic Comedy of the Year Award for my novel It’s Raining Men. It is a book that my publishers worried I wouldn’t get away with because it’s a little more mystical than my others. But we pulled it off, if the award is anything to go by. It’s a big accolade in our world to earn an award like this. Particularly poignant in my case as two days previously my partner’s mum died and I really didn’t feel like going to the ceremony. He told me to go and bring it home for her. I never thought I’d be picked as I was up against two books by Jenny Colgan – but I did. 

My all-time favourite living novelist Helen Fielding was there. To me she is a goddess. I squawked when I saw her, like a 12-year-old would in front of One Direction. She was fabulous – so down to earth and we had a merry natter about Barnsley because she is very familiar with the area, having gone to school in Wakefield. 

It was a wonderful experience and I only wish dear Molly could have been there to hear about it.  My new book – The Teashop on the Corner – was written for her and her husband Harvey as they said they’d never seen their names as heroes and heroines in a story.

I hope my epitaph reads: ‘Milly Johnson – author, mother, lover, daughter, bon viveur, short-arse.'

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