Today I’m delighted to welcome Rosie Blake to Me, My Books and I. To celebrate the release of Rosie’s first full-length novel How To Get A (Love) Life we have a fantastic guest post for you!
But first of all, lets introduce the book…
“Some people book last-minute holidays, walk barefoot in the grass or party on a week night. Not Nicola Brown.
Nicola is the kind of girl who double-locks the front door, leaves the plastic covering on new furniture, sticks to a super-strict diet and definitely, absolutely Does Not Date.
Her colleague Caroline – loopy, warm and exasperated by her, knows that Nicola’s reluctance to lose control means she’s living only half a life. And so she lays down the gauntlet: Nicola must cast aside her hang ups and go on as many dates as it takes to find true love in time for Valentine’s Day.
The pick of local men is, quite frankly, a bit rubbish. And there are only three months until February 14th. Surely it’s an impossible task? But, as Nicola is about to find out on her dodgy dates, letting go isn’t quite as scary as she imagined. In fact, it’s rather a lot of fun…”
On the theme of Me, My Books and I, can I explore whether anyone in my own novel is based on anyone IRL?
My debut novel How To Get A (Love) Life is out now and the story focuses on Nicola Brown – a controlling, uptight girl who needs something in her life to change. Still harbouring a hurt from years before, she needs something to break the rut she has found herself in. Cue chaotic colleague Caroline and The Bet – a search for a (love) life before Valentine’s Day. Can Nicola do it? A clairvoyant, a sea-kayaking trip in November, a rent-a-dog experience, a carpentry class – she tries any means she can to find the man for her and on her hunt she meets a whole host of useless, not-so-useless men and a little something about herself too…
A lot of people I know have asked me if Nicola Brown is based on me. The short answer is No. The long answer is that I think we can all get ourselves into a place in our lives where we can’t see our way out and sometimes we need some help; whether it’s a nudge from the right person, a bit of a break or a new perspective. So much of this novel is about Nicola’s transformation and her attempt to re-find the old her. The fun, relaxed, trusting Nicola. One edit note from Novelicious Books can sum up how I feel about her. In the margin it just said, “Aw. I want to give her a big hug”. I too felt a sisterly affection for her and hope the reader is gunning for her happy ending.
As for the other characters – are any of them based on real people? Well the pathologically-happy cleaner Basia shares my own mother’s name and is a nod at her impossibly sunny nature. She has to be one of my favourite minor characters and I adore the fact that she seems tickled by the everyday. Brother Mark is inspired by the friendly banter of my own brothers and sisters – I love that relationships and family features heavily in the book. And, of course, then there are the men. A hotch potch of bad dates, good dates and tiny moments of “ahhhhhh”. Some of those dates are based on men I went out with, but on that score, you’ll just have to keep guessing. I will give away nothing. Unless you ask me really nicely. And then I will probably spill.
I hope you enjoy the read.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rosie spent her university years writing pantomimes based on old classics. The 2003 production of The Wizard of Odd: Search for the Ruby Strippers enjoyed critical acclaim. This was followed a year later with a successful showing of Harry Potter: The Musical (complete with moving opening number, In my Cupboard I will Stay).
Rosie went on to write a winning short story in the La Senza/Little Black Dress Short Story Competition and was shortlisted in a few others including competitions run by Women and Home and The Daily Mail. Her first full-length novel, How to Get a (Love) Life, will be published in January 2014 by Novelicious Books.
Join in the Twitter chat by using the hashtag #HowToGetALoveLife.
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