We’ve been a big fan of Carrie Hope Fletcher since her early days on YouTube uploading covers of ‘On My Own’. It comes as no surprise then that we were super pumped to have a good ol’ chinwag with her about her second book, and first dabble at fiction, ‘On The Other Side‘.
We spoke all about books (obvs), writing tips, her plethora of jobs and who her fave YouTuber is. Clue: said YouTuber’s channel name rhymes with Wrinkle of Flitter.
First and foremost, congratulations on your new book, ‘On The Other Side’. What was your favourite part in the book to write without giving away too many spoilers?
Thank you! There’s a character called Little One who is a bird and he’s my favourite character, so much so that I got him tattooed on me. Any part that he was in I just absolutely loved writing. He’s just very quirky and very, very sweet. It was nice to kind of properly personify and turn this bird into a proper little character with a personality.
We were going to ask next who your favourite character was to write, but you’ve sort of answered that one already…
Jim is also my favourite character as well to write as a human. He sacrifices so much so willingly and readily. He’s a very sad but brilliant character.
Was there anything you wanted to achieve in writing ‘On The Other Side’? Any messages you wanted to convey?
There’s a lot of LGBT characters in the book, so I wanted to sort of make a point of making that the norm, because it’s not in literature. That’s what I found, and I don’t know why; there is no reason or excuse why more LGBT characters shouldn’t be in books. And it wasn’t necessarily to make a point of ‘Oh, I’ve put a bisexual character in my book.’ It’s just as a reflection of what real life is.
Yas, we are 100% here for that! You did a lot of your writing on the tube, right? Where would be your ideal place to write?
Oh, if I could write anywhere it would probably be on a private beach somewhere in a hammock, with a cloudy lemonade by my side. That would be nice.
What inspired ‘On The Other Side’?
Um, nothing in particular. I was on tour with ‘War of the Worlds’, my sleep cycle was completely messed up and it must’ve been like two o’clock or three o’clock in the morning. I was sort of in that weird place between asleep and awake, and had this very strange half dream about a woman who couldn’t get into heaven until she told all her secrets.
It’s a good thing you decided to write that dream down! Can we get a sneaky insight into what you’re working on next book wise?
I’m currently working on another fiction book. It’s all in the very, very early stages, so I’ve got like a vague idea and I’m sort of… I’m basically making it up as I go along. I’ve got a big outline of what the story is. I’ve got point A, point B, point C, but what happens between those points I’m not entirely sure yet. It’s another sort of magical, surreal story.
How about with your stage work? Do you know what’s coming next after ‘Chitty’?
Not at the moment, it’s that horrible life of an actress where you’re constantly auditioning and you never know what’s coming next. And the further you get to the end of the job, you start getting that horrible fear of like, ‘Oh god, oh god! What if I don’t find anything for the next five years?’ But you’ve just gotta keep powering on, you just gotta keep auditioning and trusting in your own abilities, and keep going until something else comes up.
The bright side is the fact that I’m also writing, so I’ve gotta look at it like if I don’t find anything else it means I’ve got time to work on the next book more.
And you’ve got YouTube as well, so that sort of ties you over.
Absolutely! I always say I’ve got a fear of being bored, which is why I constantly have too many things going on.
Do you have any writing advise for someone who might like to write a book?
The blank first page is the scariest, but the best thing to do is to fill it with just absolute nonsense. So just write. Even if you’re not in the mood for it, even if you think it’s absolute crap and you know you’re cringing at what you’re writing. Just keep writing, because you’ll suddenly find that flow, suddenly hone in on what you want it to be. And you can always go back and edit later.
Last book you read?
I re-read ‘All My Friends Are Superheroes’. It’s like 110 pages, it’s really short, and I needed something to read on a train journey because I’d left the actual book I was reading at home, which was Giovanna Fletcher’s ‘Dream A Little Dream’.
Little family plug there! Favourite book of 2016?
‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. That’s a book I read that I haven’t shut up about.
Book you’re looking forward to reading?
I haven’t yet read ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes. And now the movie has come out and I’ve got this desperate, constant panic inside me where I just have to read it before I see that film.
Fave YouTuber currently?
I always love watching Tyler Oakley — he always makes me laugh. And Louise Pentland, Sprinkle of Glitter. I love her so much. Her and her daughter just having days out. Ah, I just love it, it makes me happy.
Finally, can you sell ‘On The Other Side’ in just five words?
Five words?! Okay. Magical, surreal, heart-breaking, eccentric and moving.
Carrie was such a delight to talk to — she seriously is as lovely as she seems in her videos. And, if we weren’t excited before to crack open our copy of ‘On The Other Side’, we certainly are now!
Will you be having a read of ‘On The Other Side’? Tweet us @maximumpopbooks so we can discuss all our fave bits!