Robin: Can you tell us about the book and where the idea came from?
Ali: From Notting Hill with Love…Actually is about Scarlett, who absolutely adores the movies, but her family and friends think she’s a bit too obsessed by them. So when Scarlett gets the chance to house-sit in one of her favourite movie locations, Notting Hill, she see’s this as a chance to prove to them that you really can live your life as if it were a movie.
I was watching one of the music channels on TV one day. It was a countdown of the Top 50 best movie songs of all time. I just thought wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could feature as many of those movies as possible in one story, as that’s how the idea began to develop.
Robin: I also am a big movie buff and wouldn’t it be totally awesome to have that magic movie moment. If you could choose one magic movie moment to re-enact other than from Notting Hill, what would it be and why?
Ali: I would love to go really ‘old school’ and go right back to the heyday of the silver screen and recreate one of those wonderful musical dance numbers between Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Obviously with me taking the Ginger Rogers role 😉 We have a TV programme here in the UK called Strictly Come Dancing your US equivalent is Dancing with the Stars. I would love to take part in that one day!
Robin: I always tease my husband about Sean Connery or Johnny Depp walking to our front door and I am so out of here. He also knows that I am only kidding as he is my life. But if you had to choose one actor that you would most want to run away with whom would it be?
Ali: Bradley Cooper – Apart from the fact he’s very handsome! He also seems very lovely and funny in the interviews I’ve seen him in!
Robin: I have been to London and one of my most memorable moments was flying over the rooftops. It brought wonderful memories of Mary Poppins. I even imagined Mary, Bert, and the chimney sweeps atop the roofs, singing and dancing. Then seeing the old bird lady on the steps in Trafalgar Square singing ‘Feed the Birds’. Living so close to London, Do you have a favorite area that reminds you of an unforgettable movie? Other than Notting Hill.
Ali: Every time I visit London I come in by train to Kings Cross station, and I have to pass between Platforms 9 & 10, so I’m reminded immediately of Harry Potter and Platform 9¾ There is even a plaque there now so fans of the books and movies can get their photos taken in the exact spot where Harry caught the train to Hogwarts!
Robin: I am not a big fan of chocolate but I know that you are. Do you have any one form that you enjoy more than the others? Or are they all equal to you?
Ali: I’ve actually given up chocolate! Much as I loved it, I found it was very bad for my skin. However I’ve found a new substance since to become addicted to – coffee! And I adore a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato when I get the chance!
Robin: I am a new author. Atop my desk are some items from my travels; for example a Worry stone from Ireland, a cobalt blue piece of sea glass from Florida, a Mickey Mouse etched stone from Japan and many other items including a lava lamp. I pick up these items at times to help me relax or think through my thought processes. Is there anything special that sits atop your desk that helps you to relax or calm you when you are stressed?
Ali: It changes all the time depending on what I’m writing; but as I look now there’s a Bloomingdales snow globe from our trip to New York last Christmas, two stones that say Love & Peace, & a few healing crystals – clear and rose quartz, amethyst and Orange calcite.
Robin: One last question. I find that my dog Kirby tends to want to be near me as I write. Almost as if he is my muse in his own way. Do your dogs stay by your side or are they indifferent to your writing?
Ali: It depends if they want a walk! 😉
Robin:What’s next for you?
Ali: My third book – which is a sequel to From Notting Hill with Love…Actually called From Notting Hill to New York…Actually comes out in the UK in November, and I’m currently writing my fourth book, which I’m very excited about. It has a music theme this time – with a twist!