About The Book
Sometimes you have to leave the one you love … sometimes you’re the one who’s left behind. The new heart-warming and heart-breaking romantic comedy from the No.1 bestselling author of Doesn’t Everyone Have a Secret?
On his way home, Ed makes a split-second decision that changes the lives of all those who love him.
Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessie, is stuck in a job with no prospects, her dreams never fulfilled. It will take more than her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, and temperamental best friend, Coco, to give her the confidence to get her life back on track.
But what if Ed had made another decision? It could all have been so different …
Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessica, has a successful career, loving boyfriend, Nick, and a keen eye on her dream home. But when new clients, a temperamental Coco, and her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, walk into her life, Jessica’s perfect world soon starts to unravel.
Love Them and Leave Them is a story of love, families, friendship and a world of possibilities. Whichever decision Ed makes, the same people are destined to come into his daughter’s life, sometimes in delightfully different ways. And before they can look forward to the future, they will all have to deal with the mistakes of the past.
Character Spotlight Author Q&A
When did you create them? Where? How?
There are two main characters in Love Them and Leave Them. Jessie and Jessica share equal star status!
When I first began writing the book, I knew I wanted it to be a parallel world story and I knew I was going to need two main characters, each a different version of the same person, but I wasn’t sure of anything else. I simply began writing about two women who’d had very different opportunities in life, and Jessie and Jessica appeared (although they had different names back then.) The more I chatted to them in my head, the more defined they became. Their main differences all hinged on the sudden loss of their dad at a young age (or not).
From that moment on, their personalities splintered, and, as Jessica told me all about her time at university and the support she had from her parents and boyfriend, so Jessie told me how hard it was to lose not only her dad, but her future, all in the blink of an eye.
What do you like most about them?
I like both my main characters, but I think my heart goes out to Jessie just a little more. She took a hard knock and is struggling to come back to herself. The way she feels about her dad’s death in chapter one is very similar to my feelings regarding the loss of my own dad, who died very suddenly over 12 years ago. All this time, and I still can’t listen to ‘Dance with my Father’ without getting tearful. I’ve experienced other losses since, but I think the shock of that particular death will always remain with me.
What do like least about them?
It’s possible the readers will feel that Jessica has it all too easy, but I suspect that will change as they progress through the book.
Did everyone like them to start with or did you have to change them in any way?
When my editor read my first draft, he was concerned that both my main characters swore too much. He asked me, ‘Are you angry?’ Reading through it I had to agree – both women were quite sweary and selfish. I concluded that I was allowing some external stresses in my own life to influence the way my characters behaved and spoke.
Once I was aware of it, I was able to rectify it. The good thing is, with the click of a button, you can eradicate many f*cks. I softened the characters and made them both much more caring. But I learnt an important lesson – try not to let my own mood reflect in my characters’ dialogue.
Are there any similarities with anyone real?
Both Jessie and Jessica physically resemble a real-life friend of mine. In my head, I see Jessica as my friend when she’s dressed up and Jessie as the same friend on her more casual days. Which friend? I couldn’t possibly say!
What are your plans for them?
I don’t have any further plans for Jessie or Jessica. I feel their stories are told. I know where I imagine them to be in the future, but I suspect not all my readers will agree. But, then, isn’t that the joy of writing – once a person reads your book, they have their own take on your characters and the worlds you’ve placed them in, and that’s exciting to know.
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About The Author
Sue Shepherd writes contemporary romance and enjoys creating novels with heart, laughs and naughtiness. She doesn’t pull any punches when choosing her subjects, but manages to handle her characters’ challenging situations with sensitivity and humour. Her debut novel, Doesn’t Everyone Have a Secret? was published by Corazon Books in March 2015. It reached the top 10 UK Kindle chart, and also topped the romantic comedy, contemporary romance and humour charts. It became available in paperback on Amazon in November 2015. Sue’s second novel, Love Them and Leave Them, was published in September 2016.
Sue lives on the picturesque Isle of Wight with her husband, two sons and a standard poodle. Her passions in life are: her family, writing, the sea-side and all the beautiful purple things her sons have bought her over the years. Ask Sue to plan too far in advance and you’ll give her the heebie-jeebies.