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Writing a historical novel set in the Jazz Age

6 January 2014

'I became strangely obsessed about this book in a way that I've never been before, to the point - and I'm usually a very good planner, I'm quite a nauseating swotter about it - where this time I simply couldn't write the last chapter. I just kept finding excuses, I simply couldn't let them go, it was tricky for me. Some authors say: "I'm not in the book at all," but I know I've been a teeny part of every single one of these characters at some point, they're just a much more fabulous and glamorous version of me.

It was a time of intense emotional conflict for women, and that's what I've always written about. Spare Brides is like my other books in lots of ways, it is simply set in another time period. The characters are very much like the characters I've always written, but with this novel with every single thing I wrote, I had to think: "Is that how they would do that? Could they hail a cab in the street? How would they get dressed in the morning?" Someone of Lydia's social standing, at that time, would have been dressed head to foot - and that mix of intimacy yet disregard for her maid is fascinating.'

Adele Parks, author of Spare Brides