April 2008


Scottish author Shari Low's new book My Best Friend's Life is about two friends who swap lives. Low, a former nightclub manager, toilet roll salesperson and now a columnist with the Daily Record, also has two sons.

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  1. 1. What inspired your latest novel, My Best Friend's Life?

    Just wandering thoughts . . . One evening I had dinner with my group of girlfriends and we were laughing about how some of us have nothing in common at all: different opinions, different personality traits, different lives, yet we are all incredibly close and have the best time together. At the same time, I'm always intensely curious about other peoples' lives and what it would be like to be in their shoes (in my next life I want to be Julia Roberts for at least one day a week!). So I guess both trains of thought collided when I was thinking through storylines for my next book and I realised a friendship/life swap concept would be a really fun premise to work with.

  2. 2. Were you always going to have Roxy working in a brothel?

    It was the first thing that came to mind as I wanted the two roles to be as dramatically diverse as possible while reflecting Ginny and Roxy's characters - Ginny was perfect in the calm predictability of the library, while the high-class brothel frequented by celebrities was exactly the kind of place that the wild, rebellious, shallow Roxy would love.

  3. 3. Whose life would you most like to swap with?

    Cliched as it sounds, I'm quite happy with the life I've got - I've been married to an amazing man for 15 years, I've got two fantastic little boys and a job I love . . . but I do share Roxy's shallow gene so I wouldn't mind being Vicky Beckham when I travel (private jets), Catherine Zeta Jones when I shop (unlimited funds, always looks great) and if Angelina Jolie would like to swap places one night a week I don't think I (or my husband!) would complain. Brace yourself, Brad!

  4. 4. In the book you have a pupil report on each of the main characters. What did your school reports say about you?

    I always got good reports on the academic side, but my teachers did struggle with my lack of restraint - the general consensus of opinion was that I talked too much, smoked too much, only cared about friends, boys and partying. Thankfully, I've now changed - the cigarettes are gone.

  5. 5. Do you find it difficult to write about sex?

    Noooooooooo - that's the best bit! Nothing beats an afternoon in your pyjamas, mainlining HobNobs while thinking up outrageously tickly things to do with very bendy gorgeous guys.

  6. 6. In The Motherhood Walk of Fame, Carly heads to Tinseltown. Tell us about your own trip to LA.

    An agency in LA called CAA asked to represent the movie rights to my books and a couple of the studios showed an interest in them. At the same time my husband had been made redundant, I had two small children and we were skint' So obviously, it made perfect sense to pack up and head off to LA for a couple of months. It was absolutely the best time of our lives and I'd like to thank American Express, Visa and Mastercard for making it possible! In the end, the movie deals didn't go ahead but it was great doing the whole roller-blading through Santa Monica thing (two sprained ankles and a minor concussion) and we made some great friends. I'm determined that one day, somehow, someone in the movie business will snap up one of my manuscripts - even if it's the guy who drives the tour bus at Universal Studios and he buys it for $10 and a Shrek watch. When I was writing My Best Friend's Life, I saw Scarlett Johansson as Ginny and Megan Fox (Transformers) as Roxy. Stuart Townsend (Charlize Theron's gorgeous partner) would be brilliant as Mitch, and I have to say Gerard Butler for Sam, because he's from my hometown and I want to meet him to find out if Hollywood success has made him a power-crazy prima donna or if he's still down to earth and lovely (with criteria like that it's become clear why I'd be a rubbish casting agent). Oh, and Judy Dench and Julie Walters would be magnificent as Vera and Vi. Not that I've thought about it too much '!

  7. 7. Out of all your characters, which one would you most like as a friend?

    Probably Sam, the hubba hubba A-list movie star with the Hollywood estate in The Motherhood Walk of Fame. Sorry, it's that shallow gene kicking in again . . .

  8. 8. Why did you decide to become a writer?

    I had wanted to be a writer since I was 12 and I used to read Jackie Collins books under my duvet using the light from my electric blanket so my mum wouldn't catch me. However I left home when I was 16 so I had to get a real job to support myself - thus years in nightclubs and sales in the UK, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Holland. It was only when I turned 30 that I finally focused on writing my first novel (What If?) and was lucky enough to get a publishing deal.

  9. 9. In Double Trouble, it was a case of brains vs beauty. Which one do you think is more important?

    Both have value - it would be great to be a legendary beauty like Sophia Loren or Isabella Rossellini, but if I had to choose, I'd rather have brains. Then I could put my chronic addiction to Extreme Makeover, 10 Years Younger and all those other plastic surgery shows to good use and buy myself a killer body and Kate Hudson's face. I haven't gone under the knife yet but if I can conquer my cowardice and my overdraft, I wholeheartedly intend to wake up when I'm 75 and look like Joan Rivers.

  10. 10. What are your favourite chick lit books and why?

    You can't beat a night on the sofa with Marian Keyes, Carmen Reid, Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Warner, Lauren Weisberger or some of the newer names on the scene like Alison Kerwin and Paige Toon. When I'm going on holiday, I never, ever leave without a good old bonkbuster - you know, those 80s romp-a-thons by writers like Jackie Collins, Judith Krantz and Olivia Goldsmith. I spent a huge portion of my teenage years wearing shoulder pads that were bigger than my mum's car, too much make-up and huge hair, while devouring (under the duvet!) those epic tales of love, lust and revenge. Unfortunately it also gave me a distorted view of life because I became convinced that I would grow up, live in LA, have a kidney-shaped swimming pool and marry six husbands, at least one of whom would be called Dirk and buy me diamonds on a weekly basis. I haven't given up hope . . .

  11. 11. Any advice for aspiring authors juggling family life with writing?

    Keep your sense of humour, don't beat yourself up when things go wrong, and when you get totally stressed because your work life divide has become as balanced as Nicole Richie and John Prescott on a seesaw, take a few hours off and play footy in the back garden with the kids. Oh, and stay away from the biscuit tin. I've gained so much weight since I started working from home that the most groundbreaking developments in my life are my buttocks.

  12. 12. What's the best reader feedback you've ever received?

    Any feedback is magnificent, and it's especially rewarding when a reader tells you that they loved the characters and the antics made them laugh out loud. The only rubbish feedback I've had was when a boy I went to school with when I was 12 wrote to tell me there were two spelling mistakes in my first book. I now remember why I never liked him. Oh, and there was another guy who sent me a drawing that he said should be the cover for my next book - unfortunately it was so obscenely pornographic that I'll probably be in therapy for years.

  13. 13. What are you working on now?

    One of those 80s romp-a-thons. If Dirk won't come to me . . .

  14. 14. What reality TV show would you most like to be on?

    None of them! I don't crave the limelight at all and the very thought of all those people watching me is terrifying. I find making myself look like a twat is best done in the comfort of my own home.

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