In 2013 I read and reviewed Joanna Bolouri’s hilarious novel, ‘The List’. (You can find my review here)
Phoebe Henderson may be single but she sure doesn’t feel fabulous. It’s been a year since she found her boyfriend Alex in bed with another woman, and multiple cases of wine and extensive relationship analysis with best friend Lucy have done nothing to help. Faced with a new year but no new love, Phoebe concocts a different kind of resolution.
The List: ten things she’s always wanted to do in bed but has never had the chance (or the courage!) to try. A bucket list for between the sheets. One year of pleasure, no strings attached. Simple, right?
Factor in meddlesome colleagues, friends with benefits, getting frisky al fresco and maybe, possibly, true love and Phoebe’s got her work cut out for her.
And I was lucky enough to interview Joanna about the book, the inspiration behind it and other general chit-chat. Here’s the interview:
1. Hi Joanna, can you tell us what The List is about?
The List follows a year in the life of single girl Phoebe Henderson, who decides to make one New Year’s resolution and stick to it. She chooses to improve her sex life by making a list of ten things she’s always wanted to try in bed.
2. Dare I ask – What was your inspiration for the story? Are any events/characters based on real life?
The inspiration actually came from a conversation with some friends. The characters are based on lots of people I know, and some that I wish I did!
3. If The List was ever made into a movie, who would be your dream cast?
Ha, I’d like Jonathan Ryhs Meyers to play Oliver and Olivia Colman would have to be in there somewhere. I’d love Kristen Wiig for Phoebe, I don’t care if she’s older than I’ve written, she amazing. I think everyone I choose would be stupidly attractive.
4. Have you always wanted to be an author/writer?
Yes but I never really started writing professionally until I hit 30. I don’t think I had anything interesting to say before then.
5. What was your journey to getting published like? Is The List traditionally or self published and what made you decide to take that route?
I went down the traditional route as I didn’t have a clue was I was doing. I still don’t. My publisher actually worked with my agent (before she became my publisher) and took my novel with her when she moved to Quercus.
6. I felt this book portrayed a very healthy and realistic image of sex and relationships – compared to the likes of 50 Shades of Grey. Was this what you were aiming for?
Definitely. I wanted to write about sex and relationships in a realistic light. We all want a bit of escapism but I wanted to show how women actually discuss sex and not take it too seriously.
7. Who are some of your personal favourite authors?
I mainly read horror so Stephen King is my literary hero. I love Daphne du Maurier too- Rebecca is my favourite novel ever.
8. Which 4 famous people would you invite to your dream dinner party? (Dead or alive)
Stephen Fry, Stephen King, Florence Welch and Eddie Izzard. I’d then just sit there like a grinning fool.
9. Which piece of advice would you give to aspiring authors/writers out there?
Write something you would want to read and don’t be afraid to show your work to people, frightening as it initially is. I found feedback in the early stages invaluable.
10. Lastly, can we expect another book from you in the future? Or are you currently working on anything that you’re able to tell us a bit about?
Yep, I recently got a deal for my second novel which will be announced properly next year. It’s another rom-com, based on a dating blog I write. It’s in the very early stages, so even I have no idea where it’s going.
‘The List’ will be available in paperback in April this year and I’m absolutely delighted that a quote from my review will be featured in the front! Suppose I’m going to have to buy the book now…
You can find Joanna and The List on the following links