In conversation with... Holly Seddon

Hi Holly! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of Love Will Tear Us Apart. Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A: Thank you! It’s about Kate and Paul, childhood friends who made a vow as teenagers that if they were still single aged 30, they would get married. It’s something so many of us have done, but the difference here is that they actually did it. The story follows them in the run up to their tenth wedding anniversary and we meet them as children and see how and why they became so tightly bound. And of course, nothing is quite what it seems… 

Where do you normally find the inspiration for your novels and what sparked the idea for this book in particular?

A: It can come from anywhere. News stories, overheard conversations, personal experiences… Writers are like magpies, we store little bits of gold away for future use. I keep a list of ideas on my phone but the ideas I really love are always in my mind anyway. This was one of those. 

Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing or did it develop before your eyes as the characters grew on the page and did something that you were not expecting?

A: I had a different plot planned, very loosely, and then I wrote the characters as children and I couldn’t bring myself to do to them what I’d planned! That’s not to say they have an easy time of it… 

If this novel could be turned into a film, who would you cast in the role of Kate and Paul?

A: I would love to see Karen Gillian as Kate. She’s a tall redhead, and a fantastic actress who I know would really bring Kate to life! And for Paul, I could picture Matthew Goode as a very handsome Paul… 

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about a scene in the book that you love or that was particularly difficult to write?

A: The great storm of 1987. It’s a pivotal night for so many reasons and I also remember it very clearly as a child myself, living just down the road from the fictional village Kate and Paul live in. 

Is there anything that didn’t make it into the final version of the book?

A: No. Unlike my other books, I didn’t have to ditch very much at all. It was more a case of adding during the editing process. 

If you are already working on your next writing project, would you mind giving us a little anticipation of what we are to expect?

A: It’s very early days (I’ve had a few failed attempts – book four syndrome is real!) but I’m very excited about it. The protagonist Marianne – like Alex, Robin and Kate – arrived fully formed and I was like “yes, you’re finally here!”   

Due to the popularity of social networking websites, interacting with readers – be it via Twitter, Facebook Instagram etc. – is becoming increasingly important. How do you cope with these new demands on authors and do you think that they somehow disrupt your writing schedule?

A: I think it can be a great way to interact with readers if that’s what you feel comfortable doing. While I do think it can help grow an author’s profile and help readers feel more connected to their work, it’s only worth doing if it doesn’t get in the way of the most important part of an author’s life: writing the books!

I personally live very much online, in part because I live abroad and it’s how I stay in touch, but also I’m one of the generation who were teenagers (okay, very late teenagers) when the internet was first blooming into what it is today. But there are times when I have to step away, either to concentrate on writing or just real life getting in the way. And I have to just throw my hands up and hope it’s not a problem! (I don’t think it is…)

What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

A: Just never stop. You know you’re a writer, and you’ll come up against so many people who don’t get what you’re doing, or who want you to do something else with them instead, or who reject your work… but you know you’re a writer, so just keep writing.

Thank you for your time!

Love Will Tear Us Apart was published by Corvus Books on June 7th. You can find my thoughts on this novel here, where you can also find out how you could win a copy of the book.

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