Hello! Today I am part of the Blog tour for Laura’s and Jimmy’s new book The Night That Changed Everything. I got the chance to do a Q&A with them for this tour.
Q) The night that changed everything is your new book, can you tell us a little bit about it?
JR: It’s about Ben and Rebecca, a seemingly perfect couple until a throwaway remark splits them up. It’s the story of trying to get over someone.
LT: The story is told in alternative chapters by Ben and Rebecca so you get to see both sides of the story and the different ways they cope.
Q) What inspired you both to start writing?
LT: I’ve always wanted to write stories. My mum still has a few I attempted as a child, usually involving a scruffy child and some sort of mystery (I think I may have been largely influenced by The Famous Five). When I grew up, training to be a journalist and working for newspapers and magazines seemed like the logical way to make a living out of being a writer. And while I’ve enjoyed it, somewhere along the line I’ve realised I prefer making stuff up rather than writing about facts. I’ve basically come full circle – I knew myself better as a child.
JR: I don’t know where I’d be without writing fiction. I was a journalist so I’d always spent my days writing, but fiction was something that started during a real low point in my life. I was living in Liverpool, where I’d moved for work and didn’t really have any mates. When you’re in your twenties, Saturday nights with nothing to do … it’s depressing. I’d sit there with my cat Mildred, who actually features in the book, and once X Factor finished I’d be like ‘What now?’ I started a fictional blog and from that moment I’ve never been bored, not once. The book followed on from that. Writing filled a hole in my life.
Q) How did you come up with the title?
LT: It was easy – we just shortlisted about 487 options then chose the one we hated the least.
JR: We really struggle with titles. We had a working title of Time To Move On but I think the publishers thought that was a bit negative. They weren’t really keen on anything that mentioned a break-up.
Q) Are you a paperback or Kindle person?
LT: Definitely paperback. I dream of having my own library of floor-to-ceiling books covering every wall and a whole Chesterfield suite in the middle, so I’m working on that. I currently have an office in the shed with two bookcases and a single second-hand Chesterfield armchair.
JR: Paperback. Books are the only thing I get materialistic about. They’re like a painting on the wall.
Q) You always have amazing covers, do you both get to have a say in what you want the covers to look like?
JR: One of the reasons we signed with Transworld was they made us feel like everything would be a team effort and we’d be involved in every step of getting our books into the shops.
LT: The final version of the cover is always a compromise. We each have our own ideas of how we’d like it to look and what we would pick up (plus Jimmy banned pink from the get-go), and then the publisher just knows so much more about our audience and what will get their attention. So we feel quite lucky that been really happy with the outcome both times.
Q) Is there a message in The Night That Changed Everything that you want readers to grasp?
JR: My favourite line in the book is from Ben’s best mate, Jamie. When Ben is moping around after the break-up Jamie tells him: ‘You only get three billion heartbeats in this life and you need to make as many of them as possible count for something.’
LT: It’s also a kind of affirmation that sadness doesn’t last forever. It’s hopefully not a depressing book, despite the theme. We wanted their experience to be as authentic as possible, so yes, there’s sad bits, but life goes on – and there are happy, joyful, funny moments that intercept the dark times.
Q) Are experiences based on someone you know or events in your own lives?
LT: For my part the emotions are based on my own, but the events are pure fiction.
JR: I actually went through a break-up just as we started writing the book. I probably shouldn’t admit that a little part of me thought, ‘This will be great for material.’ Some of my experiences with getting back into dating and meeting someone new feature in the book.
Q) What are you both currently reading?
JR: We did an event with our publishers, Transworld, last week and beforehand they sent us some books by the other authors taking part. I’m reading one of those – Somewhere Inside Of Happy by Anna McPartlin. I don’t read much women’s fiction but it is absolutely brilliant.
LT: I literally just finished that same book – it’s all kinds of aces. I haven’t started another one yet but I’m about to go on holiday and my books ready to pack are After The Last Dance by Sarra Manning and Mobile Library by David Whitehouse. There’s still room for a good psychological thriller.
Q) Can you share a little of your current work with us?
LT: We’ve only just finished the outline, but there’s romance in it and it will hopefully have funny bits, but then I’m not necessarily going to call it a romantic comedy…
JR: We can’t give much away but it’s fair to say the book will be a little bit darker than our first two and, potentially, we could have more than our usual two main characters.
Q) Describe the night that changed everything in 10 words…
JR: I’ll start: “A romantic (and unromantic) comedy…
LT: …about breaking up. With dual-protagonists.”
JR: The hyphen doesn’t stop that being 11 words.
Thank you Laura and Jimmy for stopping by with your wonderful answers!
The Night that Changed Everything is out now!