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Gemma Tizzard ‘snort laughs’ with pizza - more people should try this

Gemma Tizzard's laptop - write words here

What made you want to write a novel in the first place?

I still remember the moment as a child when I worked out people had written all the books I loved so much and it was a job you could do. That excitement has only been matched when I first tasted pizza. From then on writing was all I wanted to do. Apart from eat pizza. Sometimes I do both at once. It has been a very circuitous journey so far but I'm certain five-year-old Gemma would be pleased I have never given up on the idea.

Where do you get your witty inspiration for your writing?

Everywhere. I probably have about three novel ideas a day inspired by the things I've read, or seen, the people I've spoken to, and the dreams I've had. If they stick and I'm still thinking about them a week later, I'll write them down in The Notebook (not that one, there's no Ryan Gosling involved, sadly) to revisit later. Life is ridiculous and I try to see the funny side of as much of it as possible.

Who’s the funniest female in TV/book/film right now?

Oooh, what a great question. I love Mhairi McFarlane. After reading her latest book I sent her a tweet to tell her that my heart was hers and she could keep it in a dusty box on her mantelpiece, because I'm excellent at playing it cool. Her books make me snort-laugh like a warthog, and are always a must-buy for me. On TV, I love Aisling Bea and Rose Matafeo and I'm so glad more funny women are getting their own brilliant shows.

What have you been up to since being longlisted for the CWIP prize?

I've written a new book, because I think that is how this works - that and my poor attention span demanded it. I also started a new job, which delayed my search for an agent, but I am about to send my work out on submission. Being able to say I was longlisted for CWIP is a huge boost to my query letter so I have high hopes and my fingers crossed!

What advice would you give to other witty women thinking about entering the unpublished prize?

Go for it! There is nothing to lose and a potential book deal, a massive boost to your confidence, and a fantastic community of witty women to gain!

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