Today, I’d like to give a warm welcome on ‘My Writing Life’ to indie author, Clare Lydon. Clare writes contemporary lesbian romance. Clare and I met at the Indie Author Fair at Foyles organised by The Alliance of Independent Authors back in April.
This London Love – Clare Lydon
Could you make the leap and trust in love?
Kate Carter is a stylish and charismatic designer with the world at her feet – but that’s hard to remember when she’s single and everyone around her is annoyingly coupled up. Meanwhile, florist Meg Harding is all work and no play – far easier than trying to clear up the debris of her last relationship and move on with her life.
When Kate and Meg meet, their attraction is instant and undeniable. But will Meg be able to patch up her past so she can grasp the future with confidence? Can Kate make the leap and trust that this London love is worth a shot?
Two jaded hearts, one death, a tsunami of flowers & family overload. Get set for a sparkling romantic comedy, packed with British wit, played out in the UK’s love-struck capital city!
“Hello stranger — anyone would think someone had died.” Vicky gave Kate a hug and invited her in.
“Yeah, well – I’ve just sorted the flowers, so that’s one less job to do.” Kate followed Vicky into the kitchen and hung her jacket on the back of a dining chair as she sat down.
“Has Mum been on to you today?”
“Onto me? All over me more like,” Vicky said, filling the kettle. “Her and Aunty Viv were round this morning to see the boys, then she’s been calling me about catering arrangements — like I’m the fountain of all knowledge on the subject.”
Kate smiled. “You did do Dad’s.”
“That’s what she said! But it was five years ago.” Vicky paused. “Besides, I don’t think food is a top priority at funerals. People aren’t turning up for a gastronomic feast, are they? It’s not a bloody wedding.” She grabbed two mugs from the mug tree and set them down on the counter-top. “And anyway, did Uncle Mike have any friends?”
“Oh, you’re going to hell,” Kate said, laughing. “Along with me, by the way. I just went to organise the flowers and my oh my, the florist is smokin’ hot.”
Vicky let out a hoot of delight as she made the tea.
“I mean, properly gorgeous. But straight too, obviously.” Kate shrugged and took the biscuit tin from her sister.
Seconds later, Vicky plonked herself opposite Kate at the kitchen table. “Why straight too, obviously?” Vicky swept some of her long hair out of her face and eyeballed her sister.
“You know,” Kate replied. “She’s a florist.”
Vicky gave Kate a look. “And that means she’s straight because?”
“How many lesbian florists do you know?”
“Seriously?” Vicky looked amused.
“Look, I know loads of lesbians and not one of them is a florist.”
“So that means no other lesbians can be either? You’re very close-minded sometimes.” Vicky took a Jammy Dodger from the biscuit tin and bit into it. “I don’t think being a florist is a barrier to being a lesbian.”
“I think it might be,” Kate replied, deadpan. “I’m just saying that lesbians tend to be in certain occupations. Teachers, nurses, designers, writers, mental health, that sort of thing. Florists aren’t high on the list.”
Vicky took another bite of her biscuit. “And you tell me I’m prejudiced.”
Kate pouted. “I’m allowed to say these things, I’m a lesbian.”
“If you say so.” Vicky paused. “But more interesting than whether or not Ms Florist is gay is that you’re interested in her. And you haven’t been interested in anyone since Caroline.” Vicky gave Kate a double thumbs-up. “Does she have a name?”
Kate fluttered her eyelids and smiled. “Meg.”
Vicky snorted again. “Look at you, Ms Giggly! Did Meg have a wedding ring on?”
“She did not,” Kate replied, then blushed. “But I imagine florists wouldn’t wear them because they get their hands messy all the time.” Kate shrugged. “Anyway, nothing’s going to happen apart from Meg’s going to give us some lovely flowers for Uncle Mike’s funeral. And then I’ll never see her again and she can go back to her boyfriend — let’s call him Phil. The end.”
Vicky stuck her bottom lip out. “You’re so cute when you like someone,” she said. “Anyway, are you staying for dinner?”
Kate thought about it. “What you having?”
“Probably a Chinese takeaway. Just don’t report me as bad mother of the year, okay?”
“Guides’ honour,” Kate replied, holding up her three middle fingers.
“You weren’t even in the Guides, you liar.”
Please read on to find out more about Clare’s writing life.
Thanks so much to Julie for inviting me onto her blog to take part in the author spotlight. Being a keen country music fan and romance reader, I’m thrilled to be able to share my writing life here!
People sometimes get mixed up with the genre I write in – contemporary lesbian romance. They think it’s erotica, but it’s not – rather, my books are chicklit with lesbian leads. My characters are sassy and full of life, constantly tripping over their own feet but always managing to get back up again. My books have an over-riding message of love and hope, with a healthy dollop of British wit thrown in.
I published my first book, London Calling, in February 2014 and have just published my third, This London Love – and what a crazy, breakneck learning curve the last 18 months have been! What I’ve learned is that writing takes discipline, organisation and courage. Discipline to get the words down and edited in the first place (and to stop watching ‘Come Dine With Me’ in order to do so); organisation to get the book finished, the cover and book trailer done, and the marketing plan executed; and courage to put a small part of yourself out there every time. Because no matter what any writer tells you, inside every novel is a little piece of their heart and soul.
Lesbian romance is a genre still dominated by American writers, but the Brits are giving them a run for their money of late, which is great. I grew up reading American stories, and that was one of my goals in writing from a British perspective – to give UK readers a chance to read about somewhere they recognise. My first and third books are set in London, my second in Devon.
This London Love is a spin-off of my first book, London Calling. My debut did pretty well considering I was an unknown, and was compared (rather flatteringly) to iconic Richard Curtis films like ‘Notting Hill’ and ‘Four Weddings’. After that came out, I got a huge amount of emails asking what happened to Kate, a secondary character in the book, so I decided to write Kate’s story in This London Love. I’ve lived in London for 16 years and love it fiercely, so I hope my third novel captures London in all its glittering glory and holds true to my debut’s feel-good and entertainment factor. That was the aim at least!
I’m currently about 20k words into book four, and have also started a Christmas story that I hope to release this year as a novella. Writing about snow and tinsel in sweltering July has been fun, but I’m a huge fan of Christmas, so it’s on with Phil Spector’s Christmas album and away we go!
Clare Lydon is a Virgo, a Spurs fan, a coffee lover and a craft beer fan – especially the ones with the cool logos. She lives in London with her wife, watches far too much ‘A Place In The Sun’ and in her next life, wants to come back as Rayna James.
Follow Clare on Twitter: @clarelydon
More at: www.clarelydon.co.uk