Happy Friday everyone!
I felt I needed to do something more interesting on my blog, so today I’m featuring an interview with author Liz Tipping whose second book, Don’t You Forget About Me was published by Harper Collins on Monday.
Liz's first book, Five Go Glamping came out last summer and I loved it, so I was eagerly awaiting this new one. As you will see from my review, which follows the interview, I wasn't disappointed.
When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer, and what was it that triggered your decision?
I didn’t really decide I wanted to be a writer! I thought I’d have a go one afternoon a few years back. I was entering a competition to write the opening chapter of a novel and thought it would be fun. The day after, I uploaded what I wrote onto the now defunct Authonomy website and the full manuscript was requested by a Harper Collins editor.
What was the first thing you wrote? I’m not asking about school essays here of course, just proper writing.
Five Go Glamping was the first thing I wrote.
Did you do any creative writing as a child?
Yes, everyone does at school. I remember writing poems at primary school. They tended to be about the seasons as I remember.
Having read both of your books I feel I’ve got to know the characters pretty well. Are they based on people you know (or yourself even), or do they stem entirely from your imagination?
No, they’re not from people I know, although some of the things the customers say in Don’t You Forget About me are things that customers have said to me when working in a video library myself!
Do you have a particular time of day that you find is best for writing, and if so why is that?
Afternoons are normally best for me, but I have no idea why. I’d like to write in the morning and have the rest of the day to myself.
Also thinking about the new book, have you ever had your John Hughes moment? If so, when and where, who with and what were you wearing?
My wedding reception! It was at the Irish centre in Birmingham and we had our first dance to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I was wearing my wedding dress which was a very pale gold satin- more of a prom dress really than a wedding gown.
And still on that note, which one are you? Brain, Athlete, Basket Case, Princess or Criminal?
I love your first two books so I hope there’s some more to come. Can you give any hints about book number three?
No, I don’t have any clear plans at the moment- have tons of ideas but nothing that’s a definite as yet.
So now you all know a little more about Liz, let's see what her book is all about....
An athlete, a princess, a brain, a criminal, a basket case…Cara Dunham is definitely one of them. But stuck in her small hometown, with no prospects of escape, she's struggling to find her thing. Her life is more book club than Breakfast Club and there is no Judd Nelson in sight!
So when Cara is invited to a school reunion she knows this is her chance to channel her inner Molly Ringwald and grab her John Hughes moment, once and for all. Because her teenage love, Daniel Rose will be there, the coolest boy at school and the one that got away.
But transforming into an 80's icon isn't easy and Cara enlists the help of her oldest friend, Stubbs, to teach her all she needs to know about being cool and quirky – a la Ringwald.
Except Stubbs thinks she’s perfect, just as she is and takes it upon himself to show Cara that her life might not be ‘movie perfect’, but there is always another take to get things right. And maybe the hero she's dreamed of has been under her nose the whole time…
Well the blurb certainly makes it sound attractive.....
Don’t You Forget About Me is Liz Tipping’s second novel, and having thoroughly enjoyed her first, Five Go Glamping, I was naturally very excited to read this one.
I wasn’t disappointed. In fact I can honestly say I loved this book. It kept me reading right into the night – under the covers with a torch, like a naughty child – because I couldn’t bear to put it down.
The main character, Cara, is so easy to identify with and I love that in a heroine. She is a totally normal girl, unsettled in her job, wanting more but not knowing exactly what. Except she would like to be like Molly Ringwald. Obsessed with John Hughes movies, and with Molly Ringwald in particular, Cara spends a lot of her time trying to work out which movie character she was like, or should aspire to be like.
When she gets invited to a school reunion she enlists the help of her old school friend Stubbs, with her quest, at the same time failing to see that he likes her the way she is. (I have to admit to developing a little bit of a crush on Stubbs…..)
I loved Cara, completely understood her self-doubt that had gestated since her school days, yet also got extremely exasperated with her on occasions, actually finding myself shouting at the book once or twice! I got totally caught up in the story and desperately hoped the outcome would be satisfactory.
But I’m not going to tell you whether it was or not since I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice to say this is a very enjoyable read, perfect for the beach, or to curl up with on a cosy afternoon. Or to read under the covers with a torch of course….
I award it a very well deserved 5 Stars.