Thursday 2 August 2012

Love at Second Sight Blog Tour: Interview with author Cathy Hopkins.

Love at Second Sight by Cathy Hopkins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Release date: August 2nd 2012
Ages: 11+

Unlucky in love Jo is dragged along to see a clairvoyant by her two coupled-up best friends, and is told that there's only one boy for her. The trouble is, the last time she saw him was in a past life, when she worked as a governess to his younger brother. The clairvoyant tells her that as she is back in this life, so is he, and she must find him if she is ever to know true happiness and love.

Jo doesn't believe a word of it - but then a series of events begin to change her mind. Could her one true love really be out there? In her quest to find the One, she visits psychics and cemeteries - but will she even be able to recognize her soul-mate when she finds him? Or is she destined to continue looking for love for all of time?

 An Interview with Love at Second Sight author Cathy Hopkins:

Describe Love at Second Sight in just one tweet:

Could the love of your past life be the love of this life too?

 Where did you get the inspiration to write Love at Second Sight?

Like Jo in the book, many years ago, a friend took me to see a clairvoyant. She was very direct and told me that in my last life, I was a governess called Henrietta around the 1800’s and I worked for a doctor in Bristol. That gave me the start of the idea for Love At Second Sight.

I read up about reincarnation and the idea that we are not just our body and that our true self is the spirit that inhabits the body. The idea that the physical form is but a wrapper that we shed at the end of each life, then our spirit passes on to the next life and takes up a new ‘wrapper’’/body. I started thinking, what if it is true and that we have had past lives and known people before in different guises? Do we meet people in this life that we’ve known before? If say, you met your soulmate in a past life but are now back in this life, how would you recognise him or her in this life? I thought it would be a fascinating premise to explore – which I did in the book.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given in relation to your writing?

The best piece of advice about writing was from my father who was also a writer. When I was about to start a new book, he’d always say, in the beginning, just get your story written. Get the first draft down without judging yourself or rewriting in the beginning. You can always go back and change it later. Let the internal critic in you have its say once you have the story line down in a rough draft. So many people can’t get past the first line or the first chapter because they judge their writing too early on in the process and want it to be perfect, unique and so on. You have to allow the creative side of you to have a free reign in the beginning and then you can edit, rewrite and hone what you have later.

(That is great advice! I'm terrible at getting that first draft down. I'm my own biggest  critic, and a perfectionist too. Argh!)

 What were some of your favourite books as a teen? Did any of the authors you read back then inspire you to become a writer?

I loved Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. And yes, they probably did influence my writing. In both books, the relationships are with difficult and dangerous (in Heathcliff’s case) men. Both Bronte’s wrote with such passion. Their lovers were bound together by fate, their souls connected. Cathy in Wuthering Heights or Jane in Jane Eyre would never have settled for Mr Ordinary or Mr Boring. Cathy tried to for a while in Wuthering Heights but her heart was really with bad boy Heathcliff. In the same way, I’ve tried to create interesting boy characters and with them, love never comes easily. If it did, there would be no story. 

As an older teen, I started thinking a lot about the meaning of life and started searching for answers so I liked the books by Herman Hesse. Particularly Siddhartha and Narziss and Goldman as both those books are about characters looking for the meaning of life and what it’s all about. 

As a younger teen, I liked the Narnia books by CS Lewis – the idea you could escape through the back of an old wardrobe into a magical land really captured my imagination.

Can you recommend some other books that readers of Love at Second Sight might also enjoy?

I loved I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. It’s a timeless classic about a girl called Cassandra and her wonderfully mad family but it’s mainly about a teenage girl trying to find where she fits. I felt like I was hanging out with someone really fun and interesting when I read the book and was so sad when it ended and I had to let her go. 

I also liked The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It’s still one of my favourite books. It has the perfect story arc and is about a rather grumpy (she has good reason) girl called Mary who is sent to live in a big, old strange house where she is very lonely and cross about being there. When she finds a neglected secret garden in the grounds, her life and those of others around her, begins to change. It’s a very heartwarming read.

What are your top three reads for summer 2012?

1) Along For The Ride - Sarah Dessen
All of Sarah Dessen's books are romantic, thoughtful and fun, but this read is perfect for summer. Set in a small beach town, Along for the Ride is full of crab shacks, swimming and cute summer boys, and readers will love Auden's story and fall head over heels for Eli, too. Sarah Dessen weaves in some delicate, well-handled issues, making this book completely satisfying for your sunbathing session on the beach.

2) Second Chance Summer - Morgan Matson
The heart-breaking story of Taylor and her family as they receive devastating news - her father is sick and has only weeks to live. So they decide to spend the summer together in their old lake house, where Taylor has left behind a disarray of broken hearts and broken friendships that she's been avoiding since she was twelve. Morgan Matson tells this story beautifully, not forgetting to inject humour and heart into Taylor's life. Don't read the last pages in public - there may be tears.

(I loved this one. There were tears!)

3) The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight - Jennifer E. Smith
Perfect for if you're getting on a plane this summer. A romance about seventeen-year-old Hadley, who is jetting off from the US to her dad's wedding in London - and she's dreading it. Sat next to her on the plane is the mysterious Oliver - who is on his way back home to England. What are the odds that the boy sat next to you on a plane with all those seats could be the boy of your dreams? A book that can't help but make you wonder... what if?

 What are you working on next?

I’ve been busy writing book five in the Million Dollar mates series called Super Star which will be out next spring. 

After that, I’ll work on new ideas! I have an idea for another one off novel like Love At Second Sight and that’s in the early stages of development at the moment. I will also work on a new series concept. I’ve just got started on that so both ideas are works in the early stages.


Want to know more about Cathy and her books?

Check out her website
Follow @CathyHopkins1 on Twitter

Love at Second Sight by Cathy Hopkins is out now, priced £6.99


  1. I love the sound of this book, I always like reading about reincarnation and past lives! And great interview too, I agree that Along for the Ride is a perfect summer book! I enjoyed TSPoLaFS too. Thanks for the fab post! :)

  2. Love this interview, esp her top three summer reads! All sweet contemporaries. I think the premise of this book is so interesting and the idea of reincarnation is too. 

  3. daisychainbooks2 August 2012 at 20:32

     It's a fun read! I really need to read Along for the Ride soon! I've heard such great things! :)

  4. This sounds so good, I must check it out! I've always been fascinated by reincarnation, so I love coming across any YA books that feature this element. I love the advice her father gave her, too! SO TRUE!

    I need to read Second Chance Summer already! I've had a copy for ages, it's just a matter of finding the time to squeeze it in. But I'm glad I've been warned to have a box of tissues ready :) And I so adore Statistical Proability! <3

    Thanks for the fantastic interview, ladies, and for putting Love at Second Sight on my book radar :)


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