My featured book this week is the debut romcom, The Reunion, by romance author Elizabeth Drummond. So grab yourself a cuppa and let’s find out more about the book and have a chat with Elizabeth.😉
School reunions: the perfect opportunity to catch up with old friends, dazzle old foes, and basically show everyone that your life could not be going better.
But for Lucas O’Rourke and Posy Edwins this isn’t quite the case. Lucas is about to lose his business, and Posy’s father has cut her off financially. And a reunion is the worst moment to come face-to-face with your rival. Ten years ago they hated each other, what could have changed since then?
As tensions rise, Posy comes up with a plan to solve both their problems, all she needs to do is persuade Lucas to go along with it. Trouble is, how do you ask your high school enemy to pretend you’re madly in love when everyone knows you don’t get along?
Welcome to my blog, Elizabeth. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes! I have a vivid memory of writing a Famous Five inspired detective story – with illustrations! – at about age 8 or 9. And then I wrote multiple stories until my late teens, but university and travel kind of eclipsed it for a few years. But also, for some reason, I didn’t believe I could ever write professionally. I’m not sure why but I thought things like that didn’t happen to people like me. But then I rediscovered writing in my early 20s and found such joy in it I realised I had to try harder. So I started applying myself in earnest; doing an MA in Creative Writing as well as the Writing a Novel course at Faber Academy.
Oh, I loved the Famous Five novels! Has any author inspired you?
I think anyone who manages to get published is pretty inspirational, having gone through the process! It’s a marathon and some writers, when you look at what they are doing personally to promote their work, are absolute grifters, which is brilliant. It’s hard to choose but a few of my favourite writers are Patrick Ness, Mo Hayder, Mhairi McFarlane, JoJo Moyes, Lindsay Kelk and Karin Slaughter.
What do you like writing most?
I’ve tried my hand at most genres because I read quite widely. But my debut is a romantic comedy and that’s where my heart is right now. I love the moments when you nail a character, and you find their interactions with other people just flowing naturally. I love crafting the slow burn in a romance and writing the scene they finally get together is always magic.
Do you have a special place for writing?
Nope! I live in a small house with my husband and two kids. I just have to try and find a quiet corner to hunker down in and hope I get some uninterrupted peace. Once I’m in the zone I’m quite good at blocking out the chaos.
Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Both, now. I used to be a total Pantser! I’d come up with a good ‘hook’ or think ‘what if…?’ and just launch into it, but I eventually learned this meant I’d end up stranded in plot-hole hell or run out of steam. I soon worked out that having a chapter-by-chapter plan helped me focus. Having said that I do deviate from the plan if I feel so inspired. If I want to try something different, I let myself and then change the plot to accommodate should the changes work.
Is your writing ever inspired by your family or real-life incidents?
I think both play a role as well as my own imagination. For example, the idea for The Reunion came from listening to a podcast host talking about her experiences at private school! I have ideas and plans for book 3 and beyond, drawing on (in some instances) my own romantic history as well as other things from real life.
What are you writing at the moment?
Rom com number 2! It’s a two book deal I have with OMC. It’s still very much a WIP, but let’s just say that even though there’s more of the gorgeous Yorkshire countryside, this is a forced proximity love story with a madcap conclusion the likes of which I don’t think I’ve ever seen in a romcom!
What inspired you to write this book?
The idea that sparked The Reunion was a podcast host who talked about a tradition her posh school had, whereby if the Head Boy and Head Girl ever got married, the school would pay for it. It sparked my interest (and I fell down a rabbit hole of researching quirky traditions private schools have…!) I instantly envisioned Posy and Lucas. I knew Posy had to be a rich, entitled and somewhat bratty woman with a vulnerable streak and a good heart. I also knew that Lucas had to be an ambitious, neurotic workaholic who needed to let his guard down, big time. I wanted them to try and become better, together, whilst taking the reader on a madly funny ride.
What time of the day do you write best?
Any time I get to myself! But generally, evenings and nights are best. I cannot write in the early morning, although I envy those who can.
What are your hobbies?
Aside from reading and writing, I enjoy film, travel and running.
What advice would you give to other writers?
The first is obvious and oft repeated but it’s so true. DON’T GIVE UP. I’d also say keep going. Write badly. Write experimentally. Try a style you never have before, whether that’s changing POV or genre or time period… whatever. Just flex your muscle. Before The Reunion I wrote something pretty terrible but trying dual POV for the first time. It was also a straightforward romance story, something I’d never tried before but I wanted to have a crack at. What I ended up with wasn’t great, but I learned a lot about my own writing style, what my limits were etc. When I came up with The Reunion, writing dual POV seemed an obvious choice and thanks to my previous efforts I had the confidence to go for it. And lastly read. Whenever you can. Reading the work of talented writers inspires you to do better.
A brief Author bio. Elizabeth Drummond grew up and studied in Yorkshire, attaining a degree in English Literature from Sheffield University before moving to New York for a year post-graduation. It was in New York she learned she was nothing like Carrie Bradshaw so upon her return to England she moved to London where she forged a successful career as a film distribution executive. Although her experiences on film sets and corporate boardrooms could fill multiple books with scandal alone, Elizabeth’s first novel The Reunion is mostly filled with light-hearted humour and romance. Elizabeth lives in Essex with her husband and two daughters.