Rosie Blake talks How to Get a (Love) Life

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Your novel is called ‘How to Get a (Love) Life’ please could you tell me about it?
Right away, mademoiselle! It follows Nicola Brown, an uptight and introverted young woman who has never had a date on Valentine’s Day. Following a bet with a work colleague, Nicola has to put aside her hang ups to go on as many dates as she possibly can in order to find the perfect man in time for February 14th. Along the way she manages to find herself mixed up in a range of unusual scenarios and remembers what the old her had been like before she lost her way.

‘How to Get a (Love) Life’ is about Nicola Brown, please can you tell me about her?
She can be quite an exhausting girl in many ways – as her brother Mark tells her, she has “issues”. She got hurt in her early twenties and seems to have got herself into a rut. She controls the smallest aspects of her day and has gradually lost a lot of what made her good fun, confident and relaxed. She needs to get a (love) life and this book is her journey as she ends up in utterly bizarre scenarios on a quest to get her (love) life back.

Are any of the characters in ‘How to Get a (Love) Life’ anything like you?
None of them are particularly like me. But Nicola’s impossibly happy Polish cleaner Basia is my Mum. Literally. My mum is incredibly warm and generous so I wanted to feature a slightly nuts version of someone who is simply content with their lot.

In ‘How to Get a (Love) Life’, Nicola makes a bet with a work colleague, if you could bet on anything this year, what would it be and why?
There is no doubt 2014 is set to be the most exciting year for me and my writing and I want to bet that, by the end, I will have learnt so much more and will be even more fired up for the future. Bring. It. On.

I know ‘How to Get a (Love) Life’ is fiction, but if you were to offer one piece of advice to a singleton, what would it be?
The age-old wonderfully tiresome ‘Be Yourself’. There is no way you can fool anyone for too long about the true you so, although you can put a good spin on things, you can’t hide the mad, bad part of you all the time. If they’re right for you, they will hopefully find those parts of you as endearing as the rest. *puts on moth-eared onesie, greets husband at door*

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Please share with us one random fact about yourself?
I can’t watch TV without the volume on an even number. I get fidgety. Seriously.

If you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?
This is what I would term a Very Hard question. I think it has to be The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. Her imagination was truly amazing. I still want to visit all the worlds at the top of the tree and hang out with MoonFace.

What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
Is the sea wet? IT IS AND THERE IS. I am soooooper into my next novel. The heroine is almost the opposite of uptight Nicola. She is chaotic, messy and spontaneous and is also completely convinced that the boy she married in a playground when she was eight years old was the person she was supposed to end up with. Twenty years later, she goes on a global hunt for him to find out if she can get the life she should have had if she had stayed married to Andrew Parker.

Please would you share who your 5 dream dinner party guests would be?
J
ulia Roberts and then four other really dull girls so then Julia would be all like, “Wow Rosie is so funny and interesting, I shall choose her as my new best friend.” And we would spend the whole night chatting and I would quote from Pretty Woman in an amusing way e.g. “This pudding is so good I almost peed my pants” and she would laugh and then immediately invite me somewhere (probably Cannes) to hang out on a yacht.

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At your dinner party, there’s a cocktail in honour of ‘How to Get a (Love) Life’ what are the ingredients?
I super LOVE cocktails and think it would have to be something with a sense of humour and some get up and go to it. So maybe some cherry brandy, a bit of fizz like a Ginger Ale, a twist of lime, some Angostura Bitters. OK fine, it’s a Singapore Sling but still…

How to Get a (Love) Life is out now:

A big thank you to Rosie for talking to Love of a Good Book

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