Friday, 6 February 2015

I can't cope with having four different names. I'm bringing Bondgirl back.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


How soon after a book is published is it safe to kill off the author? I feel ready to move on. Sweet Little Lies has been spotted around town, people are being very nice about it and I am almost done. I can promote the book more I suppose, but having recently dipped my toe in the Kindle marketplace and found myself bombarded by strange tweets and emails from people I have never met before asking me to buy a book I do not want, I looked at the lights and was blinded. If you've read Sweet Little Lies I hope you LOVED it. If you haven't I hope you buy it. There. Will that do?

I have had a lot of fun whilst being Alison Bond. I will have many people to remember.

And I'll let you in on a little secret. It's the name I will continue to use for my adventures in screenwriting. So I have my married name, my pen name, my maiden name and my secret Kindle name. It's enough to drive a girl to drink.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Cover Story

I love this cover - the cocktails scare me a bit and what kind of reckless wench brings a blackberry to the beach? - but other than that I love it. I particularly like how the girls look topless in their thumbnail form because this has caused much hilarity on facebook and Twitter. I can't remember which of my friends noticed it first. But I can guess.

It's about young women, friendship and romance. There's a wedding. A billionaire. Would you read a book like this and expect it to have a subplot about a family's horrific experience of advanced Alzheimers? Possibly not.  I write primarily to entertain but I hope that the values and qualities my characters portray through their actions are inspirational just as I was inspired by Lucky Santangelo, Nancy Drew and Madonna. None of whom would take a Blackberry to the beach, at least without some kind of sleeve.

Friday, 27 January 2012


Han (Korean) - a collective feeling of oppression and isolation in the face of overwhelming odds. It connotes aspects of lament and unavenged injustice.

Han (Alison-ese) - Good time girl and long time besty.

Here she is in all her ice-cream eating glory. She lives in Spain you see, where they eat ice-cream all the time and generally laze about saying 'maƱana' when you ask them to do something. I married a Spanish man. I know.

I totally ripped off how Hannah and I met for a short story I once wrote so stop me if you've heard this one before. We were both in the wrong place at the right time on the third day of university. A mistake brought us together. It would be two more years before we really got to know each other, before we became housemates and I learnt that she couldn't play minesweeper and talk at the same time, that she couldn't cook a crispy pancake without burning it, that she is a fantastic drunk and a terrible swot, that her favourite things are sex, the sunshine and books. I remember being amazed (and still am) at how many friends she had and how much energy she had for going out and making more.

I am proud of everything she has achieved - running the London marathon for example or setting up a writing group on the coast of Andalucia - but now I am positively glowing because at last her wonderful debut novel is being released into the wide world. Isn't it the most gorgeous cover?

I love this girl. I love this book. And if you like a bit of paranormal romance with your rites of passage then so will you.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

My Day Out

You will recognise this building if you've ever walked along the South Bank looking north across the Thames. It houses Penguin, still my publisher for another 22 days.

Penguin is such a big deal on The Strand that they have their own entrance hall now. I want to say lobby but my brother recently accused me of sounding too American. It hasn’t always been there, the lobby, you used to have to walk into the regular lobby with all the ordinary people, but now you are able to stride through the etched glass door to the right into this cool haven of books and people smiling because they get to work with books. There are books in frames under glass, books stacked in piles on the shelves that scale the walls, books everywhere. A copy of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is on each coffee table. I know that they will let me take one if I ask, and they do. They being: Helen, who has read Sweet Little Lies and says she loves it, that it was satisfying to read a book where you could relate to both the main characters, and Ruth, who hasn’t read my book but as she has always been the nicest person I have come across in publishing (and there are loads) I will let this pass.

I am at Penguin to do some bits to camera about Sweet Little Lies for their friendly new hub, Book Boutique. It feels strange to talk about my book when it has been so long since I delivered the manuscript. The baby I delivered shortly afterwards is running and climbing and demanding complex things like ‘not this biscuit, the other biscuit’ and yet my book is still a few weeks from birth, gestating in their labyrinthine offices, and I am nobody, but here I am sitting in the media suite (oh yes) drinking great coffee with a plate heaped with biscuits, so many that I wish I had brought Tupperware. I swear it hasn’t been this much fun for years. A Reluctant Cinderella was published without so much as a glass of water, and because of all the back and forth on the cover and the title that book too was held up, so not since the heady days of 2006 and Ruby Valentine have I been given the movie star experience that is visiting Penguin.

I have only been on camera once before (not including the occasions I was spotted in the background during my stint in television production) When I was twenty-two I made an audition tape for a travel show but I never heard back. I’ve been on the radio though and it is a bit like that except that you will see my face. The cameraman is called Paul, he doesn’t say much. I gabber away like a prize galah and hope it isn’t too cringey when I get to see them back. I will probably post one of two of the videos here eventually but can I just add that it was raining outside and the media suite, though both flash and fattening, did not have a mirror and neither did I.

I talk about the Sweet Little Lies and the big stupid one that Anna tells at the heart of the story. I talk about my best friend Hannah, because the book is about best friends as much as it is about romance. And I talk about the character of Ben because of course it’s about romance too.

I read Me Before You all the way home on the train.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Goodbye Alison Bond

In just under a month my fourth novel, Sweet Little Lies, will be published. A story of best friends: Chrissie, who will ruin a man's life just because she can, and Anna, who stands in her way. It is about love and about lies and the way they last forever.

This will be my final book with Penguin*. In May I will become a brand new new woman, and hopefully a new woman's brand, when Canvas at Constable and Robinson publish Summer of Secrets.

I got married a couple of years ago but I never got round to changing my name because a) I would continue to write as Alison Bond and b) it seemed like a lot of paperwork, but still she is slipping away from me, one identifying document at a time. I am in the process of changing my Twitter account and it doesn't get more serious than that. It's been a while, Alison Bond and me. I live out in the wilds a few miles from the market town of my birth and at least once a month I drive past my old sixth form college, an inspirational fairytale gothic hall that has been boarded up and sold off for luxury retirement apartments. Things change.

I am dazzled by the good fortune I had to land seven years of advice and encourgement from the team at Penguin. They really did make my dreams come true.

At the heart of Sweet Little Lies is a search for identity, alongside the search for love, and so I have been thinking a lot about how to say goodbye to Alison Bond and it is like this: by standing proudly next to the things that she wrote, hopeful that she is loved beyond measure, and then facing the future as somebody new.

Click the book on the right to pre-order a discounted copy of Sweet Little Lies from the Book Depository.

(* for now)

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Summer of Secrets

This weekend I did something quite extraordinary. I let the launch shows of Big Brother and X Factor pass me by. Does this mean I am growing?

I am writing hard and there have been some developments but none that I can confirm quite yet. Sweet Little Lies was due to be out in October but that has been pushed back to February 2012. Sweet Little Lies is a love triangle story about an unexploded bomb lying in the past.

I look back on my oeuvre (yes, I said oeuvre) and realise how many twists there are in what I write. Is that why I sometimes find it exhausting? But how can I find it exhausting you might well ask, lying under my duvet making my fingers tap over a keyboard. And the truth is, I don't know. The whole truth is that some days, the best of days, it is not tiring at all and hours can race happily by until I emerge sweating and hungry and full of beans.

But there are always days when you feel tired, tired of ironing out the wrinkles in your plot and the unexpected difficulties around a certain chapter. People tackle this in different ways. I know a writer who breaks down his book before he starts into a series of incidents and chooses which one to write every day, only putting his book in chronological order when he has completed the bulk of the work. That would drive me INSANE, and I suspect I would be left with a bit of a mess when I was done. I know another who writes the emotion they are trying to convey on a index card and writes towards that emotion with every sentence, the index card pulling her forward. I tried that once but my books are quite dark and so I soon found myself utterly depressed because I was spending all day sitting at a desk littered with index cards labelled DISGRACE, SHAME, MISERY, HEARTBREAK and so on because the parts about LOVE, TRUST, JOY are the easy parts to write. And so for me that is the answer, to find the trust beneath the disgrace, the joy that follows the misery and the love in the heartbreak, to treat my characters with infinite compassion. I created them after all. Hubris, that's the answer. There is so much in life that we cannot control, wrestle with the thing that you are writing, word by word, bird by bird, and win.