Just the Way You Are was published by UK Carina in May, and author Lynsey James has stopped by to share her inspiration behind the book, in which Ava falls for a mysterious letter-writer that she's never met...
Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
Ava Clements’ secret admirer starts writing to her again and that’s when things get complicated!
What inspired you to write Just The Way You Are?
I was writing a completely different story and ended up using the love letter element, just in a different way. It caught my imagination and the plot for Just the Way You Are kind of popped up and said hello! I started writing it that night; five drafts and a lot of tears later, here we are!
Where do you do most of your writing?
I do it either on the couch while I snack, cuddle my dog and binge-watch a boxset (Desperate Housewives is the current favourite) or in bed where I do much the same thing.
What is your favourite book?
I Remember You by Harriet Evans. It’s a beautiful story about love and loss, set in a beautiful English village called Langford. If I could live anywhere from a book it would be there. Or Hogwarts.
Which part of Just The Way You Are did you enjoy writing the most?
I enjoyed writing the love letters from Mr Writer to Ava the most. They were really different to the rest of the book and it let me really get into his head.
Who is your favourite literary heroine?
I love Rosie Duncan from Fairytale of New York by Miranda Dickinson. She’s really positive and makes things happen to her instead of waiting for her happy ending to come to her.
Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
I’d say the most important things are to never give up and to write. If you do those two things, it will happen for you one day. I didn’t believe dreams ever came true until mine did. It can happen!
Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
I’ve just finished writing my second novel The Broken Hearts Book Club, which will be out on 21st August. Now I’m dreaming up ideas for books 3 and 4!
A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn't a "good option" and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left her job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven't looked back since.
When Lynsey's not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she's daydreaming about the day Dylan O'Brien FINALLY realises they're meant to be together. It'll happen one day…
Just the Way You Are by Lynsey James
Ava is unlucky in love as well as in life. The new office bitch has landed the dating column Ava wanted, and she can't remember the last time she had a second date. It's a good thing she has best friends Max and Gwen to pick up the pieces.
Deep down, Ava knows the reason why one date never turns into two – she's in love with someone else. Someone she's never even met.
It all started six years ago, with a letter from a secret admirer, Mr Writer... but then they suddenly stopped and Ava was heartbroken.
Now the letters have started again and Ava knows it could mean winning back the dating column at work. This time she's determined to unmask Mr Writer... and find out once and for all if he's Mr Right or Mr Very Definitely Wrong!