It came from real life, when a friend of mine suggested I might like to date someone she’d been seeing and was tired of. I thought it was quite a revolutionary idea!
I probably see Helen as the main character – heartbroken and stuck in a rut with her cat and boxsets, she suffers from anxiety and has really opted out of life. It was great to write about her transformation.
I wanted her to be mysterious – in fact I originally didn’t include her viewpoint, as I like the idea that we often have no idea what’s really going on in our friends’ lives.
It was definitely important as you rarely see nerdy guys in romance, yet I love them. A guy in a tank top and glasses is basically my idea of heaven. I wanted to show that everyone has different tastes, so a date you might not have clicked with could be perfect for your friend.
Sadly all true – I have been on that terrible silent restaurant date, with a guy who didn’t speak for two hours. Dating can be magical, but it can also be the pits when it doesn’t work out.
It can definitely work as long as it’s just casual dates and not long-term exes that you still have feelings for. In the book it churns up a lot of old rivalries and insecurities between the friends, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
I like to think that they’re all happy now, forging ahead with love and careers, but it would certainly be interesting to catch up with them at some point. No doubt Marnie would have moved to Peru or something to work on a llama farm.
I had an idea (The Thirty List) that I desperately wanted to write, about two years ago, so I went ahead and did it anyway. I wanted to write about the things I was experiencing in my own life, and murder isn’t one of them, luckily!
‘Chick lit’ can be so dismissive, and puts people off reading, whereas ‘women’s fiction’ is basically meaningless. I think we need a better way of describing smart funny books about contemporary issues.
Convincing people I could do both, and that I hadn’t stopped writing crime!
I find it quite easy as they’re quite different, and it’s a nice change of pace, though sometimes it can be hard to get out of the rom-com ‘voice’.
It really depends on the book and what stage it’s at – I usually hate it once it’s quite advanced and I have to start editing in earnest.
Definitely – there’s a great Australian author called Liane Moriarty who manages to mix women’s fiction with crime and does it brilliantly. Her books are dark, funny, suspenseful, and modern. I’d love to try and do the same.
I just sold a book to a different publisher that will be out next year. It’s called How to be Happy and will tackle some big emotional issues, and I hope people will like it.