We first interviewed Lauren Berry when the hardback version of her debut novel, Living The Dream came out to great reviews – an hilarious story of friendship, crises, work life and what it’s like to survive in London. She made us laugh back then so when we heard the paperback was out this week we thought we’d have another chat. You can buy a copy right here.
How does it feel to have written a book, Lauren Berry?
It feels a bit like an expensive bra, I’m really proud of it and I know it looks great, but the underwire is digging into my ribs… The writing of it was absolute bliss and getting a book deal felt pretty cool. There’s a sweet spot where you get to say fancy things like ‘excuse me, my agent is calling.’ Then it comes out and that feels excellent. Then some old bit of carcass says something mean on Amazon and a bit of the gloss falls off (it grows back though).
Do you tell people you’re an author and they go “Oh wow – yeah I’ve always wanted to write a book.” And then just talk about themselves?
I tend to mutter something about being a writer and try and change the subject. Although this week I had to pick up a package from the Post Office and I didn’t have ID on me, so I googled my name and showed him the author picture and he let me collect it. I am 100% sure that he wasn’t allowed to do that but he knew that it was the proudest moment of my professional life and didn’t want to spoil it.
What’s your elevator pitch for Living The Dream? Give us the snappy sales patter and we’ll all go and buy a copy.
It’s a romcom without the rom, it’s an office comedy, an offcom. It’s about work and friendship, and how they can be both the best and the worst things in life. Spoiler, it’s got women in it, so if you hate them you should go and f*ck yourself instead.
I read someone said that the characters drank too much in the book. Are they aware of what it’s like to be in your 20s in London? I thought it was fairly realistic.
Apparently the young don’t drink anymore but I’m pretty sure London on a Saturday night would call bullsh*t on that theory.
Hey – didn’t you edit that very funny, feminist, satirical ‘zine called KnockBack?
I did, and now it’s on the internet as an archive of things that were and are excellent. Luckily we had a rule that the content would be timeless and since nothing ever changes, it’s all still scarily relevant. Check it out.