Blog Tour: Q+A with author of Pretending Holly Bourne

Author Holly Bourne answers a few questions for me!

Pretending is not a book that I would normally pick for myself but I think it is something we can all resonate with. Dating in the modern age is TOUGH and I’m glad I don’t have to deal with it. Bourne has created a main character who you want to cheer on from the sidelines and a story that you cannot put down. Read on to learn more about it and where to buy it.

Q: Are you a pantser or a planner? Or somewhere in between?

A: I long to be a planner. I try so hard to be a planner, but my first drafts always take on a life of their own and refuse to follow my plot points. It makes redrafting much harder, but I’ve learned to just accept this is my process, and it does always work out in the end. 

Q: Describe the emotional journey for you, as a writer, when finishing your novel.

A: Absolutely terrified, and yet bursting with pride. I’m so happy with what I’ve achieved with Pretending, and how I hopefully managed to write a book that pulls readers into the head of someone with trauma. But, I’m also painfully aware of how much we still judge and blame victims, and feel fiercely protective of April and her story. So, having the book going out into the world is a mixture of very strange, and often conflicting emotions. 

Q: On a typical day, how much time do you spend writing?

A: I try to write 2,000 words a day, five days a week. Some days, I’m done by ten am and feeling very smug about it. Other days, I’m still at my laptop, swearing profusely, at gone 11pm.

In this hilarious and heartbreaking debut novel perfect for fans of Fleabag, a woman struggling to move on after a traumatic relationship pretends to be “the perfect girl” in an act of vengeance that goes awry when she finds herself emotionally compromised.

He said he was looking for a ‘partner in crime’ which everyone knows is shorthand for ‘a woman who isn’t real’.

April is kind, pretty, and relatively normal – yet she can’t seem to get past date five. Every time she thinks she’s found someone to trust, they reveal themselves to be awful, leaving her heartbroken. And angry. Until she realizes that what men are really looking for is Gretel.

Gretel is perfect – beautiful but low maintenance, sweet but never clingy, sexy but not a slut. She’s a Regular Everyday Manic Pixie Dream Girl Next Door With No Problems.

When April starts pretending to be Gretel, dating becomes much more fun – especially once she reels in the unsuspecting Joshua. Finally, April is the one in control, but can she control her own feelings? And as she and Joshua grow closer, how long will she be able to keep pretending?


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Holly Bourne is a bestselling UK-based YA and Adult Fiction author and is an Ambassador for Women’s Aid. In 2019, she was an Author of the Day at the London Book Fair, and was named by Elle Magazine’s weekly podcast as one of “Six Female Authors Changing the Conversation in 2019”. Pretending is her US debut.

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