‘I turned a dating blog into a two-book deal’

Marieclaire.co.uk blogger Lucy Robinson turned a blog about her unsuccessful attempts at dating into a novel - and now she's got a two book-deal with Penguin. Lucy tells marieclaire.co.uk how she did it

marieclaire.co.uk blogger Lucy Robinson turned a blog about her unsuccessful attempts at dating into a novel – and now she’s got a two book-deal with Penguin. Lucy tells marieclaire.co.uk how she did it.

‘I’ve always enjoyed writing. I’m someone who puts more time and effort into a mere text message than Elie Saab puts into his entire S/S collection. (I haven’t checked this out with him but I’m quite sure it’s true.) I just love words. It brings me disproportionate joy to put them together in a sentence.

‘In 2009 I was asked by marieclaire.co.uk to start a blog about my online dating experiences. The blog detailed my ridiculous online dating adventures. Honesty, I quickly realised, was key. The more honest I was about the crazed things that went on in my head, the more my readers enjoyed the blog.

‘Soon after, a publisher contacted me and suggested I wrote a novel. I panicked. I loved writing blogs and had no problem writing crusty academic things for the BBC, where I was working, but a novel? A NOVEL? I very nearly disappeared into the ether but I knew I had to try it. I found it horribly difficult at first and only had time to write between midnight and 3am.

‘But within five months I had an agent, who sent a half-completed manuscript out and before I knew it I had a two book deal with Michael Joseph (Penguin). When I got the news I was sitting in a field with my horse. “I think my life might be about to change,” I told her.

‘I’ve finished my first novel and it comes out today. I’m editing the second and have started writing the third. It takes a great amount of discipline to be a writer but it’s worth the effort. I now have a job that gives me the freedom to work where, when and how I want. And best of all, I get to muck round with words all day. I’m so grateful!’

Lucy’s top tips:
‘Try to write for no more than four hours per day. I get so much more done if I keep my hours short. Less definitely is more for me.’

‘Get people to read your work regularly. If I don’t frequently send manuscripts to my agent I tend to start writing nonsense.’

Lucy’s book The Greatest Love Story of All Time is published by Penguin.

READ LUCY’S BLOG, HERE

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