The author has already had her work consecrated by the list of bestsellers of the main American newspapers, such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the American Amazon
Being a runaway bride, unemployed, without a cell phone, who goes to an unknown city to help her sister in trouble, is no easy task. Even more so when Tina Witt is an evil twin, she steals the girl’s car, her savings and leaves her 11-year-old daughter with her sister – a niece she didn’t even know existed. This is the reality faced by the kind-hearted Naomi Witt, the protagonist of the book The Things We Never Get Over, the new contemporary novel by the writer Lucy Score, bestseller of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Amazon, which arrives in Brazil by Alta Novel, publisher of Alta Books.
Told from two points of view and in the good enemies-to-lovers and grumpy-sunshine style, in this story the reader gets to know Naomi’s vision, owner of a sharp sarcasm and impeccable organization. At 36, she decides to escape her seemingly perfect marriage and risk everything in the fictional small town of Knockemout. On the other side is Knox Morgan, a lonely, grumpy and moody barber who does not tolerate dramas, especially from needy and romantic women, but everything changes when he needs to help the protagonist to get out of the trouble he got into.
In addition to the novel, Lucy Score addresses delicate topics involving emotions and mental health: family trauma, parental abandonment and the Impostor Syndrome, since the protagonist, Naomi, suffers from an acute need to please others, to the detriment of herself, and cannot set limits. Knox, on the other hand, has a traumatic family background that often causes him to keep his distance from deeper ties. Check out the interview!
Set in a daily chaos that surrounds the good-hearted protagonist, her book “The Things We Never Overcome” has already won the bestseller list of several renowned American newspapers, such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Amazon store. How was the context of your work born and what was Naomi’s life based on?
The very first inkling of the story came from Jake Owen’s song “Down to the Honky Tonk”. He sings about a dog named Waylon and that line always made me laugh. As for Naomi, so many of us are people pleasers and I wanted to explore that on the page. We make sacrifices for others in hopes that by being who they want us to be, they’ll love us back. But it never seems to work out that way. The gruff and grumpy Knox who has never cared what people think became the catalyst for Naomi to break free from her people-pleasing tendencies.
At the beginning of this year, his work is coming to the Brazilian language for the first time through Alta Novel, Alta Books’ editorial label. How are your expectations for your story to be read by the Brazilian public? Have you already had feedback?
I’m so excited for readers in Brazil to discover my books through Alta! My agent is from Brazil so we’re both not-so-secretly hoping to be invited for a book signing. As for my favorite Brazilian authors, I just finished a re-read of Paulo Coelho’s amazing book The Alchemist and I thoroughly enjoyed Gisele Bundchen’s book Lessons.
One of the great powers of the narratives that are told through the books is precisely their power of immersion, and in your work you show Naomi’s story from two points of view, both enemies-to-lovers and grumpy-sunshine. How was the strategy for working with these two points and what experience do you think the reader will be able to have with your reading?
In real life, things are rarely only one thing and people are never only one thing. I enjoy exploring the different facets of characters and story in as many ways as possible on the page. I hope readers will feel like they get to experience the joy of two funny, flawed individuals becoming better people through love and acceptance… and laughter!
Regarding both the events of the book, and the setting in the fictional city of Knockemout, it is that everything was built from her mind as the author. So, what are the main difficulties and precautions that must be taken when ensuring that all the points of a narrative are connected and working perfectly to tell a good story?
I write very long books and some of these very long books end up in a series. So to keep track of all the details and the timing, each book gets its own spreadsheet that I call a “bible”. These book bibles list all of the characters, descriptions of locations, and timeline information. It’s a lot of work, but it’s the only way I can remember who has blue eyes and who works at the grocery store!
Much more than a good story, there are also “hidden” in the pages, the elements that make the character start the story in a certain way and end with a transformation. This was the apparent case of the barber Knox Morgan, who had a grumpy and bad-tempered personality, who needs to overcome his intolerance and help the protagonist to deal with the situations he encounters. How was the construction and narrative of the hero worked in his case?
I think the characters are what draw us into a story and I love a hero or heroine who changes for the better over the course of the story. The two most important questions for me have always been: 1. What does the character think they want or need? 2. What does the character actually want or need? Knox thought he wanted to live a nice, quiet life alone in his cabin. But what he actually needed was the love of family surrounding him.
As with all types of art, we know that its interpretations, despite what the author originally wants to convey in its plot, it will always have a chance of falling into subjectivity when interpreted by those who consume it. In the case of your work, how would you recommend the ideal reading and interpretation of your work?
I write my books for me. They’re the stories I want to tell about the characters I want to love. When I turn the book loose into the world, it doesn’t really belong to me anymore. Each reader gets to develop their own relationship with the story and find their own meaning in it. But I will admit, I always love it when a reader sees what I see on those pages!
In addition to the romantic genre of her narrative, we also find the approach to other delicate themes that involve emotions and mental health, such as family trauma, parental abandonment and imposter syndrome, since Naomi herself suffers from this need to please everyone. . Do you believe that your work can actually help people to better deal with their own situations, going far beyond entertainment?
Story is a beautiful, shame-free way for us to learn things safely and vicariously. I’ve learned so much about life from fiction in general and romance novels specifically. I hope readers can take away something positive and valuable from the books I write, because I know exactly how it feels to have a favorite book teach me something I needed to know!
In your career, in addition to being a bestselling author, you also grew up in a family of writers, are popular on TikTok, and were a finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards last year. How does your daily life as a writer work and what element cannot be missing from any of your work?
I’m an incredibly undisciplined person in general. So in order for me to write an entire book I’ve had to cultivate a professional discipline. I write in my office with the door closed, my headphones on, and a red light that keeps Mr. Lucy out. I need to be completely immersed in what’s happening on the page for me to feel the “magic”. As for what element always has to be there, it’s definitely humor. Just like life, a lot of hard things can happen, but finding the humor makes every day and every chapter shine!
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Things We Hide From The Light by Lucy Score (Hodder & Stoughton, £8.99) is published 21st February 2023.