23 & 24 August 2018


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European Lesfic Literary Conference

Partner Spotlight – Yvonne (Clare Lydon)

Ever wondered what keeps a writer going? Who is their other half, the one who makes the endless cups of tea and props them up when they feel down? Us too! Which is why we have been extra nosy and gone asking questions on your behalf. Joining us this week is Yvonne, Clare Lydon’s partner – let us give her a warm welcome.
Yvonne and Clare Lydon outdoor image, ELLCon18 spotlight


Yvonne – how long have you known Clare?

We’ve known each other for 15 years, been together for 13 years, married for 4.

Do you read Clare’s books?

Yes – I’m the first reader for every one of her books, reading the second draft before it goes to the story editor. I don’t read the final product until about two or three months after publication and I’m always intrigued as to what might have changed!

What is the best thing about being married to a writer?

That’s a loaded question (laughs). I love seeing her happy when she’s come up with a great idea or line. Plus, when the book’s launched and people are enjoying it, she’s always smiling. I also love to see her come alive when she’s writing and watch the creative process at it unfolds.

Is writer’s widow a real syndrome?

I don’t think so. If Clare’s busy with work, I find other things to do. But also, she’s pretty good at making time for us to do things together. We love going on long walks, especially if there’s a pub at the end!

How much ice cream/chocolate/wine gets consumed when writing the first draft?

No more than usual, although I might have to buy them a bit more!

How do you keep Clare the writer in a good mood?

Chocolate. Wine. And a well-cooked steak.

What do you think writers are doing when they stare blankly into space?

What everybody thinks about when they stare into space – wanting to live on a desert island in the sunshine?!

How do you feel right before Clare’s book is released? Is it as stressful for you as it is for her?

Very relaxed, just like Clare (deep laughter).

Do you organise something special to celebrate, like a party, when her next book is released?

Yes – we always go out to one of our favourite restaurants in London and we always have champagne and oysters, followed by more delicious seafood. It’s a tradition that I benefit from as well!

What is the best thing your writer does for you to make you feel appreciated?

She appreciates the comments I give on the second draft, so I feel like I’ve helped in the story process. Also, being an accountant, I take all her numbers and make fancy charts and graphs for her every month. She’s always amazed!

What advice would you give to significant halves of aspiring writers?

Have their favourite treat on hand, and know what they like to do in the midst of things when they might sometimes forget. Plus, always be encouraging and don’t take it personally if they snap at you!

Read Clare Lydon’s spotlight interview here.