You're (Not) the One

A Novel

Alexandra Potter - Author

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ISBN 9781101558959 | 384 pages | 29 Nov 2011 | Plume | 18 - AND UP
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Most women dream of finding the love of their life. Lucy just wants to lose him...

Venice, one of the world's most romantic cities, lives by the legend of the bridge of sighs: When a woman kisses the man of her dreams under the bridge at sunset, she will be together with him forever. So eighteen-year-old Lucy seals her fate in the blush of first love with Nate.

Yet ten years later, the pair has completely lost contact-until the day Lucy arrives at Nate's luxury Manhattan apartment with paintings he has purchased from the gallery where she is newly employed. The legend has reunited the couple, and Lucy is overjoyed-until the state of their union is misery.

Can destiny be undone? In the hands of the international bestselling author Alexandra Potter, You're (Not) the One is a witty romance that turns on the power of a kiss.

This novel is set in Venice and New York. How important was the setting to the story overall? What kind of research did you undertake before beginning to write?

The locations were absolutely crucial to the plot. The Bridge of Sighs is in Venice, Italy and I wanted the novel to open up in Venice, to show the two characters when they are first in love as teenagers. When I write I imagine each scene as if I am watching a movie, and I always imagined this novel opening up with the sounds, smells and colors of Venice. It was so evocative to me. It really brought out the whole dreamy, magical element of the novel. I then loved the idea of juxtaposing Venice, with the hustle and bustle of New York. As locations go, they are not only both geographically world's apart, but also atmospherically. To bring the magic of the Bridge of Sighs to New York, was both fun and interesting and made for some great scenes. In terms of research, I have spent a lot of time in New York in recent years, but I also made several trips over there during the course of the book, to research specific details. Lucy is English, and I loved the whole 'fish out of water' theme, seeing New York through fresh eyes, experiencing the buzz and excitement for the first time. As for Venice. I have been several times on vacation, though I had to resort to doing a lot of Googling, as sadly my schedule didn't allow me to take another trip out there.

How do you begin to create the characters you write about? Do you have them fully fleshed out in your head before you begin to write, or do you find that they take shape over time? Did you have a favorite?

I take two or three months before I actually begin writing, to think about characters, plot storylines, and generally work out the message that I want to portray in the book. Characters are pretty well-formed when I finally type 'Chapter One', however it is only through the course of writing the novel that they truly become to real me. It is always the way that by the time I type 'The End' I have got to know my characters so well, I want to keep writing about them, and I hate leaving them. This is why I've often toyed with the idea of writing sequels, so I can hang out with them some more! As for favorites… I tend to fall in love with all my heroes, but I do think that Adam was a particular favorite of mine. The way he hires out a whole cinema for Lucy has to be one of the most romantic things I've ever had a hero do for my heroine. And would you believe it, but it's actually based on something a friend did for his girlfriend…

This novel deals very closely with the idea of fate. Did you want readers to come away from the book feeling one way or another about fate, especially as it relates to meeting "the one"? Are you more like Lucy or Kate—do you believe in soul mates?

I am fascinated by the whole idea of fate and destiny. It's a theme that I go back to, time and time again, in all of my books. How one action can set your life on a totally different course, and whether or not that action is an 'accident' or is somehow predetermined in the stars… the feeling that everything happens for a reason… that it was meant to happen. The jury is still very much out for me. I am both Kate AND Lucy. One part of me is the romantic dreamer, the part who reads her horoscope, who believes in true love and fate and the mysterious power of the universe. And there is the other part of me that is a complete realist to the point of being a cynic, who pooh-poohs all this nonsense about soul mates and destiny.

What are you working on now?

For the past year I have been writing my latest novel. It's another romantic comedy with a touch of magic, and the working title is 'The Do Over Diary' though this might change. It follows the character of Tess who lives in London and is heartbroken after her break-up with Seb, an American. The story begins on New Year's Eve and is all about love and second chances, about having the opportunity to do things over again, and about what happens when you find love, only to lose yourself.

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