Clare Lydon is a London-based author who’s just released her debut novel London Calling. A tale of one woman’s search for love in modern-day London, it’s littered with ladygays, a vat of tequila and a colourful array of Converse. We put some questions to Clare about her new novel and writing…
Your new novel is based in London. Do you live there?
Strictly speaking I’m an Essex girl but I moved to London in 1998 and have no plans to leave. I spent many years in Stoke Newington (lesbian central) before moving to Greenwich two years ago which is aces.
What’s the story?
London Calling is about Jess, who’s just been dumped and moves back from Sydney to London. It’s the story of her putting her life back together, getting a job, a new flat & looking for love with no shortage of hiccups along the way. Does she find her happy ever after? Once she manages to sort out her arse from her elbow, it could be on the cards.
What inspired you to write London Calling?
I’m a fan of lesbian fiction but most of the books I’d previously read were set in America, written by Americans. I enjoyed those but wanted to read books set in the UK, books that reflected the world I live in. So I put finger to keyboard. Of course, as soon as I did that I started discovering all the other UK-based lesbian authors but thought I’d carry on anyway…
How long did it take?
Longer than it should of but that’s generally because I’m easily persuaded into going down the pub/watching endless episodes of Homes Under The Hammer. But once I’d knocked out the first draft it was then a case of editing like a ninja. What I learned in the edit process is that I write the word ‘arse’ a lot. I’m arse-obsessed, clearly. My find & replace took hours.
Is there another novel in the works?
Yes there is and I’m hoping it’ll be out within the next six months. It’s not a sequel to London Calling but that could happen too.
What’s your favourite word?
Custard. Caspian. Cake. Words beginning with C, clearly. I’ll leave you to fill in the blanks.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Being raised a catholic, I take pleasure in guilt.
If you could be stuck in a lift with any three lesbians, who would you choose?
Ellen Page, Ellen DeGeneres and Tegan & Sara. I know that’s strictly four, but I don’t think we’d exceed the weight limit.
What are you reading right now?
Lindsey Kelk’s I Heart Christmas – as I write lesbian chicklit I thought I should see how the heterosexuals do it. It’s pretty good. Then I’ve got Armistead Maupin’s new one to read: you just know that any book with Anna Madrigal in it will be a great one.
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