The Fixer Upper by Lauren Forsythe is billed as a funny and sharp romantic comedy, where a woman with a knack for turning her boyfriends’ lives around starts a professional service to help wrangle men, only to be unexpectedly matched with an old flame. I’m so glad Lauren joined me for an author interview. This post may contain links to purchase books & you can read our affiliate disclosure here.
About Lauren Forsythe:
Lauren Forsythe lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and son, and a cat that gets more spoilt by the day. She works in marketing, studied English and Creative Writing at the UEA and spends too much time trying to work out how she can retroactively add pockets to every piece of clothing she owns.
Synopsis for The Fixer Upper
Ever since she can remember, Aly has been fixing everything around her: her parents’ marriage, her colleagues’ work problems, and her friends’ love lives are just a few examples. After a chance meeting with an ex who has gone from living in his parents’ basement to being a married project manager in three years, she realizes she’s been fixing her boyfriends, too….
So, Aly decides to put her talents to good use and, alongside two work friends, sets up the Fixer Upper, an exclusive, underground service for women who are tired of unpaid emotional labor. Using little tricks and tips, Aly and her friends get the men to do the work themselves—to get out of the job they hate, sign up for that growth seminar, do more parenting. Before long, a high-profile Instagram star hires them to fix up her app developer boyfriend. There’s just one catch—he’s also Aly’s childhood best friend and first love. As Aly tackles her biggest “fixer upper” yet, she’ll have to come to terms with their complicated history and figure out how much to change someone she’d always thought was perfect as he is….
Author Interview: Lauren Forsythe
Lauren, I’m so excited to talk to you today about The Fixer Upper, out August 2nd, 2022. Thank you for joining me for this Q & A.
Thanks so much for having me, I’m thrilled to chat about The Fixer Upper!
Can you tell me about the inspiration behind The Fixer Upper?
It was a mixture of things, really. A lot of my friends had been talking about previous relationships, and how much they’d given of themselves, how hard they were working at holding boundaries in new relationships. One of them made a comment about putting in all the hard work for her boyfriend’s future girlfriend to reap the rewards.
Especially during lockdown and the pandemic, it became clear there was a bit of an emotional labour gap between men and women, so I wanted to explore that.
Aly Aresti seems like such a strong character. Can you tell us more about her?
Aly is a bit of a dichotomy because she’s all strength and sassy one liners and telling people they deserve better, but she often doesn’t search that out for herself. She’s constantly trying to give people everything she has to help them, but forgets herself in the process.
She’s very driven and ambitious in her career, but the same can’t be said of her personal life. I think partly because she’s got this complicated relationship with her mother, where she’s almost a caregiver, and constantly managing other peoples’ emotions, she hasn’t quite worked out who she is without all that. Bumping into Dylan again reminds her of the best parts of herself from before.
Author Interview: Lauren Forsythe: Let’s Talk Writing
I would love to know if you’re a plotter or a pantser. What seems to work best when you’re working on a new manuscript?
I think I was a panther for a long time, I love just figuring out where a story goes and discovering it for yourself. If I plan too much, it loses the magic and feels a bit too much like a formula for me. I need the characters to be able to react authentically to something happening, otherwise I feel like I’m just moving chess pieces around a board.
That said…I have started to plan a little more now because I’ve got less time with a baby at home! So I’ve got to make the most of my writing time, being as efficient as possible. So I guess I’m halfway between the two! I spend a lot of time thinking and doing the imagining bit, so that I’ve got a roadmap to write when I’m ready.
Do you have any favorite snacks, music or rituals for your writing? For instance, are you blasting music or need complete silence?
I used to listen to music but I struggle now! I love sitting in a cafe to write, so there’s a little hustle and bustle in the background, and if there’s music I don’t have any control over it! At the moment I go to my local cafe and get a Flat White and an almond croissant and write for a few hours, and it’s bliss! But I don’t think I could do that every time I sit down to write!
Do you have any advice for fellow writers?
You can’t edit a blank page. It’s absolutely okay for your first (or second, or third!) draft to be complete trash. I know it puts off a lot of writers who want what they’re doing to be decent (especially if you’re ready wonderful books at the same time) but it’s important to remember there will be so much editing and changing before you reach the finished article! I’d just like to give people permission to suck! It’s better to have written something terrible than nothing at all.
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What started your foray into the romance genre?
I’ve loved rom coms since I was a teenager – gulping down any Jenny Crusie or Marian Keyes books I could get my hands on! I think I love them because there’s always this cast of excellent, fun characters, whether that’s friends or family, and whilst the romance is a big part of it, there’s always a bigger message. I like writing about vulnerable women figuring their lives out, and it’s about love but it’s also about a lot more.
Do you have any favorite romance tropes?
Oh I’m a sucker for enemies to lovers, give me Pride and Prejudice any day of the week. The Hating Game was one of my absolute favourites, it’s just so perfectly done! I also love a fake dating trope.
Author Interview: Lauren Forsythe: Starstruck, Theo James & More
The Fixer Upper is one of my most anticipated Summer 2022 reads! What are some books on your TBR?
I just finished Book Lovers by Emily Henry and she is so freaking masterful! It’s perfection! Also on my list is Mad About You by Mhairi Mcfarlane, Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne, and basically anything by Christina Lauren.
I always love talking about TV and movies. If you were to cast an adaptation for The Fixer Upper, do you have anyone in mind for your characters?
I’m super terrible at casting decisions! I originally visualised Dylan as a young Theo James, and Aly as a young Jenna Coleman, but honestly, if I got to see my book on the big screen I wouldn’t mind who played them!
Do you have any favorite TV shows or movie franchises?
I’m obsessed with this short TV show by comedian Rose Matafeo called Starstruck – it’s about a normal woman who sleeps with a guy not realising he’s a film star, and how they keep crossing paths over a year. It’s just so beautifully done. Similarly, Lovesick on Netflix, where the main character has to contact all his exes because he’s got an STD, but is really in love with his best friend, is so good. I’m also a sucker for This Is Us, I cry every time.
Who is the perfect reader for The Fixer Upper?
Anyone who likes their rom coms with a side of sassy one liners, great friends and the main character figuring their own story out, both with their love interest but also on their own!
Connect with Lauren
Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me, Lauren! How can readers best connect with you?