I am delighted that LUCY BERESFORD is joining me on my blog today for her blog tour. Lucy's latest book - Hungry For Love - was published by Quartet Books on 26 May 2016.
Your latest novel Hungry For Love is romantic fiction about food and love, but ‘shows you the importance of self-respect’. In Something I’m Not (published in 2008), you looked at whether all women want to be mothers. Your background is psychotherapy – do you think it’s important that all of your novels have a deeper meaning or pose questions that women are afraid to ask?
Wow, firstly thank you for exploring my back catalogue! I wouldn’t say all novels have to ask deep questions, but personally I adore books that explore relationships and I don’t think you can do that without having characters that are grappling with the kinds of things we’re all trying to work out. When I was writing Something I’m Not, my friends and I were all discussing that very thing – do we want kids. And for Hungry for Love everywhere I looked people were trying to mend a broken heart, find love again and, above all, develop self-respect. I don’t like air-brushed, neat characters; mine are emotionally messy – like me.
Your novels vary considerably in subject matter but often tackle controversial issues. In Invisible Threads (published in 2015), you covered the sex trade in India. Is there any subject that you wouldn’t feel comfortable tackling?
'Write what you know' is often what people are told, but I think that’s often misunderstood. I don’t know what it feels like to be a girl who has been trafficked (Invisible Threads) but I know about loss and fear. Similarly, I’ve not cancelled my wedding on the day, as Jax does at the start of Hungry for Love, but I know what it’s like to feel betrayed. So it’s possible that any topic is open to me, so long as I can find the right emotion. Although I suspect I might have to draw the line at Football, as I’m utterly clueless.
What’s the most interesting place that you have visited when researching one of your novels? And what’s the strangest?
Definitely the most gripping place was the red light area in Delhi when researching my last novel Invisible Threads. I saw some shocking sights but also you could tell the girls were trying to look out for each other. The best has to be the two cookery schools I went to (in Thailand and Majorca) when writing Hungry for Love – hilarious! Mouthwatering food, as you can imagine, but also observing relationships forming and then breaking up – like watching back-to-back episodes of Love Island!
Your non-fiction book – Happy Relationships at Home, Work and Play – was published in 2013. How easy do you find switching between writing fiction and non-fiction? Do you tackle them very differently?
I write fiction or non-fiction on different days. And although I like to plan my novels, I allow lots of scope for playfully seeing what comes up while I’m writing, whereas when I’m writing non-fiction I stick to the script.
If you were writing a book about your own life, what would the title be?
Ha! Probably 'Call me Monica', after Monica in Friends. My friends call me that – heaven knows why!!!
What advice would you give your younger self?
What a great question… wouldn’t we all love to go back in a time machine and reassure our younger self. It would have to be something like: you’re beautiful and strong and magical things are going to happen, so don’t worry so much.
What advice do you have for aspiring fiction writers?
It’s going to sound rather plain, but my only advice is to write. Write every day, every evening or every weekend, but just write. If you don’t write, you can’t become a writer.
And lastly, why should people read Hungry For Love?
Read Hungry for Love not only because it’s very funny, has a hilarious TV chef mother character who was great fun to write and has mouth-watering descriptions of food and recipes, but because it will remind you that love will come when you stop trying to please other people and instead learn to love yourself.
About Lucy Beresford
Lucy is a writer, broadcaster, psychotherapist and documentary maker. She hosts a 2-hour Sex & Relationships phone-in show on LBC Radio every week, is a regular on Sky News Press Preview and Sunrise, ITV’s Tonight, and blogs for Huffington Post UK Lifestyle.
Lucy writes fiction and non-fiction, as well as articles for magazines and newspapers. She offers 1-to-1 psychotherapy in private practice in central London, and at The Priory Hospital, Roehampton, and also works with a charity in New Delhi, India, helping women trafficked in brothels.
Find Lucy Beresford on her website and Twitter - @LucyBeresford
Hungry For Love
By Lucy Beresford
Published by Quartet Books on 26 May 2016
Synopsis:Jax is about to cancel her wedding to Jonty. On the day. By text. A scrumptious celebration of survival for anyone who's longed for love or felt unworthy of it, Hungry for Love will show you the importance of self-respect and that love can be found where you least expect it. Jax is the daughter of Majella, famous British television chef and author of Food of Love, a best-selling cookery book due for re-issue. But if there s one thing Jax loathes more than her ex-fiancé, it's cooking. So when her boss orders her to use the week she'd booked off for her honeymoon to attend a cookery course in Majorca, Jax fears her life cannot get any worse. When tragedy strikes closer to home, Jax is forced to re-assess her relationship with food. As learning to cook inflames her desires, she must decide whether her plan post-Jonty to starve herself of men is such a great idea. Maybe there is a recipe for love out there, after all?
Find Hungry For Love on Amazon here.
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