Blog Tour: Would Like To Meet by Polly James – Polly’s Writing Routine and Review

homepagebottompicI’m pleased to be welcoming Polly James to the blog today and the blog tour for her new novel, Would Like To Meet which was released by Avon on 30th June.

Could the worst thing that’s ever happened to Hannah Pinkman also turn out to be one of the best?

She and her husband Dan have reached the end of the line. Bored with the same gripes, the same old arguments – in fact, bored with everything – they split up after a trivial row turns into something much more serious.

Now Hannah has to make a new life for herself, but that’s not easy. She’s been so busy being a wife and mum that she’s let all her other interests slip away, along with her friends. And when Hannah is persuaded to join a dating site, her ‘best match’ is the very last person she expects it to be . . .

A clever, funny and poignant novel about life after a long relationship, the importance of friendship, and rediscovering your identity.

I’ve reviewed the book below but first, Polly what’s your writing routine like? 

Every night, I write in my diary just before I go to sleep, and the day’s entry always ends with this identical note to self: “FFS. Get a grip”.

That gives you some idea of how effective my so-called ‘routine’ is – or ineffective, to be more accurate. I even contemplated lying about what it really involves when you asked this question, because it’s so ridiculous, but then I decided not to be a hypocrite. I usually try to write about life with what’s been described as “fearless frankness”, so on that basis, here you are: the horrible, unvarnished truth.

My writing ‘routine’.

  1. Get up. (I’m not telling you what time, because it varies a lot. Let’s just say I’ve never been an early bird.)
  2. Stagger downstairs and have a cup of tea. Or two. Or three.
  3. Make the mistake of checking all my social media streams.
  4. Chat to every single person who’s contacted me on Twitter, and some who haven’t’
  5. Read everyone’s else’s posts on Facebook.
  6. Try to think of something interesting to post myself.
  7. Fail miserably, so give up.
  8. Have another cup of tea, while instructing self not to log onto social media first thing in future.
  9. Would Like To MeetCheck my emails.
  10. Answer every single one.
  11. Issue similar instruction to self to the one already mentioned in point 5 above, but replace the words “social media” with “my emails”.
  12. Have another cup of tea.
  13. Check for messages that have come into my website or blog overnight.
  14. Reply to all of those, except for the spammy ones trying to sell me financial services.
  15. Look at the clock and immediately become FURIOUS about my astonishing inefficiency.
  16. Go upstairs to have a shower.
  17. Put on the same clothes as yesterday’s, apart from dirty underwear. (Things aren’t quite that bad. Yet.)
  18. Decide I’m now ready to work.
  19. En route from bedroom into study, catch sight of what I look like in the mirror on the landing.
  20. Almost have a heart attack.
  21. Return to bedroom, and try to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear by doing something about my hair.
  22. Decide self-improvement process also requires make-up, in case the postman calls.
  23. Fall into lengthy period of despair at failure of make-up to knock decades off my age, which usually coincides with urgent visit to the loo.
  24. Miss postman while sitting on said loo.
  25. Become even more furious with myself.
  26. Have another cup of tea in futile attempt to calm down.
  27. Read and answer all the messages and emails that came in during earlier meltdown/recovery phase.
  28. Look at clock and realise husband will be home within an hour.
  29. Hurtle upstairs into study and turn desktop computer on.
  30. Realise am now too full of panic-stricken adrenaline to be able to think of a word to write.
  31. Stare hopelessly out of the window for quite some time.
  32. Spot husband arriving home from work. Abandon study and join him downstairs.
  33. Deflect questions about how my ‘working day’ has gone so far.
  34. Return to study for second attempt to work while saintly husband cooks dinner.
  35. Look out of window again, and notice that garden urgently needs watering.
  36. Water front and back gardens, while taking endless photos of flowers and uploading the best to Instagram. Dinner’s almost ready by now, so there’s no point in going back to work until after we’ve eaten, is there?
  37. Eat dinner, and watch one episode of whatever husband and I are currently addicted to on Netflix.
  38. Discuss whether I’d be a better screenwriter than a novelist.
  39. Decide I’m no good at either. Have second meltdown of the day.
  40. Watch another episode to aid my recovery.
  41. Husband says he’s off to bed. Promise to join him shortly, “so I’ll get a good night’s sleep and be ten times more efficient tomorrow”.
  42. Husband pulls face to indicate just how unconvincing he finds that last statement. I say something a bit defensive in response.
  43. Husband rolls eyes and goes upstairs. I have one last cup of tea.
  44. Join now-snoring husband in bedroom, get undressed and into bed.
  45. Read someone else’s novel until my eyes start drooping, while trying to ignore voice in head that keeps saying, “You’ll never write as well as this”.
  46. Blog tourSlam book shut and pick up diary. Write aforementioned instruction to self to be less pathetic tomorrow.
  47. Turn light off, and quickly fall into state of being half-awake and half-asleep.
  48. Have BRILLIANT idea for next scene, or next book– or both.
  49. Prove totally unable to find pen or paper in the darkness. Swear, but under breath.
  50. Get up and put on dressing gown as quietly as possible. Fall over husband’s discarded clothes.
  51. Swear again, this time not under breath.
  52. Go into study, ignoring mirror on landing, and realise have left computer on.
  53. Sit down at desk and write like a maniac for 6-8 hours straight.
  54. Pass husband on landing on my way back to bed. Wish him a good day at work.
  55. Doze fitfully because a) it’s daylight; b) the rest of the world is now fully-awake and making a racket, and c) more brilliant ideas occur to me.
  56. Abandon attempt to have a proper ‘night’s’ sleep and get up, feeling and looking even more knackered than the day before.
  57. Repeat numbers 1 to 56.

 

My verdict on Would Like To Meet: 

Hannah and Dan were once happily married but now, years later something is not quite right and after a row escalates after starting over a reality TV show things come to a head and Hannah and Dan go their separate ways.

Now Hannah finds herself alone, in a job she hates and working for a woman she doesn’t like very much.

Would Like To Meet

Avon, 30th June 2016

However, with help from her Aunt Pearl and her new best friend Eva, Hannah begins to give things a go she wouldn’t have contemplated whilst being with Dan. This includes internet dating. This doesn’t go well until the online dating site pairs her up with someone very familiar.

I was a fan of Polly’s writing having read her debut novel, The Diary of an Unsmug Married. However, even if I hadn’t read it, The cover for this book would immediately make me pick it up off the shelf. It’s so cute (and seriously, you had me at the tea cups.)

Hannah I think is a character many women can empathise with and is, in my opinion a very sympathetic character (although sometimes her own worst enemy.) I found myself connecting with her in a way I didn’t think I would. We see Hannah go through the various stages of a break up after a long marriage  and in some realistic ways. Hannah can see herself potentially finding some courage she didn’t believe she had.

Pearl and Eva are great supporting characters. Some of the things Eva and Hannah say in the novel had me laughing out loud. Joel was also a great character and he reminded me of some of the boys I knew when i was his age.

The plot had some lovely tender moments as well as some very humorous ones. There were some unexpected moments and I didn’t know how the book was going to end which was great. It didn’t make the book predictable (it is easy for internet dating stories to be predictable which this one isn’t.) It covers a large chunk of a few months without it feeling as though the story is dragging. There wasn’t a moment in this book that felt like that for me.

Polly’s way of writing is so charming. She writes with such warmth and humour and I really found myself engrossed in this book. Would Like To Meet is a fantastic book with great characters and has a realistic feel to it.

I loved this book. Perfect for summer.

 

The blog tour continues tomorrow over at: http://tishylou.blogspot.co.uk

homepagebottompicAbout Polly: 

Polly James was born in Wales, but currently lives in East Anglia, where she works as a freelance writer and editor. She is married and has two (supposedly) adult children.

Polls writing career began when she gave up working for an MP and started a fictional blog called “Mid-Wife Crisis”, writing as the main character, Molly Bennett. The blog developed a large readership and was eventually shortlisted for the Orwell Prize.

“Diary of an Unsmug Married” tells Molly Bennett’s story, though Polly’s second novel “Would Like to Meet” features an all-new cast of characters and has a very different plot.

Polly’s website: http://www.pollyjamesauthor.com
Polly’s blog: http://mid-wife-crisis-blog.blogspot.co.uk/

 

 

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Laura
I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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