It’s time for another interview with a fellow author of lesbian romance. Today’s guest is Clare Lydon, who is best known for her London Romance series.
Clare is giving away an ebook copy of the latest book in that series, Made in London, so don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post.
Welcome, Clare. Please tell us a little about your latest release, Made in London.
Made In London is the sixth book in my London Romance Series, which has been described by readers as “the L Word, but set in London.” I’m not going to argue with that! It’s the story of Eden, a cat owner who’s allergic to kids; and Heidi, a single mother who’s allergic to cats. Here’s the blurb:
Photographer Heidi Hughes has been single since her daughter was born. But now Maya’s walking and talking, she’s ready to meet someone who’s happy with her cute-but-chaotic extra.
Eden Price’s world is all about order and precision: in her job, her home, her friendships. A PR guru, she’s designed her life to run like clockwork.
At least she had, until the universe decided she needed to meet Heidi. Now, Eden’s not sure of much, because Heidi is everything she didn’t want, but now categorically does. Can the family-phobic singleton really be falling for the single mum?
Book six in the London Romance series features cats, kids and calamity, along with chocolate spread exactly where you want it. Strap in for the latest feel-good, laugh-out-loud London adventure!
Made in London is the sixth book in your London Romance series. What makes London the perfect setting for a romance series?
Who doesn’t love London? “Tired of London, tired of life,” goes the saying. London is a melting pot of a city, and the place I call home. It’s also where my heart will always be, so when I thought about writing my first book, it was a natural fit. My London Romance Series takes place in a few different areas of the city, and readers tell me they can taste the atmosphere and really imagine themselves in the space, which I love.
London has such varied cultures, landscapes, food and drinks, so it makes a rich canvas to base a series in. The characters from all six books flit in and out of the other books in the series. Each novel is a standalone romance, but I love including familiar faces and dropping in Easter eggs for series’ fans, which they love.
In all of your books—and if I counted correctly, there are 18 by now—what character did you struggle with the most while writing her and why?
That’s a really good question. The character that springs to mind is Tanya’s homophobic mother in A Girl Called London. Tanya is a bitch in This London Love (although she comes around in the end). In the next book, you get to understand her reasons why. Her mum is a piece of work, and writing those scenes was a little too close to the bone.
I think most of us (unless we’re really lucky) have had those kind of conversations with our parents early on in the coming out process, when emotions run high. However, Tanya’s mum never lets go of her hatred. I love Tanya, so that was hard to write. My books are known for their humour, but there wasn’t much comedy in those scenes. All my books have a HEA, but some of the characters struggle that bit more to get there.
What are your favorite romance tropes as a writer and as a reader?
I do love a second-chance romance. I love a high school reunion where their eyes meet across a crowded room and all those feelings are suddenly reignited, and the person is back to being 17 again. Perfect! Twice In A Lifetime and You’re My Kind are both second-chance romances. I also adore Gerri Hill’s Love Waits.
I had a lot of fun writing my royal romance, Once Upon A Princess, so maybe I should do that again. I also love a small-town romance. And anything Christmassy. I could read Christmas books all year round. This is my favourite time of year, and I’m obsessively watching the Hallmark Christmas channel. I watch a Christmas movie a day right now. I’m in my element!
You co-wrote Once Upon a Princess with Harper Bliss, and you wrote the Village Romance series with Harper and T.B. Markinson. Did the co-writing process teach you anything new about writing—or about yourself?
Writing with other people was a great experience. It taught me to trust myself and my writing more, for sure. It also made me outline a book in a way I never had before, which changed my writing process for the better going forward, too. When you write with someone else, your outline has to be watertight.
I also loved working with other writers who I consider friends. I got to have a laugh, share writerly woes and issues. Working as part of a team was a welcome change to what is normally a pretty solitary occupation. I still chat regularly with Harper and TB, which proves our collaboration worked well. I’m planning more co-writing in 2020.
I listen to your & T.B. Markinson’s podcast Lesbians Who Write every week since it manages to be hilarious and informative at the same time. Can you tell us a little about the process of putting a podcast episode together? And what do you enjoy most about podcasting?
TB and I met when she lived in London and we got on well from the start. We joked one night that we should record our conversations, and that’s when the idea of the podcast dawned on me. I host The Lesbian Book Club podcast on another platform, but I’d wanted to do something myself. Collaborating on writing convinced me that collaborating on a podcast would be great, too. Plus, it means we share the work. It’s now a highlight of every week for both myself and TB – we absolutely love doing the show, and I think that comes across.
I keep the list of topics for the show. We record on Skype every Thursday. I edit the show and get it over to TB by Sunday. She uploads it every Monday. TB runs the website, and compiles the comments, too. It’s an easy partnership that works well. Podcasting is a great way to reach an audience, and I know that our listenership is a spread of readers and writers. We make each show personal, talk about our writing and our lives, and listeners seem to like what we do. Being a voice in someone’s ear (literally) is a great way of putting yourself out there, and a great marketing tool, too.
Your romance A Taste of Love is right up my alley since it features a woman who’s running an ice cream shop! If you were an ice cream, what flavor would you be and why?
There are some great flavours featured in the book (I did my research!) My favourite is coconut & honeycomb with chocolate sprinkles. A bit of sweetness, some pop, a little different and it doesn’t follow the crowd. Just like me. Probably.
If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be and why?
Email. Also, my never-ending to-do list. As soon as I tick something off, something else replaces it. The curse of being an independent publisher. But then, I shouldn’t moan because I do love having all that control. With great power comes great responsibility, as someone wise once said.
Do you have time to read, and do you read lesbian and f/f romances? If you do, what are your all-time favorites?
I read most days – you can find a list of my all-time favourites and current reads on my website under Book Recs. And Playing The Role Of Herself by KE Lane is my top lesfic – full of Hollywood glamour, incredible chemistry and off-the-scale drama. Also up there are In At The Deep End by Kate Davies; All The Little Moments by G Benson (still sobbing); and I really enjoyed XX by Angela Chadwick, which just won the Polari Prize. Refreshingly different.
When’s your next book coming out, and what are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on a book about a woman who falls in love with her bridesmaid. It’ll be out in Q1 next year. In 2020, I plan on writing three more books, the most I’ve done in a year. Will I manage it? Fingers and toes crossed.
Where can your readers find out more about you and your books?
They can go to my website, which I’ve just redone and I’m very proud of! www.clarelydon.co.uk
Most of my books are available on all platforms, so just go to wherever you normally buy your books and you should find me there. I’m also on Twitter (@clarelydon), Facebook (clare.lydon) and Instagram (@clarefic).
Clare is graciously giving away an e-book copy of her newest release, Made in London.
Anyone can enter. To be entered into the drawing, scroll down and leave a comment at the end of this page.
Entries close on Thursday, December 5, 2019, 10 a.m. CET, when I’ll draw the winners using a random numbers generator. I’ll notify winners via email. Your email address won’t be used for any other purpose.