The lovely Annie Lyons is the first ever Carina author to be published in paperback!! I caught up with her to chat about Not Quite Perfect...
1) Firstly, congratulations for being the first Carina author to make the transition for ebook to print; what was your reaction when you found out?
Thank you very much and also for hosting me today. I had known for a while that it was a possibility so it wasn’t a shock but it was fantastic when I finally got the news.
To be honest, it didn’t sink in properly until I walked into Asda and saw it on the shelf nestled between Bridget Jones and Stephen King. Now THAT was a special moment…
2) In Not Quite Perfect, both Emma and Rachel face struggles in their relationships. What do you think brings a relationship to life in a novel, and is there key to making it realistic?
I think dialogue is key for me. I spend quite a long time thinking about situations and what the person would actually say to make it as realistic as possible. I am also extraordinarily nosy and my husband gets a bit cross with me when we’re out in public because I am invariably listening to someone else’s conversation instead of him!
3) In some ways, the two sisters represent two different routes in life, but each ends up making similar decisions at key moments. What do you think this says about people in general?
Emma and Rachel have very different lives but the same background and the relationship with their parents is key to the choices they make. I think this is true for lots of people. You think you’re not influenced by your past and your family experience but it’s there, underpinning everything you do.
4) At the opening of the novel, the sisters' mother Diana seems quite unsympathetic, but as the narrative unfolds, little by little we begin to understand her. When writing, did you find that characters surprised you, as Diana does the readers?
Absolutely. My characters always surprise me and lead me by the hand through the story. I try to make people as rounded and realistic as possible. Human beings aren’t either heroes or villains – there’s more than one side to everybody. Everyone has their struggles too and I like to explore them if I can.
5) One of the things that makes Not Quite Perfect unique, is the use of the present tense throughout the entire novel. Was this a conscious decision and what impact do you think it has?
I have to come clean and say that it wasn’t a conscious decision. It was the first book I’d ever written and it just flowed in that way but it works for me. I hadn’t really considered what impact this has but looking at it now, it probably brings more of an immediacy to the story which flits quite quickly between the sisters and takes place over a relatively short period of time. I think a few people have found it unusual but most don’t seem to mind and some love it!
6) And finally, can you tell us about any other projects that you're currently working on?
I have been doing lots of fab interviews and writing blog articles for this fantastic tour to talk about Not Quite Perfect and my new book, Dear Lizzie. It’s been a blast – bloggers are an amazing, dedicated bunch – I salute you all!
I also have a new character nagging at my brain and an empty notebook to fill over the summer holidays in preparation for starting my new book in September. I’m quite excited about this one…
Does that sound suitably mysterious? I would tell you more if I could!
Annie Lyons is the best-selling author of Not Quite Perfect (now available in paperback) and Not Quite Perfect Christmas (A Short Story). Her new novel Dear Lizzie is published by Carina and is available as an eBook.