Let me introduce you to Drew Davies, whose first novel, a romantic comedy called The Shape of Us is published by Bookouture today, 27 November. About four strangers falling in and out of love, it’s set in London, where Drew lives, and is described by his agent as ‘David Nicholls’ One Day meets Love Actually’.
A goodreads.com reviewer had this to say about it:‘What can I say? I absolutely loved this deliciously bonkers book… Each and every plot line grabbed my attention and made me think a lot, laugh even more and cry at the end… Five, shiny heartfelt stars from me.’
To celebrate the publication of The Shape of Us Drew shares here some of his favourite things, in what I hope will become a regular series featuring creatives of all kinds. Over to the writer:
I can’t write without my sit/stand desk. A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with a bulging disc in my neck. A wonderful physiotherapist brought me back from the brink, but there were times I didn’t think I was going to mend at all. My desk helps me keep active and alert about my posture – there’s less slouching and writing for hours now. I also alternate with left and right hand mice. I need a constant reminder to mix things up, otherwise I’ll pay for it later.
When I need a break I read books, play games on my phone (Solitairica, Kingdom Rush, I’m currently playing the Cat Lady card game), sometimes I do jigsaw puzzles –but mostly I make tea. Copious amounts of tea. Seriously, you’ve never seen someone drink so much tea. My Nanna made me this tea cosy to keep it warm:
My favourite place in London is the Barbican Centre. This is an extract from an older draft of The Shape of Us:
‘He’s always liked the Barbican – it reminds him of a set from a sixties sci-fi movie – brown-grey concrete jutting at right angles amid a polychromising swathe of plant and tree. He walks over the bridge and looks towards the rows of apartments, built to house the poor, but which are now almost exclusively owned by wealthy retired couples who spend most of their waking hours pondering which new colour to add to the official floral palette or whether, instead, to rein it in a bit (They chose the latter – though fuchsia would have been lovely in spring. Ah, well, ne regrette rien.)’
I love the architecture, but I also love the library, and the weird loos. It’s so English, and yet unlike anything else.
I laugh most at myself, I hope. My idiocy that is (not my sparkling wit). Also, my friend Lizzie, she’s hilarious – you should check her out on Twitter: @Lizzie_Catt.
My favourite recent read? That’s a difficult one – I always like the book I’m currently reading best. As such, I’m enjoying Dietland by Sarai Walker. In general – I love Margaret Atwood, Gerald Durrell, Agatha Christie, Fay Weldon, Terry Pratchett, Zadie Smith, Steven King, Nancy Mitford, Haruki Murakami, Michael Faber. Less by Andrew Sean Greer is a book I wish I could write / had written.
The essential ingredient of my book launch party is the mantra ‘the people who show up are the right ones’. It’s no use stressing about the no-shows.
My tip for dealing with romantic difficulties is opening a dialogue before you’re in crisis mode. Also Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix, and Wired for Love by Stan Tatkin should be essential reading for all couples.
If you enjoy The Shape of Us (buy it here in paperback or download here on Kindle), you’re in luck, because Drew is already working on his second novel. All I can reveal at this stage is that it’s also a romantic comedy, this time set in another fabulous capital city Drew knows well…