Nobody is a bigger fan of actor Thomas Cassidy than Libby is. Nobody. That’s why she’s totally going to marry him.
She is going to write a novel, name the main character after Thom, and find a way to get it to him. Intrigued and flattered, he will read it, fall in love with her prose, write to her and ask to turn it into a movie. She will pretend to think about it for a week or so, then say, sure, but can I work on it with you? Their eyes will meet over the script, and fade to black.
It is a fail-proof plan. Except for the fact that Thom is a Hollywood star, and she is, well, not. Except for the fact that he lives in America. Except, too, for the tiny age gap. Not even twenty years! Totally overcomable.
All of the obstacles are totally overcomable. It’s all about determination.
- Which character would you like to be in this book?
Libby is to a large extent inspired by me – a younger, less self-aware me – but she gets to take her dream further than I have. So that’s a no-brainer!
- Do you always take a book/erader wherever you go?
I would like to claim that I do, but sometimes my handbag gets too heavy. But I do have an e-reader app on my phone, and I take that everywhere, if that counts!
- Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?
The good one, especially one that gets a happy ending. I don’t necessarily believe in them in real life so I’ll take all the fictional ones I can get!
- Do you prefer to read/write standalones or series?
I’ve written only standalones so far, but I loved the world I created for Unscripted so much that I wrote a YA novel set in the same world that takes places two years later – I gave Thom’s eldest daughter Clara her own story.
- Where can I find you when you are reading?
On my sofa. My living room gets lots of natural light and my sofa is super soft and lovely.
- Where can I find you wen you are not writing/reading?
At my computer, plugging away at the Brit Lit Podcast, or in the bookshop where I work part-time. If we’re taking away all books, then I’m probably out at one of the many amazing DC restaurants with a foodie friend!
- Can you walk past a bookstore without going inside?
Rarely. I did used to live near a second hand bookshop that I sort of avoided as I knew it would be dangerous!
- What are you most proud of?
Probably the fact that I didn’t give up until I got a book deal. It took a lot of stubbornness and perseverance, often through tears and disappointments!
- What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?
So many things! Firstly, “is this real?”. Secondly, “Should I have changed my name to something easier to spell?” And thirdly, “I hope I see this all over Bookstagram!”
- What piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
To gird themselves for a long, hard slog – it might take them a decade to get published, as it did for me. This life is not for the faint-hearted!
Thank you, Claire Handscombe and Book On The Bright Side Publicity & Promo
About the author
Claire Handscombe is a British writer who moved to Washington, DC in 2012, ostensibly to study for an MFA, but actually, let’s be honest, because of an obsession with The West Wing. She was recently longlisted for the Bath Novel Award, and her journalism, poetry, and essays have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Bustle, Book Riot, Writing Magazine, and the Washington Post. She works as a bookseller at East City Bookshop on Capitol Hill and is the host of the Brit Lit Podcast, a fortnightly show of news and views from British books and publishing.
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5178862.Claire_Handscombe
UK independent bookshops: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Claire-Handscombe/Unscripted/23612659