Lucy-Anne Holmes is an actress living in Brighton. She is the author of three novels which have been published in ten countries. Lucy founded and spearheads the ‘No More Page 3’ campaign which has 10,000 supporters.
- Your new book is sweetly called ‘Just A Girl Standing in Front of a Boy’, can you tell us what the story is about and what inspired you to write it?
Well, it’s the story of Jenny Taylor whose ordered life is turned upside down in a 24 hour period. Her mother decides to come and stay with her in order to bond, her boyfriend proposes and then she meets a man who she has a ‘love at first sight’ connection with.
Oo what inspired me to write it? I actually started writing another book and this one sort of got a bit cross and wanted me to write it instead!! It feels like a sister novel with my previous book, ‘Unlike A Virgin’ as both are about women in their late 20s, and events happen to them which mean that they suddenly have to face up to and deal with things that happened to them in their youth that they had suppressed.
- To the readers of the website that may not be familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing.
I was originally an actress, and I came to writing because in 2006 I had a blog, which detailed my largely disastrous love life! Through the blog I was approached by some agents and publishers. One agent said ‘we think you should write a novel!’ So I said ‘ok.’ And I had a go!! My head nearly exploded about a thousand times, but I did in the end manage to write a novel and was lucky enough for it to be published. ‘Just A Girl Standing In Front of a Boy’ is my fourth novel.
- Out of the many books that you have read over the years, which one would you have liked said “I wrote that”?
I think I did actually say that after I read ‘One Day’! Such a simple concept to visit a couple on the same day every year. And it’s always those simply concepts that make you go ‘ahhhh, why didn’t I think of that?!” I think I also said it through a fug of tears at the end of Jojo Moyes, ‘Me Before You’.
- You founded the ‘No More Page 3’ campaign, what was your reason behind that?
Well, I bought a copy of ‘The Sun’ newspaper during the Olympics and found I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that the largest female image was the Page 3 image, even though Jessica Ennis had just won her terrific gold medal. I kept thinking ‘what is this saying about a woman’s place in society??’ It’s a national family newspaper and it shows page after page of pictures of men in clothes, doing stuff, ie running the country and achieving in sport and a massive image of a woman standing in their knickers showing her breasts for men. We’re sending out two very different messages about each gender, and kids see the paper, it even gives away free kids toys. What does it teach little girls about where their value lies? What does it teach boys about how to respect women? It’s 2014 if we believe in equality we can’t be showing these pictures in newspapers.
- Who is favourite literary hero or heroine?
Golly, this is hard!! Ok, I have to say..and this is maybe going to sound a bit weird…deep breath, Lucy, out with it! ‘Anne of Green Gables’! I read those books so many times growing up, she was feisty and loving and curious about everything. I just loved her.
- I always thought that the opening line to ‘The Lovely Bones’ was quite memorable, are there any opening lines to books that stuck out to you?
I’m a bit of a fan of a Dickens start! In particular, David Copperfield, ‘Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.
- What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
I would say keep writing!! And share your work!! It can feel really scary to do this at first, but I feel it really ups your game. Write something, get it as good as you can and then share it with people you respect, and say ‘what do you think?’ It’s a really good practise to get into. You can always ignore suggestions that people make, or often you might get insights which really strengthen your work.
I’d also really recommend blogging too as it’s so immediate. You can write something and publish it and that gives a nice sense of completion and satisfaction. If you’re working on a novel it takes months and months and MONTHS to experience the satisfaction of completion so blogging is a nice antidote to that!
- And finally Lucy-Anne, do you have any projects or releases on the horizon that you would like to share with the readers of the website?
I am very busy at the moment working on the No More Page 3 campaign, please do sign the petition change.org/nomorepage3 and find us on Twitter and Facebook. Do join us!! It’s a really lively, creative and rather glorious campaign. I am also writing a non-fiction book about sex, feminism and female sexuality, and I have a really lovely rom-com idea which I’m itching to write also when I get the time!!
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