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Thursday, 9 June 2016

Author Q & A Lorelei Mathias

Sparky dialogue and a lovely depiction of friendship. I loved this!' Katie Fforde
This story is a celebration of the people that bring you back to life when your world closes in: your mates. Relationships come and go, but the Break-up Club membership never truly expires.
'Sparky dialogue and a lovely depiction of friendship. I loved this!' Katie Fforde
'You'd be DAFT to miss out on this fab book – it's blimmin' marvellous! I LOVED IT' Miranda Dickinson
Holly Braithwaite and loveable loser Lawrence have been together for five years. But the obvious cracks in their relationship can no longer be ignored and Holly soon finds herself saying ‘it’s not me, it’s you’.
In the shock aftermath of their break up, Holly finds unlikely companions in Olivia, Harry and Bella. Together, they form the Break-up Club, as they support each other through their mutual melancholy and find ways to love, laugh and function as human beings again.
Break-up Club meets every Sunday. Each week, as the comedy and drama unfolds, they discover a new BUC ‘rule’. And, one by one, the rules become vital markers on their journey to recovery . . .
To our members, we’re the first emergency service

Title:        Break Up Club
Author:    Lorelei Mathias
Published By: Maze
Date:        May 19th 2016
Link:        UK: Amazon 

About Break Up Club

Author Q & A with the lovely Lorelie Mathias

Welcome to Sincerely Book Angels blog Lorelei, it was so lovely meeting you at the author\blogger shenanigans organised by Bookouture's Kim Nash.

What was the inspiration behind this novel?
I wrote Break Up Club because I felt very strongly that what my friends and I were going through in the latter part of my twenties - this pathetic thing we jokingly referred to as a break up club - was actually rather brilliant, and it didn’t seem fair to keep the idea to ourselves. Perhaps it's melodramatic and #FirstWorldProblem-tastic but I firmly believe that the death of love is one of the saddest things you can ever go through (and I don’t say that lightly; I’ve been through some pretty brutal things!). But the joy of The Club is, that the moment you make your break-up communal, it, suddenly all becomes fun. Less of a tortuous hell and more of a game. For us, it was so much fun that I even had a boyfriend say once, ‘you’d rather be in the club than in this relationship, wouldn’t you?’ And I’ve lost count of how many times people said they were jealous and wanted in! I guess I’m just lucky my friends happen to be amazing people, and funny as hell. But it really was true for us, that a break-up shared is a break-up halved. That’s what inspired me - I wanted to share this realisation with others. I wanted to help other people get through their break-up hell quicker, by learning to laugh their way through it!

Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes and no. I’ve always loved words! But I think I was always a bit cautious about saying I really wanted to be a writer. I didn’t dare! So to begin with I set my sights on being a copywriter in Advertising - which I’ve been doing as a day-job for the last 15 years - it’s lots of fun!

It was my dad who always said I’d be a writer-writer. He just used to announce it every now and then, to my mum, and to my step-mum. He had this strange kind of confidence. In the same way he’d always be like, ‘when is your third book coming out?’ in the last few years of his life. Happily I can now finally say – ‘it’s finally out now! Sorry about the wait…’

What other jobs have you had?
Oh - SO many! Some highlights include: Library Assistant, McDonald’s server (they tried me in the kitchen, but I was terrible at it!) Barman, waitress, admin assistant in an adhesive factory, and for the last 15 years, advertising copywriter-creative director!

How did it feel when your first novel was published?
A cross between immense relief and excitement - and feeling chuffed that my dad finally got his wish!

Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?
I’m never sure if that’s a thing, and not just ‘I’m feeling a bit lazy today’. But I definitely have days when nothing’s flowing and I don’t feel inspired. On those days, I just go ok - this is an ‘admin day’ or an ‘editing day’ - or I go for a run, go swimming outdoors, or look at an amazing view. Preferably of water. Water’s magic.

What motivates you to keep writing?
The thought of the finished product. Imagining who might play the film or TV series of the book, and what song might be playing during that scene! And the excitement of new ideas, that’s a big driver.

Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa?
Yes sometimes they make me laugh- or I make them cry !

What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Don't do what I did with my latest book…! Haha. What I mean is, this book came out of a funny period in my life, where I was forever going – oh, that’s funny, imagine that in a scene with this character! People often say – anything bad that happens – use it as material! But in reality, the 'funny material' you get actually weighs you down like an albatross, and you end up having to shed a lot of it as it's not driving any kind of narrative. I’d be the first to admit that BUC isn't a hugely plot driven book; it's more of a slow-burner.

So yeah, plot. Get yourself one of those! If that doesn’t come naturally to you – read books on it. Or go on a course to workshop ideas with other people. And if plot isn’t your strength, but character is – use that to your advantage. Make sure that the plot is coming out of your characters’ traits of some sort. For example, (and I’m not saying this is a great example, but just the first one that springs to mind!) Olivia doesn’t just get ill randomly – she gets ill because she’s run down and not been eating enough, because she’s got some issues to do with self-worth, and hasn’t processed her break-up properly. It would be boring to read that she just suddenly gets ill by chance. Having it come out of her character trait, that’s more interesting because there are clues you can pick up on as a reader. 

Another thing is to have a point of view. With BUC, I set out to say that in this day and age, friendship is the most important love of all. I knew it was true for me and for my friends, so that was my backbone. I had it written down where I could see it a lot of the time when I was writing. So long as you have one of those – an idea that you want to get across, that’ll help you see in the dark.

Lastly, something I’ve learned writing this last novel – don’t have too many main characters! I had to kill a whole one off, there were too many. There probably still are. Don’t make life hard for yourself! Three is plenty to be going on with!

Which authors inspire you?

Lucy Ann Holmes
Matt Haig
Mark Haddon
David Lodge
Irvine Welsh
Gwendoline Riley
Tom Stoppard
Wendy Cope

What are you reading at the moment?
Polly James' 'Would like to meet’, and I’m re-reading 'Downstream - a history and celebration of swimming the River Thames' by Caitlin Davies - I’m actually writing a non-fiction book at the moment about swimming, so this is primarily for research - but it’s fabulous!

If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
Brilliant question! I would love love love it if BUC became a film, and I've already sound-tracked it! Click here to hear it! (spotify:user:1117541431:playlist:21OhGTa72s5AkRcWhQC6Iw )

So it's tough to choose but Maybe The Sixths ‘Falling out of love with you…’ which is brilliantly euphoric sounding with lyrics that break your heart. Or Simple Minds ‘Don’t you forget about me’. It plays at the end of ‘The Breakfast Club’, so playing it at the start of mine might be nice and ironic.

Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?
Another fab question! If it was a tv show set in london - Esther Smith who is in the Comedy series ‘Cuckoo’ - she looks like Holly, and has brilliant comic timing. She's brilliant in this short film Elephant.

If it was a big budget movie then Jenny Slate is just frickin hilarious and looks the part too.

What is your next book about?

My next book is actually a non-fiction book where I romance something else entirely - outdoor swimming! More will be announced on that soon though :)

My next novel though - which I’ll hopefully be getting on with after - is a romantic comedy about flat-sharing. There was a real life '249A' flat very much like the one in BUC, but it wasn't in Tufnell Park. My time in that flat was a pivotal one in my twenties, and inspired a wealth of stories, but one big one in particular. So if/when I get back into writing that, it’ll be a book that finds comedy in the slovenliness of flat-sharing - which BUC touches on in places! And it’ll be a book about that weird limbo in between being a student and adult, and the sense of trying to find 'your place' in the world – whether that’s in a warehouse community in Tottenham, to couch-surfing through Craigslist in Venice Beach. It's a book about home, and how that's not just a place, it’s a person. Funnily enough, the title I had for the book I was writing during that time was Maison D'etre. At the time I was intensely proud of the wordplay I had achieved, but then a cafe opened up with that same name - literally across the road. Which is beyond eerie, but such is life!   

And now think about the books you've read and just give the first one that comes into your head for our quickfire 'Which book round.

Which book has made you:

Laugh out loud?

Lucy Ann Holmes ‘Fifty ways to find a lover'

Cry your heart out?
Vikram Seth ‘An equal music'

Want to read it again?
John Fowles 'The French Lieutenant's Woman'

Think more?
Mark Haddon, Curious Incident of the dog in the night-time

Wish it would be made into a film?

Eve Chase 'Black Rabbit Hall'

Irvine Welsh 'Porno'

Julia Crouch ‘Cuckoo'

Thank you so much for joining us on our blog today Lorelei and good luck with the book


Book Angels x

About the Author

"Made me want to break up with someone, just so I could join the club immediately."
Part comedy, part self-help, but wholly fabulous." B & H Independent

Lorelei Mathias' new novel, 'Break Up Club' is a romantic comedy about friendship, and was inspired by her experiences in a pathetic yet funny break-up club of her own... which taught her that a break up shared, is a break up halved. One day she'd like to set up an official refuge for the broken-hearted, so that no one should ever have to go through one alone.

Lorelei was born in 'Metroland' to English and Romanian parents. She studied English & Philosophy at Birmingham University, before working in London as a Copywriter in Publishing and Advertising. She also enjoys journalism and has blogged for both Campaign Magazine and Caitlin Moran's website.

Her first novel 'Step on it, Cupid', was published when she was 25, followed by 'Lost for Words'. As a member of the writers collective '26', she has had a poem exhibited at the Museum of Childhood, and a non-fiction chapter published in 'Common Ground: Around Britain in 30 Writers.' She enjoys coming up with ways to help authors market their own books; which is how she came to write and produce the two films for her books. The one on this page stars the fabulous actress Sarah Smart. The other one can be seen at Credited as one of the first people to make a 'book trailer' she has also contributed to a number of books and articles about online marketing for authors.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making comedy sketches and short films, running a fictional bakery called Niche Quiche, and asking people where the nearest lido is. She is also named after a mythical German mermaid, which might explain the obsession with outdoor swimming.

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