The Who, What, When, Where and Why with Roxie Cooper

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Roxie Cooper was a nightclub dancer and a barrister before deciding to write a book. With her second novel, The Day We Met, out now, she drops in to tell us more about her writing journey.

1. Who has been the most important person in your writing journey?

That’s an easy question to answer – my brilliant agent, Sarah Hornsley! She receives so many submissions from writers looking for representation each week, I still can’t believe she picked mine up and requested a full manuscript within 24 hours. I know I’m in safe hands with her and I trust everything she does. You know you have a special relationship when you trust someone to make big decisions regarding your career. It’s always a treat to visit London for meetings and have lunch with Sarah – we talk about books, work, and we laugh about the strangest things!

2. What motivates you to write?

I always like to challenge myself. I never want to reach the stage where I feel too comfortable doing something. I always want to be improving, pushing myself to be better. My first novel, The Law of Attraction, was a romantic comedy. I loved writing that book, but I wanted to write something emotionally complex with more depth as my second novel, so I wrote The Day We Met. And, also … amazing reviews from readers! My goal as an author is to create a book that readers will love. When I read a glowing review, it makes me feel incredible. I want to replicate that again with the next novel.

3. When did you first start writing?

When I was 31 years old. I hadn’t written a thing before that. I was becoming disillusioned with my former career as a criminal barrister at the time. I come from a very working class area in Teesside and used to tell all of my friends about the ludicrous traditions and rituals I had to participate in at the Bar. I’d tell all of the stories in a very ‘Boro unimpressed’ way, and people would say “You should really write a book about all this!” I was also continually irritated by people telling me “You really don’t look like a barrister”. So, I started putting ideas together for a kind of ‘authentic version of Legally Blonde set in the North East’ which later went on to become my debut novel.

4. Where do you write?

When I’m writing the actual book, I like to write in a local coffee shop (yes, that old cliche). I need to be surrounded by a bit of a buzz and hustle and endless coffee. I always have my iPod on. I have a dedicated playlist for each book I write and I listen to it on repeat. However, once I reach the editing process – everything changes. This part of the process must be done at home, in silence, so I can concentrate. It’s always the most intense part of the journey and I’ll become quite reclusive – it’s just how I work!

5. Why did you write this book?

The Day We Met is novel about meeting the right person at the wrong time. I wanted to write a different kind of love story, one which reflected modern times and attitudes. As a former barrister, one of the things I loved about that job was exploring grey areas of topics that other people had black or white opinions on.

Emotional infidelity is one of those grey areas; Is it more, or less, of a betrayal than physical infidelity? Or is it equally as bad? I also wanted to capture the pure torture and torment of being in love with someone you can’t be with; Jamie and Stephanie can’t be together, but they can’t be apart either. The idea to write The Day We Met was cemented after listening to some love songs and thinking how awful it must be to hear them, knowing you can’t ever be with the person you think of as you listen to them. I knew then, that the book would have to be set to music.

Roxie Cooper lives in Yarm, a pretty little market town in the North-East of England. After reading Classics at Newcastle University, she realised she needed a break from studying Latin, Ancient Greek and all that serious stuff, so became a dancer in a nightclub for a few years before going to live in Australia. When she returned, she swapped dancing on a bar, to practising at the Bar, and became a barrister for 7 years.

Twitter: @toodletinkbaby

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