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Fiction-Net > Author Interviews > Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees Interview (1)

Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees Interview (1)

Despite the huge number of books we read here at Fiction-Net, 'Come Together' by Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees remains a firm favourite. With the sequel, Come Again, hitting bookshelves all over the UK, we thought we'd catch up with the authors.

Emlyn Rees Author InterviewJosie Lloyd Author Interview

Fiction-Net: Your 'he said, she said' approach to Come Together, where chapters are alternated between the lead characters, Jack and Amy, was key to the book's success. Did you always intend to use this writing method?

Josie: We'd both written novels before and, since we lived in different parts of London at the time and had different writing styles, it seemed the obvious way to go. The alternate chapters provided us with a way of adding suspense and kept each other guessing what was coming next, so that we could let the story develop organically - rather like a real relationship.

Emlyn: The method kind of presented itself to us as soon as we decided to write together. It seemed the only way to give us equality as writers. We also wanted it to be a war of words between the sexes, to a degree, and a two voice dialogue like this seemed to be a fun way to go about it.

Come Again by Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees - Book Review

Fiction-Net: There is no avoiding the fact that, initially, readers of the sequel - Come Again - are somewhat shocked to discover that the story is not told from the perspective of Jack and Amy. What made you take this approach?

Josie: When we were writing Come Together, we both enjoyed writing about Jack and Amy's friends and felt that we wanted to explore them further. Also, having 'lived' with Jack and Amy inside our heads, we felt we needed a break for them - no matter how much we liked them!

Emlyn: We very much saw Jack and Amy's story as being self-contained, with a definite beginning, middle and end. We liked the fact that we left them happy at the end of Come Together and didn't want to mess with that dynamic. At the time of deciding on whether we should write a sequel and, if so, what it would be about, we'd just got together ourselves, and were consequently interested in exploring what happens to separate groups of friends when a new partnership is forged. Jack and Amy's social circles seemed a great place for us to explore this.

Come Together by Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees - Book Review

Fiction-Net: One would assume that you (Emlyn) wrote for Jack and you (Josie) for Amy. If this is the case, were there occasions where you swapped roles for any of the writing?

Emlyn: We considered playing a prank on our editor with the last two chapters of Come Together but chickened out in the end - or did we? Seriously, though, our rule in Come Together and Come Again has been that Josie creates the female characters and I create the male characters. After that, though, the writing process loosens up with us both freely putting any character in any dramatic situation.

Josie: It was tempting at the end of Come Together for me to write a Jack chapter to see if I could get away with it but I was so deep in Amy's story by then that I didn't have time. Besides, girls are much better! By the end of writing both Come Together and Come Again, though, I certainly felt comfortable writing the characters that Emlyn had initially set up. However, Emlyn always had the final say on any dialogue I put in any of his characters' mouths during the course of my chapters and the same applied for any dialogue he wrote for any of the girls.


Fiction-Net: What can we expect to see from you next? Will we be hearing more from Jack and Amy and friends? Or are you planning to write separately?

Josie: We're currently writing a third joint book together, and still having as much fun as we did when we wrote Come Together and Come Again. It's another romantic comedy but we have moved away from Jack and Amy and their gang for the time being, to keep things fresh, hopefully for both ourselves and our readers.

Emlyn: I'd love to return to Jack and Amy sometime in the future but we're possibly talking a decade here rather than just a few years. Will they still be together? And if so, will they be parents? Will they be being faithful to each other? It would be interesting to find out. As far as writing separately goes, it's something I think we'll probably do if either of us ever feels the need to. Currently, though, I'm enjoying writing with Josie, both novels and film scripts and enjoyment is, for me, what it's all about.


Fiction-Net: It's pretty fair to say that together you make a great writing team - how did you meet?

Josie: We met through a friend of ours, another writer called Matthew Branton, who was writing an article on first time novelists. At the time, Emlyn had just finished his first thriller, The Book Of Dead Authors and I was working on It Could Be You. We met in a pub called The Front Page and hit it off immediately. Emlyn worked as an assistant to my literary agent and pretty soon we became good friends. Things kind of went from there.

Emlyn: Socially, as Josie says, in the pub with Matthew but I actually first saw Josie when I took her a cup of tea when she came in to meet my then boss. Josie swears blind that she doesn't remember this, which just goes to show that first impressions don't necessarily count. Or maybe it was that old office habit I had of walking around with a paper bag on my head that makes her so forgetful.

It Could Be You by Josie Lloyd - Book Review

Fiction-Net: And what do you get up to when you're not writing?

Josie: Big question! I'm pregnant at the moment so my answer is very different to what it would have been nine months ago and will be in nine months time, i.e. I'm currently NOT drinking, NOT partying, NOT shopping, NOT hanging out with my mates as much as I'd like to but thinking about all of that a hell of a lot! Other than that, I'm gearing up for the perils of parenthood, discovering the dubious joys of John Lewis's baby department and looking forward to meeting the little critter.

Emlyn: Pretty much the same stuff that I've been doing since I moved to London in 1994 - meeting friends after work, sporadically heading back to Wales to check in with our families and frequently, I'm ashamed to say, boring people witless in pubs around closing time. We also read a lot and the best thing about this is that, despite what we do for a living, neither of us consider this work. And finally, there's a dolphin called Ecco, which seems to have been getting a lot of attention from me these last few weeks. I don't normally junk out on computer games but right now any excuse not to convert our spare room and my study into a nursery gets my vote.


Fiction-Net: Do you have or are you planning to have your own website?

Josie: We don't at the moment, although maybe we should because we do visit a lot of book-related sites to see what's going on. We also use the internet a lot for research and benefit enormously from e-mail, taking advantage of it to keep in touch with our editor and friends while we're lurking down in West Wales, where we often go to write.

Emlyn: We'd like to and an increasing number of our friends are setting up their own websites. We've even gone as far as joining the dot com domain name gold rush, so we have the turf and it's just a matter of building on it now.


Fiction-Net: Finally, what advice do you have for writers trying to break into the business?

Josie: The most important thing about writing a novel is to finish it. Many people think that it's easy and that they have a book inside them but to actually get it out and down on the page or screen is a different matter altogether. I'd tell any would-be-writer that they should go for it but to remember that it can often be as much hard work as it is fun.

Emlyn: The first book I ever wrote is in a box under my bed at my parents' place. It got rejected across town (something like fifteen publishers in all gave it the thumbs down) and I hit a low and decided that that was it, I wasn't cut out to be a writer. It took me three years to bounce back and start writing again and I wish I hadn't wasted that time but had just dusted myself off and got on with writing a second book. So the first piece of advice is, don't give up.

My second piece of advice is, get a literary agent. Don't be fooled by publishers' reputations. A lot of them no longer employ readers in-house and will only look at writing that's been submitted through an agent. Finally, and most importantly, do it because you love it. It's the only thing that will put the highs and lows into perspective.


We are pleased to announce that Josie and Emlyn are now proud (but tired) parents of baby daughter, Tallulah. Congratulations to them both.

Want to read more from Josie and Emlyn? See our Second Interview with the couple. You can also visit the Emlyn Rees Website.

Read more about Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees at Fiction-Net.

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