Published by Century
ebook & Hardback: 14 July 2016
I’ve reviewed both of Lisa Jewell’s previous books here on the blog (The Third Wife and The Girls) and have read several others over the years. She is very much a favourite author and I was thrilled to be invited to take part in the blog tour for her latest book, released yesterday – I Found You. I am really looking forward to reading this but in the meantime, have a guest post from Lisa on the process of writing her latest novel.
I Found You is my fourteenth novel – and the fifth novel I’ve written entirely in coffee shops! I had a eureka moment about my writing practises when I was halfway through my ninth novel, Before I Met You. It was the summer holidays and I was horribly behind with the novel and I managed to wangle a place for both my children in a local crèche for an hour. Instead of coming home to write I decided to bring my laptop with me and write in the café outside. I had less than an hour but I managed, miraculously, to write over one thousand words. A huge penny dropped. All those years I’d spent struggling to write anything at all some days, fighting the urge to check my email every thirty seconds, looking up and realising I’d just spent half an hour on eBay looking at art nouveau picture frames, desperately squeezing out one hundred words as the clock ticked horribly closer and closer to school pick up time; all those years I’d ‘hated writing’ because it was just so damned impossible to actually do it – and now I was free of all the angst. I have never written at home again since.
Every day I take my laptop to a local café (I try to shake it up a bit so the owners don’t think I’m taking the mick!), I order a coffee, I start writing and I don’t stop until I’ve hit one thousand words. Sometimes this takes an hour, usually two, sometimes a little longer, but either way I’m very keen to leave by then, to stretch my legs and, of course, go to the toilet! After that I go home, have my lunch and catch up on all my emails and social media, smug in the knowledge that my work for the day is done.
I don’t tend to plan ahead when I’m writing. I very much just hit the ground running every morning. I don’t make notes or chapter plans but I do think a lot about my work in progress as I’m bumbling about, moving the story along in my head so that I’ve got at least a vague idea of where I’m heading when I sit down to write. I don’t do a first draft, I like to write clean, ie; no gaps, no paragraphs I’m unhappy with to ‘come back to later’. I can’t relax if I know I’ve left messy bits in my wake. They bother me. So when I write the last chapter, after a quick read-through I’m pretty much ready to send it straight to my editor.
I love editing my work. It helps that I have an editor who does a lot of the work for me, so it’s not too daunting; she doesn’t leave vague or ambiguous notes, she tells me exactly what’s not working and always suggests a way to fix it. Editing a book is like clearing out a room you’ve been meaning to sort out for ages. Once you get going it’s actually quite enjoyable and when you’ve finished it’s so satisfying.
About the book:
‘How long have you been sitting out here?’
‘I got here yesterday.’
‘Where did you come from?’
‘I have no idea.’
East Yorkshire: Single mum Alice Lake finds a man on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgement she invites him in to her home.
Surrey: Twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.
Two women, twenty years of secrets and a man who can’t remember lie at the heart of Lisa Jewell’s brilliant new novel.