Claire Frost is the author of Living My Best Life and Married At First Swipe – and her third book, The One, is published today (March 3).
Lottie Brown has finally found The One. Leo is everything she’s ever wanted – he’s handsome, kind, funny and totally gets her. Three months into their relationship, Lottie is in love and happier than ever before. But then Leo tragically dies, and Lottie is left floundering.
As she struggles to stop her life falling apart, Lottie learns more about the man she thought she knew, and starts to question whether Leo really was as perfect as he seemed.
To celebrate the book's release, we asked Claire to open up for her readers and take part in Female First's 'seven things' series. Here's what she had to reveal...
1. I have middle child syndrome
As the middle of three sisters very close in age (there are only three years between us), growing up I felt hard done by being neither the eldest nor the youngest. I was never the first to do anything – such as start school, ride a bike or go to uni – but also didn’t enjoy the freedoms and leniency that come with being the last sibling. Growing up, my role in the family was most naturally as the bridge between my older and younger sisters and I’d tend to take on the mantle of peacemaker. Now we’re all adults, the relationships we have with each other have evolved and we’re closer than ever – but I’ll always be the middle sister!
2. Outdoor swimming helps me plan my novels
One of the first things that opened properly after the first lockdown were outdoor pools, and I found being able to have a swim in my local lido hugely beneficial to both my physical and mental health after months staring at the same four walls. Thankfully, the pool is heated (I am definitely not hardy enough to swim in freezing water!) and I try to go twice a week. Not only is it great exercise, but it is also time away from my screens and phone (which I spend far too much time on) when I can just be alone with my thoughts, and I often sort out tricky plot holes or come up with ideas for characters as I swim my forty lengths.
3. I love a deadline
As well as writing novels, I am assistant editor and book reviewer at The Sun on Sunday’s Fabulous magazine and much of my working week is spent making sure I hit daily and weekly deadlines – which has really helped when it comes to ensuring I send my books to my publisher on time at every stage of the writing process. If I don’t have the structure of a specific deadline, I’ve learned to commit to a date when I will get things done by and I will email my editor, my agent or even a friend so I’m accountable to someone – otherwise I am liable to procrastinate endlessly!
4. I dream of living by the sea
For me, there is nothing better than walking along the UK coast, looking down at the sparkling sea gently lapping at a sandy beach, with the sun shining and a gentle breeze colouring my cheeks. When the daily grind of life feels a bit too much, I often think about myself in Cornwall with my partner and our (currently imaginary) dog strolling along the coast path. Once, when we were down there on holiday, we walked past my perfect house – a detached, white-washed beauty with a huge balcony overlooking the sea where I could sit and write. We will never in our lives be able to afford that house, even if it were up for sale (which it wasn’t!) – but in my dream world, that’s where we live!
5. Reading has always been a huge part of my life
Books have both fuelled my imagination and been a lifebelt through tough times. I grew up reading Enid Blyton, Noel Streatfeild and all the classics, before moving on to Judy Blume, Lisa Jewell, Jill Mansell and Marian Keyes. From the age of six, I knew I loved both reading stories and writing them myself, but it never really occurred to me that could be my actual job. I feel so privileged that now I have the best jobs in the world working for a magazine and writing books.
6. I'm definitely a night owl - but I've had to become a lark
My natural setting is to work late into the night and get up correspondingly late the next morning, but the structure of my life doesn’t really allow me to do this, so I’ve tried hard to become more productive first thing. I’m not sure I’ll ever love getting up early, but at least now it’s starting to get a bit lighter in the mornings – and there is definitely something satisfying about ticking off lots of my to-do list before lunch (plus it means wine time can kick in earlier – win-win!).
7. Lockdown made me obsessed with house plants
I’m lucky that I have a garden, so I had some outdoor space to call my own during those long weeks we were all confined to our houses, and I really enjoyed growing my own vegetables for the first time (even if the caterpillars ate more of them than we did). But spending so much time at home also made me bring the greenery inside, and I now have an ever-growing collection of plants to look after on my desk, on top of my bookcases and every previously empty surface – it’s becoming a full-time job just looking after them!
MORE FROM BOOKS: Seven interesting facts about me, by Kristen Bailey
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