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Jill Mansell, Rosanna Ley, Katie Marsh and Jo Thomas tell us which character they would take on holiday…

Ever read a book and thought the character could be one of your best friends? Our authors have! Find out which one of their characters they would choose to go on holiday with…

Jill Mansell, author of This Could Change Everything 

OK, this is a lovely question and I now really wish it could come true! In This Could Change Everything, one of the main characters is Zillah, aged eighty three. She’s funny and glamorous, her make-up is always immaculate and she dresses with style. She is everything I would love to be at her age (but know I will never manage!) and is also brilliant company, loved by everyone who meets her. (In the book, ashamed of a bad thing she once did many decades earlier, she is driven by guilt to try and make amends by helping to fulfit the last wishes of others.) Anyway, Zillah would be wonderful to go on holiday with, and she wouldn’t force me to do stuff I’m not keen on, like trekking for miles through mountains.

(Can I also say, my own glamorous grandmother’s name was Zillah and I’ve always wanted to use the name in a book but was never able to find the right character to go with it…until now. If she were still with us, I like to think my Grandma Zillah would be thrilled!)

Rosanna Ley, author of Her Mother’s Secret

I would take Étienne from Her Mother’s Secret. He writes thrillers – among other things – so maybe we could go to an idyllic writing retreat (like finca el cerrillo in Andalucia which I visit every year) to exchange notes.

Katie Marsh, author of The Rest of Me

I would take Alex, the lead character from The Rest of Me, my new novel. She is a working mum who lives her life in lists and targets, and she starts the book with no ability whatsoever to be kind to herself. I’d take her to a remote yoga retreat in Ibiza, take away her phone and force her to breathe deeply and stare at sunsets until even she had to relax. She’d love it. Eventually.

Jo Thomas, author of Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard

I think I’d like to go and visit Emmy in Petit Frere in Late Summer in the Vineyard. I’d like to go out and join in with the grape harvest and join the other pickers for a long slow lunch in a shady corner of the vineyard, washed down with a glass of wine made from the grapes grown in the soil beneath our feet. There’s a lot about Petit Frere I’d like to go back and revisit, the chateau and the hilltop restaurant there.