June 2013


Playing Along is Rory Samantha Green’s first novel for adults and she is currently working on its sequel. The psychotherapist is the daughter of Jackie Collins. She blogs at (Interview by Jade Craddock)

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  1. 1. Can you tell us about Playing Along?

    I wrote Playing Along while I was training to be a psychotherapist. The writing of the novel provided me with an antidote to all the weighty theoretical and clinical material I was consuming at the time. I wanted to write an accessible easy read that also had soul and portrayed dimensional characters with relatable qualities. Playing Along tells parallel stories of two people looking for love whose paths eventually cross, but it also explores their internal search for a better relationship with themselves and how integral that is to their journeys. Expect plenty of laughs and sliding door moments along the way! And be prepared to smile…

  2. 2. Where did you get the inspiration for the novel?

    My sister went to a Keane concert a few years ago. It was a small venue and she was sitting in the third row. During the concert she had this uncanny sensation that Tom, the lead singer, was singing to her! Of course, after the show, her friend, who was sitting next to her said exactly the same thing! We were laughing together when she told me the story and we hatched the idea of Playing Along. So many people fantasize about being singled out by the lead singer of a band! I wanted to explore what would happen if the fantasy became a reality?!

  3. 3. Did any real life rock stars inspire your character of George? What about Fanny Arundel?

    George and his band mates were definitely inspired by the recent trend of UK bands who met at school or in uni and seem somewhat anti rock n’roll, but extremely talented and engaging in the same measure. Keane, of course, are included on the list – I even named the book after one of their songs! Fanny Arundel was inspired by every eccentric rock chick out there! Jessie J, Katy Perry, Pink. She has very random and unique ways of expressing herself and, unlike George, she is addicted to the limelight!

  4. 4. You write from both George and Lexi’s perspective, did you find it easier to write one than the other?

    I think most writers bring elements of themselves to each character, even if it’s not obvious. I equally enjoyed writing both characters and can relate to different parts of their psyches. However, I probably have more than a slither of George in me – a little tortured, a little melancholy at times and a desperate romantic at heart. George has a love/hate relationship with attention, which I can empathize with having grown-up with my mother in the ‘public eye’.

  5. 5. What is it about your main character Lexi that will appeal to readers?

    Lexi is a very dimensional character. She’s been raised by insanely positive parents, who constantly boosted her self-esteem, but in her thirties she’s questioning where her mother’s dream ends and her own dream begins. Although lured by the surface appeal of popularity when she was a teenager, as an adult, Lexi is searching for connection and meaning both in her relationships and her professional life. I think she represents many women in their thirties who are struggling to ‘find themselves’ outside of a man, but who still crave a loving partnership.

  6. 6. George manages to find love in the novel but do you think it’s hard for celebrities to find true love?

    I guess it depends on the celebrity! It seems it might be easier if both members of the couple are not famous, so one can balance the other out with a more grounded perspective. There are huge emotional pressures that come with fame, as we have seen again and again. If you are lucky enough to find a partner to help anchor you in reality so you don’t lose your sense of ‘self’ or become too wrapped up in your own reflection, then maybe that’s answer! I definitely set out to explore some of these themes in Playing Along.

  7. 7. You write song lyrics to George’s song Third Row - was it fun to be a songwriter as well as a novelist in this book? Was the song difficult to write?

    The last time I wrote a song, I was twelve years old and composing lyrics for my guitar strumming friend who would then put them to music! George’s lyrics came very naturally to me, I knew what he wanted to say. He’s introspective but also desperate for connection, so the song had to convey that tension. My current fantasy is that someone will read the book and want to record the music! I have no idea what the songs actually sound like – so it would be amazing to explore that direction. Of course, Working Title could also snap it up and adapt it to the screen – I wouldn’t say no to that either!

  8. 8. Music is central to the novel, were there any songs or albums that acted as a soundtrack to the novel?

    It’s actually been a while since I wrote the book now, but Coldplay’s first album Parachutes has always been seminal for me. I think it’s so raw and tender and creative. I also was addicted to Bon Iver’s first album, For Emma, Forever Ago. Listening to that transported me to a different softer world where anything could happen, not unlike the fictional world I created! I think we all find a lot of empathy in music. We can feel completely understood and connected to people we’ll most likely never meet, and that’s where the interplay between fantasy and reality begins.

  9. 9. You decided to self-publish Playing Along, how has self-publishing been for you? What has been the hardest part of the process?

    Self-publishing has been really fun more than anything else! It has been empowering taking my words into my own hands and letting them fly. A traditional route would have been excellent as well, but when that didn't happen, despite lost of enthusiasm from many publishers, I decided I was too fond of Playing Along and all my characters to let them fester in my hard drive. The hardest part of the process is marketing and getting the word out there on my own, but I’m working on it slowly – here I am!

  10. 10. What is it like to see your book in shops and online?

    It’s really thrilling seeing the book online and holding a copy of it in my hands. For me, it’s seeing a dream realized and I don't underestimate the poignancy of that. I’m proud of the book and I want other people to enjoy it too!

  11. 11. Given that your mother is a writer, do you think that writing is in your genes?

    I think that story is encoded in everyone’s DNA but maybe some of us know how to access it better than others! I grew up watching my mother extremely dedicated to her craft. She is an amazing role model and has always encouraged me to pursue my writing professionally. If it wasn’t for her encouragement, I don't think I would have been brave enough to self-publish.

  12. 12. Did you ask her advice on the novel?

    I didn't ask her advice while I was writing the book, but she did read it when I had completed it and gave me excellent feedback. I was nervous showing it to her (as you might imagine) but who wouldn’t want feedback from such a talented and well-loved author with so much experience and expertise? I am extremely grateful to my mum for all of her love and enthusiasm. She knows more than anything how to engage and entertain her readers, and I hope, despite our styles being very different, that I might have inherited that particular skill!

  13. 13. You’re currently writing a sequel to Playing Along, what can we expect?

    The sequel is going to be very juicy! Everyone tells me they want more of George and Lexi when they finish Playing Along, so the sequel definitely gives the reader much more! Playing Along is focused on the fantasy of what being in the relationship might be like, while the new book concentrates on the ups and downs of navigating the real deal. You can expect some crazy new characters as well as some amusing antics from some of the old trusties, like Meg and Russell! There’s also a big ‘event’ planned but I’ve been sworn to secrecy (that is until OK Magazine finalize their offer!)

  14. 14. And finally, who is your rock-star crush?

    There have been many, beginning with Martin Kemp from Spandau Ballet in the 80s! I fell for Chris Martin when I saw him walking down the beach singing ‘Yellow’ in the 90s. These days I would have to say, Ben Howard, on whom I have a HUGE lyrics crush. Luckily my husband has always been very understanding, and I’ve drawn the line recently at putting posters on the bedroom wall, but you never know when the urge might grab me again!

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