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Mhairi McFarlane Reveals New Book – Don’t You Forget About Me

Don't You Forget About MeDelightful news as Mhairi McFarlane is returning to our bookshelves in the Spring of 2019, with her new book called ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’.

What the back cover says –

It began with four words.

‘I love your laugh. x’

But that was twelve years ago. It really began the day Georgina was fired from The Worst Restaurant in Sheffield (© Tripadvisor) and found The Worst Boyfriend in the World (© Georgina’s best friends) in bed with someone else.

So when her new boss, Lucas McCarthy, turns out to be the boy who wrote those words to her all that time ago, it feels like the start of something.

The only problem? He doesn’t seem to remember Georgina – at all…

I absolutely loved Mhairi‘s previous books, with catchy song titles that stick in your head for months. I can’t wait to get stuck into this book!

You can pre-order Don’t You Forget About Me from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 7th March 2019.

Mhairi McFarlane Writer’s Tip

Mhairi McFarlane

Wow….well. Please let me say – having written one book, or even more, doesn’t make you an expert! Trust your own gut, always. For what it’s worth, this would broadly be my three step process: 1) Gaze out of windows and at ceilings and in baths, and let ideas drift to you. Never underestimate lazy drool daydream time. It’s essential harvesting. 2) Then write stuff down, and be prepared for the grimly prosaic truth: compared to what you spun in your head, it’ll seem a bit crap. And you rewrite and rewrite until it is less crap. And while you have wonderful moments of loving it, it’ll never be quite as great as you hoped and you have to be OK with that. You will fall in and out of love with it, on a daily basis. Most of the time, it’s more like learning to be bullish about degrees of failure, than fist pumping your own spot-on brilliance. This is the true secret grubby challenge of writing. Learning to face down disappointment and chase the good moments. 3) Finish. It seems so obvious, but, finish. Something unfinished is eternally lingering in the potentiality of perfection and ultimately is neither here nor there. Something finished is something that can make you a writer.
Mhairi McFarlane

Here’s Looking At You By Mhairi McFarlane

'Here's Looking At You‘Here’s Looking At You’ is Mhairi McFarlane’s second book.

Anna Alessi is an history expert, possessor of a lot of hair and an occasionally filthy mouth and seeks a nice man for intelligent conversation and Mills and Boon moments. Despite the oddballs that keep turning up on her dates, Anna couldn’t be happier. As a 30 year old something with a job she loves, life has turned out better than she dared dream. However, things aren’t always this way and her years spent as the ‘Italian Galleon’ of an East London comprehensive are ones she’d rather forget. So when James Fraser, the architect of Anna’s final humiliation at school walks back into her life and her world is turned upside down. But James seems a changed man. Polite. Mature. Funny, even. People can change, so why does Anna feel like she’s a fool to trust him?

To say that I loved this book, would be an understatement, I simply adored it! So much so that I found myself guffawing like a loon in work much to the amusement of my colleagues who ended up laughing along with me, when I got them to read certain parts aloud.

The story is about Anna, a beautifully smart and sassy girl who was horribly bullied in school before she blossomed into a swan. Fast forward eleven years after high school and a bit of a Carrie-esque incident, she finds herself Internet dating meeting men who would like to either pee on her or tell her stories of being bitten by monkey’s. Just when she feels that it’s time to give up, in walks James Fraser. Her high school crush who broke her heart and humiliated her.

Unbeknown to James, that Anna was at school with him, the two of them end up working together on a digital project before forming an unlikely friendship.

As time passes, the two of the form a bond, as James tries to mend his recently broken heart and Anna reluctantly discovers old feelings are returning to the surface.

This story was simply a joy to read and one that I could simply sit down and start all over again, straight away.

Our lead characters Anna and James, are wonderfully interesting and fun that you do feel an attachment to and want Anna to finally discover her Prince Charming and get her deserved happy ever after. The type of girl, that you would love as a friend, she has sardonic personality with a heart of gold. And, even though James has moments when he comes across a bit of a nasty character, you can’t help but sigh at his attractiveness and snigger at his witty quips.

The story is seen through the perspective of both characters which
gives an interesting and humorous insight into the way the opposite sex mind thinks and reacts to different scenarios.

Cleverly written with just right amount of wit and romance to make for a delightful reading and with the addition of Anna’s friends Michelle and Daniel who had great dry wit, Laurence, James best friend who was incredibly arrogant and annoying and finally Luther, a disgruntled and rather pampered cat I could not put this book down!

‘Here’s Looking At You’ is an incredibly witty and fun story that will have you captivated and sniggering throughout and has definitely fast tracked Mhairi into my favourite author category.

You can buy Here’s Looking At You from Amazon is available to buy from good bookshops.

Mhairi McFarlane

Mhairi McFarlaneMhairi was born in Scotland in 1976. She is based in Nottingham where she used to be a local journalist and now she’s a freelance writer and sometime-blogger. She lives with a man and a cat. She recently won Contemporary Romantic Novel at the RoNA’s with her first book, ‘You Had Me At Hello’ ‘Here’s Looking At You’ is her second book.

  1. Can you tell us what your new book ‘Here’s Looking At You’ is about and what inspired it?
    ‘Here’s Looking At You’ is about Anna, 32, who was horribly bullied at school for being overweight and foreign. She’s done a duckling-to-swan and now she’s a successful academic who goes to her school reunion and meets the former school hero, James, who was instrumental in her final humiliation. He doesn’t recognise this beautiful mysterious Italian….so they meet, they dislike each other (for obvious reasons, in Anna’s case) they get to know each other a little more and their opinions of each other start to change. I suppose in essence it’s a ‘what if you get what you need, not what you want’ tale, told from both the male and female perspective. Set in London, this time, not Manchester like ‘You Had Me At Hello’.
  2. To the readers of the website, that may not familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing
    I was a journalist in Nottingham on my local paper and – ouch – six years ago, had an idea I’d write a book, and here I am.
  3. Who is your favourite literary hero or heroine?
    Boring answer but Jane Austen is a biggie, as for many romance authors. In HLAY I stole some key moments (sorry ‘homaged’) from ‘Pride & Prejudice’. I love the way she does whip smart social satire as well as such felt emotion. Her observations about human nature ring just as true in the 21st century. James Fraser in ‘Here’s Looking At You’ is my attempt to do a Darcy-lite. Like a digital agency hipster Mr Darcy. You just know Darcy now would be a hipster – looking down at the leisure habits of lesser mortals. In an expensive cardigan.
  4. If you weren’t an author, what do you imagine yourself doing?
    Oh my goodness, I am bloody rubbish at most things so I am not exactly shuffling a full deck here. I love cats, so I’d run a posh cattery? What a cliche. I was having fantasies about opening a sandwich shop the other day. I must have been having a dizzy spell because I ran one after university and I know it’s nothing but a ball-ache. I was probably eating a particularly tasty sandwich at the time and getting that Bridget Jones-ish inner monologue: am maybe secret genius at ‘baguettes’ *imagines self at National Sandwich Awards*
  5. What authors do you admire?
    Tons. Off the top of my head, Kate Atkinson, David Nicholls, Marian Keyes and Lisa Jewell.
  6. Regarding the phenomenon of “Fifty Shades of Grey “and how well it did. Some people criticised the writing and the books that followed on after the series.  Do you think the standards of writing has slipped?
    Slipped? Cor, I couldn’t say. Didn’t there used to be the term ‘penny dreadfuls’ coined (no pun) for bad pulp fiction, back in the day? So maybe slipping is wishful thinking. As for copycatting, irrespective of those books’ quality, I have to say that blame lies pretty squarely with publishers and the desire to emulate a commercial success. As for Fifty Shades….yes I think it’s rubbish writing. Hell, you only have so many years on the planet, why lie? But I’m sure E.L. James gives not a fig what I or others think, on her island in Dubai in the shape of a butt plug.
  7. I always thought the opening lines to “The Lovely Bones” was quite memorable, are there any opening lines to books that stuck out to you?
    “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again”. From ‘Rebecca’. It is a truth universally acknowledged…Sorry, boringly obvious.
  8. Out of the many books that you have read over the years, which one would you have liked to have said “I wrote that”?
    I knew my plot was compared to it, so I will be predictable – and risk being considered a plagiarist again – by saying ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls. I would stress my book was officially sitting with an agent by the time ‘One ‘Day was published! INNOCENT! But, yes. I think Emma Morley is the modern heroine so many of us strive to write. Sardonic, interesting, flawed, funny, totally human. A real ‘damn you, Nicholls, you read my diaries’ type of woman. And he’s so witty. I hate him. I don’t, I have the most massive crush. Do not tell him.
  9. When not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
    See my friends and family, eat nice food, see films, catch up on box sets like a typical middle class 30-something git, drink fizzy booze, play with my cat. I have no interesting hobbies and I do apologise. That bit on my CVs was always howling fiction in itself.
  10. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    ‘Pride & Prejudice’ as I never tire of it. ‘Zero History’ by William Gibson as my boyfriend wants me to read it so he’d be pleased to hear it when I returned. And David Simon’s ‘The Corner’ because I’ve had next to my bed since forever since I devoured Homicide and need to crack on. Seems to me having read more than one of your Desert Island books already is making life unnecessarily repetitive.
  11. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    Wow….well. Please let me say – having written one book, or even more, doesn’t make you an expert! Trust your own gut, always. For what it’s worth, this would broadly be my three step process: 1) Gaze out of windows and at ceilings and in baths, and let ideas drift to you. Never underestimate lazy drool daydream time. It’s essential harvesting. 2) Then write stuff down, and be prepared for the grimly prosaic truth: compared to what you spun in your head, it’ll seem a bit crap. And you rewrite and rewrite until it is less crap. And while you have wonderful moments of loving it, it’ll never be quite as great as you hoped and you have to be OK with that. You will fall in and out of love with it, on a daily basis. Most of the time, it’s more like learning to be bullish about degrees of failure, than fist pumping your own spot-on brilliance. This is the true secret grubby challenge of writing. Learning to face down disappointment and chase the good moments. 3) Finish. It seems so obvious, but, finish. Something unfinished is eternally lingering in the potentiality of perfection and ultimately is neither here nor there. Something finished is something that can make you a writer.
  12. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    Nothing! Have keyboard, will write. Cup of coffee’s always nice.
  13. Here’s Looking At You is a famous line from the romantic classic Casablanca, if Casablanca were to be remade, who would play Rick Blaine and Lisa Lund?
    George Clooney and Marion Cotillard? Not wildly original answer but the first duo that springs to mind. Harrison Ford and Eva Green would be pretty cool too.

Read more about Mhairi McFarlane online or follow her on Twitter Mhairi McFarlane

Mhairi McFarlane’s New Book – Here’s Looking At You

Here's Looking At YouFor the people who fell in love with ‘You Had Me At Hello’ then I have delightful news as the RoNA award winning author Mhairi McFarlane is returning with her second book ‘Here’s Looking At You’ and can I say, I’m so excited about this book!

The story of ‘Here’s Looking At You’ is –

Aureliana returns to school after fifteen years for a reunion. School doesn’t hold happy memories for her, as being a roly poly Italian (known as the Italian Galleon), and always armed with a Tupperware full of pungent Mediterranean food, she was bullied incessantly throughout her years there.

Now in her 30s, Aureliana wants to put the past behind her once and for all and face up to the bullies who made her life hell. But she is much-changed from the girl she once was – all curves and because I’m worth it hair – and no one recognises her when she arrives. Losing her bottle, she backs out on her plan for revenge and slinks off, hoping never to be reminded of her years at school again.

But fate gets in the way, and after the reunion her path keeps crossing with James – major hunk and Aureliana’s major crush back at school. But alas, as a cronie to the bullies, Aureliana to this day believes that his beautiful exterior hides an ugly interior. As they continue to cross paths a love/hate relationship ensues until eventually something shifts, and they both start to discover what the person underneath is really like…

‘You Had Me At Hello’ was one of my favourite debuts of 2012, so I am eagerly awaiting the release of this book and with an eye catching cover and filled with Mhairi’s wisdom and wit, this book is bound to be another cracker!

You can pre-order Here’s Looking At You from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 5th December 2013.