The utterly gorgeous Emma Lee Potter, who writes a blog called House with No Name, was my other half when we blogged for Easy Living Magazine. She blogged as Country Wife and I blogged as City Wife, and we finally met in the summer at the Brit Mums Conference. Read her post above to find out what she is working on at the moment. She tagged me in a post called The Next Big thing in which she has asked me several questions about my next book and then I will ask two writer friends to carry it on.
What is the working title of your book?
I am terribly bad at titles, but a working title is Double Vision.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
The idea was inspired by two things: The first was that I sat next to a man at dinner who was the father of 14 year old twin boys. I was both shocked and fascinated when he told me that his sons were living in different countries, because they had fallen out over a girl! One boy was living with his mother in New York and the other in Paris, with him – he was still married but commuted between the two cities. He didn't elaborate, but it set me off thinking about sibling rivalry, jealousy etc. The next thing that inspired me was meeting a friend from New York, who told me she was estranged from her sister, (my friend lived in New York and so did her sister, but her parents lived in London) but they were going to be forced together, for a week with their mother in London, as their father had died. I was interested in both those dynamics, ie: being estranged from a sibling, but forced together after many years and then examining the rivalry and betrayal in the relationship.
What genre does your book fall under?
It's quite commercial but not pink and glittery so. My agent flattered me hugely, when she it was in the genre of Zoe Heller. I loved Notes on A Scandal.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hard one: Someone like Bill Nighy for the father, and Cousin Matthews mother in Downton Abbey (Penelope Wilton) as the mother. Perhaps Gynneth Paltrow for one sister and Reethe Witherspoon for the other. Um... I wish I could think of some English actresses.....Perhaps Emilia Fox as one sister and....um...
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Estranged twin sisters forced together reenact betrayal and revenge, while paradoxically desperately hoping to connect.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Too long. About two years.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I just can't think.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I think I've answered this question already in what gave me the idea. Carrie Kania from Conville and Walsh has been a huge help, particularly at the beginning when I wasn’t sure where I was going or if I had a book at all.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I think this is the most interesting of the books that I have so far written, and that is possibly why it has taken me so long to write. I became really involved in these two women - their past boyfriends, partners and parents, and also delving back to their childhood and teenage years. I found it quite gripping, writing about Bella's experience at boarding school, which was lifted from my own, but more horrific. It took me back to a dark place. I also became fascinated with the sister’s obsession with a teenage lover they shared. I loved writing about teenage love, sex, betrayal.