Charlotte Levin and If I Can’t Have You
Charlotte is a debut author whose novel, If I Can’t Have You, has just been released.
What if the problem with your love life is you?
If I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin is an all-consuming novel about loneliness, obsession and how far we go for the ones we love.
Samuel, the day we met I knew I’d finally found what I’ve been waiting for.
Happiness, at last.
Then you left me.
And now I am alone.
Everyone I love leaves in the end.
But not this time.
I’m not giving up on us.
I’m not giving up on you.
When you love someone, you never let them go.
That’s why for me, this is just beginning.
Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine meets You by Caroline Kepnes.
Let’s Place Charlotte Under the Spotlight!
Tell us a little about yourself and your books, including the genre(s) you write in.
My debut novel If I Can’t Have You has been described as an all-consuming novel about loneliness, obsession and how far we go for the ones we love.
It follows a young woman called Constance Little who cannot let go of a relationship and so we follow her descent into an obsession that could almost happen to anyone.
What project are you working on now?
I’m currently working on my second novel but I’m still at the notes and thinking stage.
How do you choose the genre(s) you write in?
I don’t. I just write the stories I want to write.
I realised when submitting the novel that the fact it didn’t fit neatly into a genre was problematic. So, it was a risk, but one that I was glad I took.
Is there any particular author or book that’s influenced you, either growing up or as an adult?
Not really an author to be honest.
I got into reading novels as an adult but growing up I was very much into theatre and acting. I wanted to act professionally and was obsessed with reading and buying plays.
Harold Pinter, Arthur Miller, Caryl Churchill, Jim Cartwright, Tennessee Williams and many other favourites.
Although at the time I wasn’t thinking in terms of writing as such, I now realise I learnt so much about characters, motivations, drama, scenes etc. Also, this is probably why my prose isn’t flowery and I enjoy writing dialogue.
Is anything in your books based on real life experiences?
Yes and no. I’m not a stalker. I repeat I’m not a stalker! But I have had my heart broken and know how that can make you feel a bit out of control.
Generally, I’d cry a lot and drive my friends mad, but I wanted to create a character who was so damaged in other ways, that she acts upon those feelings in ways that the average person wouldn’t contemplate.
I also lost both my parents quite close to each other and ultimately the book is about grief and loss.
How do you come up with your titles?
I don’t! Well, I did but it was changed. It was originally called An Explanation of Love and I still do like that as a title. Though I didn’t lose it completely because I inserted it in the novel as the title of a book that a character talks about having written.
Do you have any hidden talents?
As mentioned, I used to act. But I feel certain that if you now handed me a script, I’d be the worst actress in the universe.
I am generally quite arty though and enjoy anything creative. I’ve recently got quite into interior design.
You’re hosting a literary dinner party, which four authors would you invite (alive or dead)
Hmm, that’s a hard one.
I’d probably say, Nabokov, Steinbeck, Richard Yates and Margaret Atwood.
I’m not sure of the dynamics there but I would request to sit next to Steinbeck because I’m sure I’d fancy him which would, therefore, render me unable to speak to him which would be highly annoying as I’d have so much to ask!
What are five words that describe your writing process?
Can’t do it, then do.
Which would you rather do: Never write another story or never read another book?
That’s not nice, but I think my life would suffer more by never being able to write again, and I could at least consume stories in other forms.
What is the funniest typo or error you’ve ever written?
There must be hundreds. I’m the typo queen!
I can’t think of a specific one when writing the novel but when struggling with a scene I put a question out to Twitter about having sex in a cat as opposed to a car.
How do you come up with names for your characters?
I originally came up with Constance because it was like the word Constant which seemed fitting for the story. And Little was a friend’s surname which I thought helped the character appear more vulnerable.
Other than that, I have no absolutely imagination with regards to names and almost all the characters are named after people I know.
Who is the most supportive person in your life when it comes to your writing?
I had a mentor when I started writing the book – author Ali Harper. I doubt I would have written it not for her constant boosts.
My family are also very supportive and Gavin – my uncle by marriage has been a lot of help along the way.
What is your most favourite word and why?
Trephining. I learnt it at school and for some reason, I’m still very pleased with myself about it.
What is your least favourite word and why?
I think that would have to be panties. Do I really need to explain?!
You can find Charlotte in the following places:
Facebook: Charlotte Levin Facebook
Twitter: Charlotte Levin Twitter
Instagram: Charlotte Levin Instagram