Author Spotlight – Clare Lydon
Meet UK Lesbian Fiction Author Clare Lydon
Clare Lydon writes contemporary compelling, romance and her books are frequently found at the top of the lesbian fiction charts. If you’re a sucker for romance, prepare to fall head over heels in love with the stories and the characters.
Alice’s parents live in Marylebone, near Baker Street. What famous fictional detective lived at 221b Baker Street?
Giveaway ends Sunday, 22 July 5 pm UTC.
Clare has been chatting to us about her books, and what is next on the horizon.
Tell us something interesting about your last published book.
The London Of Us was great to write – I really enjoyed it and I think it’s one of my most heartfelt books yet. When I was writing it, I got so caught up in the emotion of the story. I’ve only had girlfriends since I was 19, but writing it and seeing Alice break up with Jake and the angst she felt, it took me back to when I broke up with my last boyfriend, and how bad I felt because I couldn’t tell him why and I could see it broke his heart. It’s a better book for it, of course, but it was a real emotional rollercoaster!
What got you into writing?
I’ve been writing stories since I was little – I wrote my first novel as part of a school project when I was 11. But it wasn’t until I was made redundant in 2013 that I thought about trying to do something with that lesbian romance I had half-written in my drawer. I got some money when I left my job, so I spent a year finishing my book, then wrote another. After going to L-Festive in Birmingham and meeting other lesfic authors, I decided to self-publish and released London Calling in February 2014. I haven’t stopped publishing since!
Can you tell us about your writing style? How do you decide on plots and characters? Are you a planner or a pantser?
I write feel-good rom-coms with lesbian leads, mainly based in London or the UK – my latest book was US-based just for a change, but I’m coming back to the UK for my next release.
I base my plots on real-life, sometimes on stories I read in the news (as with my flood story Nothing To Lose), and sometimes on snippets I pick up from the world around me and then develop over time.
My characters are all people you might know – they’ve all got realistic jobs and they’re not perfect. They swear, drink too much, trip up in love and have flaws, as well as eureka moments. My aim is for readers to laugh along with them, wince at their mistakes and connect with their triumphs.
For my first three books – London Calling, The Long Weekend and This London Love – I didn’t plot at all, I was a total pantser. These days I write an outline and fill in the scenes loosely, but stuff always changes as I write. The characters take over – it’s just the way writing is!
If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything differently?
I’d start earlier! I’m so glad I got made redundant when I did in hindsight, because it gave me the push I needed to give writing a try. I was a journalist for 15 years so I knew I could write articles, but fiction is a whole different task. However, being a novelist is what I’ve always wanted to be, and I’m beyond grateful that my dream is now a reality and I get to do this for a living. I really am so thankful to everyone who reads one of my books!
What is next for you? What is your next project?
This year I produced my first audiobook, and I’ve just commissioned the audio for Twice In A Lifetime. Plus, Audible Studios have bought the rights for the London Romance series, so next year there should be at least four more of my books available in audio, which is exciting as I love audiobooks!
Next up is book five in the London Romance series, The London Of Us. This one is going to feature Becca, Alice’s sister from The London Of Us. She’s going to meet someone who she’s not expecting at all, and I’m planning this one to play out like a great pop song – it’s going to make you laugh and make you cry. But I won’t tell you in what order, ha! After that, I’ve got a couple of non-fiction books that I wrote ten years ago to polish up and put out. So that’s autumn taken care of. And of course, I’m really looking forward to coming along to EllCon, meeting readers & authors alike, and enjoying everything that has to offer. Exciting times!
ROCIO’s TOP PICKS
This is the fourth book in the London Series and it is just as good. Alice is a straight girl and she is in a relationship with Jake. But she has had feelings for her friend Rachel for quite a few months. Even though she doesn’t know if those feelings are reciprocated, she decides to turn her life upside down. Once she decides on acting on them, she kind of involves her family and friends. Through tough times, insecurities, and fear, she finally finds her true love.
As usual, there is laughter, drama and sex. I love knowing about the characters from the previous books in the series. And, as usual, again, they all are good characters, good descriptions and enjoyable dialogues. I only have one complaint: there is no chorizo in the Spanish paella.
I highly recommend this book, together with the other three if you haven’t read them yet. You will not regret it. You did it again, Clare!
London Calling is the first book in the London Series. It follows the story of Jess, and Lucy – Jess has just moved back from Australia after a break-up, and Lucy is about to go to Australia on holiday. Will the fleeting spark they felt ignite to form something stronger?
The personalities of the main characters are well defined. They are funny, intelligent, and with that very typical British sense of humour.
One of the best things about this book is that apart from the two main characters, their friends, family and surroundings are an important part of the story.