Lucy Vine is a journalist who writes for many magazines and newspapers including ‘Grazia’,’Stylist’ and ‘Glamour’. Her first book called ‘Hot Mess’ was published in 2017 and her fourth book about friendship called ‘Bad Choices is out now.
- For readers of the blog who may not be familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing.
Hello! My name is Lucy Vine, I’m an author of four books, ‘Hot Mess’, ‘What Fresh Hell’, ‘Are We Nearly There Yet?’ and ‘Bad Choices,’ which was out in June. I’ve been writing my whole life, but started writing professionally with a job on magazines when I was 20. I worked for lots of different magazines over the years before speaking with a publisher about an idea for a novel. I worked closely with that first editor and we produced ‘Hot Mess’, which came out in 2017!
- Can you tell us about your new book called ‘Bad Choices’?
‘Bad Choices’ is a love story – but a friendship love story. It’s about Natalie and Zoe and spans 20 years, with each chapter skipping a year. They first meet aged 14, in the school loos, where they bond over periods and a shared birthday. From there we follow their many ups and downs over the years, which are hopefully funny and heartwarming.
- You’ve got quite a unique style of writing your books. Can you tell us about it?
I’ve actually had quite a different style of writing for all my books, to be honest! The first one was very collaborative, working with my Orion editor, Katie Seaman. I wrote 10k words a week and sent it over to her for her to read. She gave me encouragement to keep going and guidance when I was heading in a direction that wasn’t working. And it meant we had a completed book in two months… I haven’t done that with the other three, as I had a bit more confidence in what I was doing. But I do still write very quickly (I’ve just finished no. 5 and it took me about six weeks).
- What’s your favourite opening line from a book?
Ooh, this feels too much like my English lit degree, haha. I have the worst memory for this kind of thing, and if I give you an answer, it would only be one I’d googled to make myself sound clever, so I won’t.
- If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
I’m lucky to have met quite a few authors over the last few years (authors are the nicest people!), so I’d probably gather some I already know I get on well with! I know it would be super fun having a book club with Daisy Buchanan, Lindsey Kelk, Paige Toon, Holly Bourne, Andi Osho, Isy Suttie, Ayisha Malik and Isabelle Broom. Can we throw in some book bloggers too? Also the nicest people ever!
- What’s your favourite book of all time?
You CANNOT ask me this! That is an impossible question! To be honest, the answer changes a lot and is very dependent on my mood. I comfort re-read a lot of Marian Keyes, who is my queen forever. Maybe Marian’s ‘Anybody Out There’ or ‘Rachel’s Holiday’ or ‘Watermelon’? Or ‘The Day of the Triffids’ if I’m feeling apocalyptic, or ‘Catch 22’ if I’m feeling giggly, or ‘Tess of the D’Urberville’ if I’m feeling weepy.
- What’s your favourite part of the writing process?
This will sound silly, but the writing. There is so much to the process that isn’t writing – planning, timelines, thinking, editing, rewriting, networking, crying – but those weeks when I’m just writing a first draft, and I know exactly what I’m doing and where it’s going, is an absolute unparalleled joy. It’s why I do this job.
- If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
I would Sellotape all of Marian Keyes’ books together so it becomes a compilation. That’s one.
For no. 2 I would bring along Hanya Yanagihara’s ‘A Little Life’ because I loved it and have been meaning to reread it for ages and it’s fucking long, so would keep me occupied.
And 3. I would bring along my own first book, ‘Hot Mess’. Not even to read, just because looking at it and knowing I wrote a book gives me the best feeling.
- What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
I know it’s obvious, but read and write endlessly. You’re finetuning an art, and that’s how you do it. But also, you need to find your bravery. You need so much bravery to put your work out there for judgement. I know so many writers who have spent their whole life re-writing a manuscript without sending it out to agents. And that’s so easily done. You have to push the button and be brave. You’ll also need that bravery for the negative reviews and disappointments, ha.
- When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
My dogs, Ivy and Teddy. They’re a big part of the dream; sitting in my garden office (that I just got! I love it!), writing novels with dogs at my feet. DREAM.
- And finally, do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website?
I’m not allowed to tell you much about it, but I’ve just finished my first draft of book 5, which was so much fun to write. It’ll be announced in the new year I think, and I am here to give you all the details then!
You can buy ‘Bad Choices’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops