What would you do if your late husband left you a list of instructions on how to fall in love with someone else?
Pippa Browning is faced with this exact dilemma, three years after the death of her husband, Dan.
Buried at the bottom of a drawer are a collection of notebooks full of Dan’s advice on how to live without him.
Pippa’s notebook is red and contains his instructions on how to fall in love again.
But Dan doesn’t just want Pippa to fall in love with anyone – Dan’s crazy suggestion is that Pippa should date his handsome friend, Mikey Stenton, a known thrill-seeking ladies’ man.
Reluctant to follow Dan’s advice, Pippa enters the world of dating. She embarks on a humorous journey of self-discovery, with the help of her children and two best friends.
It isn’t long before Pippa is finding it hard to ignore Dan’s instructions and Mikey Stenton.
Is Mikey really the man that everyone thinks him to be? Or was Dan right, and Mikey’s simply been misunderstood?
An uplifting and heart-warming story about bereavement, friendship and finding love, the second time around.
Questions & Answers
Where did the idea for the book come from?
Pippa, my character, first came to me when my husband was battling Lymphoma: a cancer that develops in the lymphatic system. At the time I wasn’t in a good place for starting a writing career so I let her go. She reappeared some years later when my husband was running the London Marathon to raise money for his cancer charity. He had been in remission for ten years and it was a celebration for us, even though he had to run twenty six miles. At the time of the London Marathon my husband had started creating family wall planners, leaving me instructions, stuck to the fridge, about how to cook the family dinner, as he would be out training. Cooking has never been a personal strength of mine. He also left me and the kids lists of things to remember and he carried round a little red notebook. My husband is Mr Organised.
Pippa started talking to me. She missed her husband, Dan, and was having a tough time with the kids. It was then I started to think about how cancer reshapes lives and what I would have done if there had been another outcome to my husband’s situation. How would I have coped with the kids and life in general? All I could think about was whether my husband would have left me some instructions. I still wasn’t ready to commit to writing so once again I ignored Pippa.
Three years ago Pippa came back and refused to go away. She also brought with her Dan, Mikey and her little red notebook.
How long did it take you to write the book?
Three years, twelve drafts and thousands of words. It has taught me that books need time to grow and develop. For me the most important changes in the story have occured after a lengthy gap between drafts. Time is an essential ingredient for book writing.
What made you self-publish?
After a lot of really nice rejections from agents and publishers, I struggled to shelve the story of Pippa, Dan and Mikey. People who read the first draft back in 2016 kept asking me what was happening with it. They’d bring up my story in pubs and restaurants. There was no escape from it. At the start of 2019 I went through a tough time in my personal life and every time I started writing it would become apparent I was writing another version of Pippa’s story. In a pink gin fuelled moment of madness one night I decided to start putting my own happiness first and I wrote a list of all the things that make me happy in life. This story was near the top. From the second I made the decision to self-publish things quickly fell into place. People arrived in my life with the tools and knowledge to help me get Instructions For Falling In Love Again out into the world.
Launch date: 30 June 2019.