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Claire Frost

Claire Frost“Claire Frost grew up in Manchester, the middle of three sisters. She always wanted to do a job that involved writing, so after studying Classics at Bristol University she found a job in magazines. For the last 10 years she’s worked at ‘The Sun on Sunday’s Fabulous’ magazine, where she is Assistant Editor and Books Editor. She can mostly be found at her desk buried beneath an ever-increasing pile of books or at home writing funny and heart-warming novels about love, life and social media.

  1. 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.
    Hi Bronagh – and hi readers of the Handwritten Girl blog! I love writing fun, relatable, feelgood books about romantic relationships, female friendships and how we live our lives online and IRL. I am also a journalist and work as Assistant Editor at Fabulous magazine, where I edit copy plus review books and interview authors for the magazine’s books pages
  2. Can you tell us about your new book called ‘Married at First Swipe’?
    I would love to! Married At First Swipe is about Hannah, who is always looking for her next adventure but also wants to find someone she can settle down with, and her best friend Jess, who is married to her childhood sweetheart and they live with their lovely seven-year-old twins in a nice semi-detached house in a Manchester suburb. But when Jess reveals her dating business is on the verge of going under, Hannah comes up with a daring plan to generate much-needed publicity: she will let Jess set her up on the ultimate blind date – which will take place at the altar. What could possibly go wrong?!
  3. If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
    Ooh, I like this question! I am lucky enough to know lots of amazing authors, all of whom I’d love to start a book club with (in fact, a few of us are already in a book club together!), so I would invite all of them. And knowing I had them as my moral support, I would also invite some authors I’d love to fangirl embarrassingly at, such as Jilly Cooper, Kate Atkinson and David Nicholls.
  4. You also have the exciting job of being a magazine book reviewer, what’s it like now having people review your books?
    It’s, um, a bit weird, to be honest! But I also know just how many novels book reviewers get sent, so I am so grateful when people take the time to read and review my books. It means a huge amount when someone tells me they’ve enjoyed reading something I’ve written – whether that person is a book reviewer, blogger or any other kind of reader – and I don’t think that feeling will ever get old.
  5. What’s your favourite opening line from a book?
    I am not sure anyone will ever better the opening line of Dodie Smith’s ‘I Capture The Castle’: ‘I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.’
  6. What’s your favourite part of the writing process?
    The bit when I hold a finished copy of my book in my hands!
  7. Married At First Swipe

  8. What’s your favourite book of all time?
    Argh, this is SUCH a difficult one! But I will always love ‘The Secret Garden’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and more recently, ‘Life After Life’ by Kate Atkinson is breath-takingly amazing.
  9. Is there anything that you would change about your writing journey?
    I really try not to have regrets, but if there was one thing I could tell past-me (and, in fact, present-me!) it’s to have more self-belief in my writing. I have spent – and definitely still spend – far too much time doubting whether I can really do this. But I now have two actual paperbacks with my name on the front, so I definitely CAN do it!
  10. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    Hmm, if I was stranded for a very long time, I guess I’d want books I could re-read over and over again without getting bored. So I would choose the first three books of Elizabeth Jane Howard’s Cazelet chronicles – every time I read the series (which I do every couple of years) I realise just how brilliant she was at creating characters who are both multi-layered, interesting and relatable.
  11. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    I know everyone says this, but actually putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!) is the only real way to improve and develop your writing. You can read all the ‘how to write’ book you want, but unless you are actually filling a page with words, the theory behind it all doesn’t mean anything. I know that every day I write I learn so much – and I hope that every book I write is better than the last.
  12. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    A large cup of coffee (and my espresso martini scented candle!).
  13. 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 am working on my third novel right now – all I can say is that it is a little bit different but I am so excited about it!

    You can find Claire Frost on Twitter

    You can pre-order ‘Married At First Swipe’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 4th February 2021.

Married At First Swipe By Claire Frost

Married At First SwipeClaire Frost is back with another hilarious story about relationships and friendships called ‘Married At First Swipe’.

Hannah lives life on the edge. Never one to pass up on a new adventure, she has truly been living her best life. But once the adrenaline wears off, she wishes she had someone to spend the quieter moments with too. Learning that her best friend’s online dating business has taken a hit, she comes up with an idea that just might solve both of their problems. Jess has been with her husband for twenty years. They have a stable marriage, great kids and run their own businesses. But what looks like a perfect life from the outside has its own problems within, and with her business on the brink Jess can’t help but wonder where the spark has gone in her life, and whether settling down is all it’s cracked up to be.
When Hannah embarks upon her latest scheme: finding a man using Jess’s dating app and meeting him for the first time at the altar, both women start to realise the grass isn’t always greener. Can Hannah help her friend save her failing business or will Jess stop her from making what could be the biggest mistake of her life?

The story is seen through the narrative of best friends Jess and Hannah who work together on Jess’s dating app called ‘Save the Date’.

The women have been best friends for years and are polar opposites of each other. Where Jess is settled, married her high school sweetheart with twins, Hannah is a flighty character who’s at her most happiest travelling the world and taking part in adventures whilst bar tending to provide her with spending money. Now settled back in Manchester, Hannah envies Jess’s life with the perfect husband and family, but behind closed doors Jess’s life is far from perfect, her business isn’t doing well, money is short and she’s tired of constantly having to pick up after husband and children. It’s on a night out that the friends come up with the plan of finding a husband for Hannah through ‘Save the Date’. This will provide plenty of exposure and interest in the fledging business as well as get a husband for Hannah, the thing is Hannah will only meet her husband on her wedding day.

As the story progresses and Jess finds a potential husband for Hannah, both women are having to face changes in their lives, the huge media interest in the unorthodox way of finding a husband as well as judgement from family and friends.

I really enjoyed this story, it’s only Claire’s second novel, but she’s already an author that I look forward to reading. Her writing is charming, fresh and flows at lovely pace, engaging, poignant with humour riddled throughout.

The characters are relatable, Jess is at a turning point in her life, she’s unhappy in her marriage, struggling with work and Hannah’s wedding is potentially the lifesaver of ‘Save the Date’. She throws herself into the exposure from the upcoming nuptials and begins to see only the status of the wedding and not the actual wedding itself. I loved her Hannah’s attitude, she’s a daring and trusting person putting all her trust in her best friend to find her husband. She’s an open-minded, but is prone to moments of insecurity especially with her mother, who’s like a Hynacinth Bouquet character with airs and graces.

A frank and honest story about relationships and the pressures of society, ‘Married at First Swipe’ is a deliciously fun and quirky story that explores relationships and sometimes looks can be deceiving and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

You can pre-order ‘Married At First Swipe’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 4th February 2021.

Living My Best Life By Claire Frost

Living My Best Life‘Living My Best Life’ is Claire Frost’s debut novel.

Recently dumped by her boyfriend of ten years, Bell is struggling to move on with her life – and surrender the fleecy pyjamas she’s been living in since January. Haunted by #blessed on social media, she can’t help but compare her life to those she follows online, wondering where she is going wrong. In the world of social media, Millie is the successful online influencer @mi_bestlife. But in real life she’s just a regular single mum trying to make ends meet, while fending off the younger competition and tenacious internet trolls. Her Instagram feed is far more #BestLie than #BestLife, and soon Millie begins to wish her life was more like her filters. It isn’t until Bell and Millie’s paths cross that they begin to realise what they’re both missing. Can Millie prove to Bell that life online isn’t always what it appears to be? And in return, can Millie learn that she needs to start living for the moment and not for the likes?

I adored this book, it was a lovely story to curl up with. I met Claire at a Books and the City event earlier this year and she was warm and bubbly and her personality really shone through in her characters.

After suddenly finding herself single after the end of a ten year relationship, Bell finds questioning her place in life and signs herself up to a photography class where she meets new friends Laura and Ben and finds herself growing in confidence when she becomes the spokesperson for the local community hall. When she befriends local influencer and single mother Millie, the pair of them become strong friends as they deal with the realities of life.

I really liked the characters in this book and their new friendship was a joy to observe. As well as focusing on new beginning of life, the stress of motherhood, this book also concentrates on the negative impact of social media and how much pressure there is put on society for the perfect post and life.

With fantastic characters, adorable children and riddled with humour, this book is cleverly written that really pulls the reader in.

Deliciously heartwarming and fun, ‘Living My Best Life’ is a fantastic debut from Claire Frost. Filled with humour, warmth and relatable characters, this book shows the powerful portrayal of social media and the challenges of starting over.

You can pre-order ”Living My Best Life’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 5th September 2019.