Claire Calman is the author of four novels, Love is a Four Letter Word, Lessons For a Sunday Father, I Like it Like That and now Cross My Heart and Hope to Die, all published by Black Swan.
Calman first decided to write a book when she discovered that it mainly involved making cups of tea and gazing out of the window. It was some time before a real writer friend pointed out that if she were to select an assortment of words and arrange them in some kind of order, this would speed up the process no end. Spurred on by this invaluable hint, she wrote Love is a Four Letter Word, a funny yet poignant story of love and loss.
Before she got into daydreaming full time, Calman spent several years working in womenâ€™s magazines, then in book publishing, editing gardening books. She is also a poet and broadcaster and has performed her pithy verse at live readings and on radio many times, including for BBC Radio Fourâ€™s Womanâ€™s Hour, Loose Ends, the comedy series Five Squeezy Pieces and for LBC. Her short stories have appeared in numerous magazines as well as in various anthologies, including Cheatinâ€™ Heart, the best-selling Girlsâ€™ Night In, Summer Magic and A Day in the Life.
Claire Calman lives in London with her husband, baby son, and an unbelievable amount of unfiled paperwork.
I wonder how many children men accept as theirs who are not and if the family unit is good, does it matter? This is the question I was left pondering once I had finished Claireâ€™s wonderfully astute new novel. She really is very good at putting her finger on the pulse of life. Do try her other three novels, especially Love Is a Four Letter Word. Sheâ€™s great.
They wanted to get away from it all - but they brought it all with them It should have been the perfect holiday: lazy days with friends in a rambling old house right on the beach. But when one family drops out and Kath invites her brother and father along instead, everything starts to unravel. All Kath wants is to have sex with her husband without a small child bursting in and demanding toast and Marmite. Her brother Rob wants to find out whether he has a hope in hell with the woman he loves. Giles wants to find a way to get closer to his daughter, while eight-year-old Anna just wants to be a mermaid. And, at the heart of it all is Miranda - beautiful, bold and baffling Miranda - who wants nothing more than to survive the week without anyone suspecting the truth...
Sex. Yes. She remembered that. Wasn't that the thing that happened somewhere between the talking-and-going-out-to-dinner bit and the sobbing-and-eating-too-many-biscuits bit? Still, Bella was sure she could handle some -preferably before her as yet unopened packet of condoms reached their expiry date. She must be practically a virgin again by now, all sealed over like pierced ears if you don't wear earrings for too long. But the 'L' word? Uh-huh. No way. She never wanted to hear it again. There were things in her past which needed to be put well away, like the 27 boxes of clutter she'd brought from her old flat. And having changed her job, her town, her entire life - the one thing she wasn't about to change was her mind.