RONA Awards 2022 Celebration Drinks with… Lorraine Brown

RONAS

Tonight’s guest, joining me in a celebratory tipple to toast their inclusion in the shortlist for the Romantic Novel Awards 2022, is an author nominated in the Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel category. With her book, Uncoupling, it’s… Lorraine Brown.

Lorraine Brown headshot

Welcome to the blog, Lorraine and thank you for joining me for drinks this evening. First things first, what are you drinking?

A lovely, large glass of red wine. I’m doing a wine-tasting tour in Italy next month, so hopefully I’ll make more informed choices after that, but currently I’m not too fussy about which wine I drink!

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Lucky you, I love Italy. If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?

A very cool, luxurious hotel bar, preferably one with a view. I’m thinking New York or Paris.

New York bar

If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?

Mindy Kaling (she seems fun and I love her writing) and George Clooney (because why not?!)

So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?

I’m currently writing my third novel which will be out in 2023. It’s set mostly in Florence, a city I’ve only ever visited for a day but always thought would make the perfect setting for a love story (heavily influenced by my obsession with the film adaptation of A Room With A View!). Although some writers can write locations brilliantly without ever having been there, I have to actually experience a place myself to do it justice. I plan to walk around the city imagining my characters in beautiful, evocative settings, almost in quite a filmic way.  

Ponte,Vecchio,Over,Arno,River,In,Florence,,Italy

What has been your proudest moment since you started writing and what has been your biggest challenge?

Signing with my literary agent, Hannah Ferguson, in the summer of 2019. There were nine years between the moment I did my very first creative writing course and the point at which I got an agent and it was HARD! At times I thought it was never going to happen and I have a plethora of rejection letters and emails. I’m proud of myself for not giving up. My biggest challenge has probably been getting used to talking about myself and my book at events and on podcasts – I was really nervous at first, as I used to hate public speaking, but I’ve got used to it over time. It’s always better when there’s a panel, though – when it’s just me, it can sometimes still feel terrifying!

What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!

I would like to write a screenplay – a romantic comedy – and for it to be a huge hit, of course!

What are have planned that you are really excited about?

My second novel – Sorry I Missed You – is coming out on the 9th June and I’m really looking forward to celebrating the launch properly, with drinks and a little party. When my debut novel came out it was the middle of lockdown, bookshops were all closed and I don’t think I left my flat that day. I did have a cool triple launch party with two other authors on Zoom, though!

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Sometime love is just around the corner…

Rebecca isn’t looking for love. She’s perfectly happy with her high-flying city job, gorgeous flat overlooking Hampstead Heath and fortnightly fling with the hot CEO. She’s certainly not interested in the hot actor neighbour who’s just moved in opposite…

Jack is still looking for his big break. It turns out being the star talent at drama school doesn’t give you a golden ticket to Hollywood, after all. The last thing he needs is any distractions right now – especially not the uptight, power-suit wearing girl next door.

They might live only a few metres away from each other but their worlds couldn’t be further apart, plus opposites don’t really attract…do they?

I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?

I love travelling, too, and I’m particularly obsessed with cities. LA is possibly my favourite – I spent a couple of months there when I was trying (and mostly failing!) to be an actor and it felt as though the city had it all: gorgeous weather, beaches, mountains, cool bars and restaurants and a very strong chance of bumping into an A-list celebrity at every turn! In terms of where I’d like to go in the future, Tokyo, Sydney and Chicago are probably at the top of my list. 

I love Chicago, quite easy to do as a city break from the UK too.Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself.

I once worked as a PA to a plastic surgeon near Harley Street and it was fascinating – I definitely want to set a book in that world one day!

Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?

I was lucky enough to read an early copy of Nothing But The Truth by Holly Miller, a sparky romantic comedy about a Hollywood publicist who needs a touch of magic to help her find herself. Highly recommend!

So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?

I wish I had worked out how to avoid them! My usual and not-particularly-effective cure is to have eggs on toast for breakfast and then to consume vast amounts of carbs and cheese throughout the day!

After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?

Well hopefully I’d be staying in the aforementioned cool, luxurious, five-star hotel in New York or Paris, so I’d have lots of bubble baths, drink champagne, indulge at the hotel breakfast bar, have nice lunches, check out an art gallery or two and go shopping. And then a facial at the hotel spa would be nice.

Paris pretty pic

That sounds just about perfect, I have to say. Thank you for chatting with me this evening, I’ve really enjoyed myself.

Lorraine’s RONA-nominated novel, Uncoupling, is out in hardback, audiobook, paperback (as The Paris Connection) and ebook and you can buy a copy here.

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Could one split second change her life forever?

Hannah and Si are in love and on the same track – that is, until their train divides on the way to a wedding. The next morning, Hannah wakes up in Paris and realises that her boyfriend (and her ticket) are 300 miles away in Amsterdam.

But then Hannah meets Léo on the station platform, and he’s everything Si isn’t. Spending the day with him in Paris forces Hannah to question how well she really knows herself – and whether, sometimes, you need to go in the wrong direction to find everything you’ve been looking for…

Lorraine Brown previously trained as an actress and now works as a student counsellor alongside her writing. She lives in London with her partner and their 9-year-old son. Uncoupling is her first novel. 

Connect with Lorraine:

Website: www.lorrainebrownbooks.com

Facebook: Lorraine Brown Author

Twitter: @LorraineBrown23

Instagram: @lorrainebrownauthor

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