The Thirty List

ThirtyList_List1-01You may have noticed I have a book out today. But what’s this? The cover is pastel, and has a cartoon dog on? Surely there are no dark crimes in this??

Busted – this is my attempt at a romcom/chick lit/contemporary women’s fiction book. There are issues about what to call it, but essentially it’s a romance, with jokes in.

I have a theory that the best books are always written off-contract, when you’re supposed to be doing something else, but you’re cheating on your MS with this other idea that’s obsessing you. I found myself writing this all in a burst between, I think, October 2013 and February 2014. I can’t remember writing a lot of it, which I take as a good sign. It came out, nearly fully formed. This book is special to me, as that was one of the least-good times in my life (horrible breakup in the same year I’d got divorced, fourth house move in 10 months, and the money issues that tend to be the icing on the rubbish cake of both those things). Also, I quite literally got hit by a car on the day I finished it (typed on with my arm three times normal size).

But I got out of it. I wrote this book, with all its jokes and hopefulness, and I can honestly say I wrote my way out of the glumness with it. So it’s very special to me. I hope you will enjoy it too.

1. It is all about lists – there’s one in every chapter, which makes (quick check) thirty-seven lists.

2. It features three break-ups.

3. It starts and ends with a wedding.

4. It includes one cute four-year-old and one Westie.

5. Beyonce features heavily.

6. I’ve done, I think, all but two of the things on the list. Not saying which!

7. There are four kisses. Three awkward, one lovely.

8. The seed of the book came when I was crying in service-station toilets on the M25, while wearing a Christmas jumper with reindeer on it, which just goes to show, every cloud…

9. There’s a bit where someone does a Sinead O’Connor impression while wearing a swimming cap. I find this most amusing.

10. Most of the locations are places I’ve been in the last year or so. Dive bars, restaurants, stables, grotty flats, you name it.

I’d love to know your thoughts and what’s on your own ‘thirty list’ (gonna have to do a forty list now for myself). Tweet me your list items at @inkstainsclaire and you could win this ‘list kit’.

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