Thursday, June 22, 2023

Q&A with Lucy Vine




Lucy Vine is the author of the new novel Seven Exes. Her other books include Hot Mess. Also a journalist, columnist, and editor, she lives in London.


Q: What inspired you to write Seven Exes, and how did you create your character Esther?


A: Sad as it sounds, I’ve always been pathetically obsessed with my exes! Before I met my partner David, I would go around and around – in my head, but also literally – revisiting exes and trying to make things work with awful, trash-fire idiots, while forever wearing those dumb, rose-tinted specs. So it’s a subject I’ve wanted to write about for ages!


I also come from a background of magazine journalism so I loved squeezing in a reference to all those old articles I used to write on the reg.


Esther was a combination of all the women I love most. She’s good-hearted and trying to be her best self, but she’s also pretty selfish and blinkered about a lot of things. Writing flawed women always feels weirdly subversive in a world where we ask women to be nice above all else. So I loved writing her and indulging my own fantasy-revisits of old relationships from her perspective.


Q: Many of the novel’s reviews focus on its portrait of female friendship. How would you describe the dynamic between Esther and her friends?


A: Writing about female friendship is very favourite thing. I was single for seven years before I met David, so my friends have also been extra important.


I’m so lucky to have the loveliest people in my life and sometimes when I’m writing a book, it feels like I’m writing love letters to all of them. Which is why I wanted to portray a very real, loving, devoted group of friends who adore and support each other, despite each of their flaws and stupid decisions.


I think sometimes friendship betrayal can feel bigger and more outrageous than a partner betraying us, so it was interesting exploring that, too.

Q: How did you come up with the idea of the seven exes? Was this based on an actual article?


A: Ha, not one specific article, but as I mentioned above, I have a background in magazines, so I definitely wrote more than my share of similar articles!!


The idea came from several conversations with my editor back at the beginning of 2021 and I can’t believe it’s finally coming out! I actually have no clue how we landed on the number seven, but I’m not sure many novels have explored a love heptagon before, right?!


Q: Did you know how the novel would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?


A: I actually wrote Seven Exes back in autumn 2021, so it’s funny trying to think back to this! I think I initially had a plan for Esther to end up single at the end, but my editor felt like this might be a let-down or betraying the premise – which I wholly agree with in hindsight!


I’m a huge planner when it comes to writing my books so I had it all laid out before I wrote it. Things do change direction a fair bit as I write, but I’m pretty sure I had the ending all worked out early on!! I hope there are surprises for the reader, and lots of laughs.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I’ve just finished writing my sixth novel (wah!) and about to get stuck into structural edits on it (always the worst part of writing for me). I’m also working on ideas for the next one, which I’ll be writing later this year. Oh, I’m also trying to write a thriller which is just ridiculous and someone needs to stop me.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: Just that I’m so ridiculously grateful for the lovely support from readers and reviewers – thank you HUGELY. I’m always so taken aback by the community of readers who are so kind (readers are the best people full stop) and I cannot wait for people to read Seven Exes, even though it is also terrifying and a big part of me wants it thrown in the bin immediately. THANKS SO MUCH.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

No comments:

Post a Comment