Read Bad Friends Online

Authors: Claire Seeber

Tags: #Fiction, #Mystery & Detective, #General

Bad Friends (34 page)

Your books are deeply rooted in a sense of place, from your
debut novel
in which the action largely took place
in London’s Blackheath, to the Cornish and London settings
Bad Friends.
How important is it to you to have the
location in mind when you are creating your novels?

A: They say write what you know – and whilst I don’t necessarily always agree with this (I’ve never had a baby stolen, or been stalked, thank goodness), I think it helps to use locations you can write about convincingly to create atmosphere. South-East London where I grew up appears in both my books – it’s a rich area for a writer – pockets of refinement beside deprivation. I always knew BF would be split between London – the hub of TV-land – and Cornwall, one of my favourite places in the world. It was important for the story that Maggie had somewhere to run to – somewhere she felt safe; and my own enforced separation from the sea means I can write about Cornwall nostalgically.


Did you have anyone in mind as inspiration when you created
Maggie, Alex and Seb? Who do you think could play them
in a movie?

A: Maggie is mainly fictitious, but I guess there are elements of me in her. Seb I have never met (please draw your own conclusions!), whilst Alex is inspired not by an ex-boyfriend but partly by someone I once knew, a long long time ago! How about Sally Hawkins to play Maggie? Sienna Miller could play Bel, I think – or skinny Serena! Seb – James McAvoy or Dominic Cooper? And Alex – well, my favourite film-star of the moment is Casey Affleck – he may be a little on the short side, and he’s American of course, but I’m sure he’d be happy to practise his British accent! Or what about Andrew Buchan from
The Fixer


Do you draw upon your own experiences with family and
friends as you create characters and plots?

A: I think any writer would be lying if they said they never drew on personal experience, but I certainly don’t start with family or friends as the basis for characters, although sometimes little bits of people I’ve met might creep in somewhere. A trigger for
was a real-life incident when I got separated from my baby son, but it was only a trigger. In BF, obviously my career as a TV director meant I understood the workings of that world, and I wanted to write about the responsibility we have towards the people we rely on to be in our programmes. Fortunately the rest of the book is definitely invented! 


Which writers do you particularly admire? What kinds of
books have inspired you?

A: I’m a voracious reader and love all sorts of books from Miss Marple to psychological thrillers such as Nicci French’s through to classic love stories like Wuthering
or Jean Rhys’s
Wide Sargasso Sea
– the solution to Charlotte Bronte’s mysterious and mad Mrs Rochester in
Jane Eyre
. As a teenager I vividly remember staying up all night reading Daphne du Maurier’s
, driven to discover the secret of the missing character Rebecca and what Maxim de Winter really felt for her. I also like writers who have something to say about society without making it too obvious – like Jane Austen or Justin Cartwright. 


What is your daily writing routine?

A: With two small kids, I write when I can – it’s as simple as that! A free hour and I’ll be scribbling away in a café or at my computer if the house is empty …


What are you working on next?

A: My third book! It features a heroine called Rose whose life might appear perfect but underneath it all, perhaps things are rather different. I’m fascinated by things not being what they seem …

I couldn’t have finished
Bad Friends
without the love and support of some truly good friends and family. I’m lucky to have them – unlike poor Maggie.

Special thanks to lovely Bethy for reading the first draft so keenly, especially Chapter 37; and to the inimitable Flic Everett who made me strong coffee, always listened, and guessed first time around. Thanks also to the rest of the Goldsmiths 4 – Guy, Phyllice and Judy (I promise I’ll get that extra chair soon).

Sincere thanks to the multi-skilled Neil White for finding the time (I don’t know how!) to fill me in on police procedure; to Roberto Savoia for the Italian; to Louisa Aldridge for her superior musical knowledge, and to my great friend Becca Toms for being such a jet-setter that she knows where the stars shine and the flowers fall. Thanks to Auntie Sue for the gardening tips. (I still don’t like chrysanthemums though.)

thank you to my fantastic agent Teresa Chris who always spurs me on. To everyone at Avon, in particular my most marvellous editor, Maxine Hitchcock, and Keshini Naidoo – both of whom I’m fortunate enough, I hope, to count as friends as well as colleagues. (Kesh, I will always remember Lewisham!) Many thanks to Sara Foster and Linda Joyce for their eagle-eyed talents, and thanks also to everyone at Midas, particularly Jess Gulliver. Thank you to my father for my website. And finally to Liz Claridge, I really appreciate you being there.

Lastly, to the many friends I’ve made over the years in television – don’t be cross. You’re all great really.

Born in London with a love of all things dramatic, Claire Seeber began her career as an actress. Soon deciding she’d rather pull strings safely behind the scenes, Claire forged a successful career in documentary television, enabling her to travel the world, glimpsing into lives otherwise unseen. Also a feature-writer for newspapers such as the
Guardian, Independent on Sunday
and the
, Claire now combines (furious) scribbling with keeping a beady eye on her two young children. This is Claire’s second book. Her first,
, was hailed by the
as, ‘A powerful and sensitive treatment of every parent’s worst nightmare’.



For further information about Claire please go to and visit uk for exclusive updates.


This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.


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A Paperback Original 2008


Copyright © Claire Seeber 2008

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EPub Edition © JANUARY 2009 ISBN: 9780007281886

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