‘One coin, one year and one new shot at love.‘
– The Flip Side
The Flip Side is the debut novel by James Bailey and was published November 26th with Michael Joseph. I am delighted to be joining the blog tour today with Midas PR and am bringing you a wonderful Q & A with James Bailey, whose writing is being compared to Jenny Colgan, Rosie Curtis, Nick Hornby, and David Nicholls.
“Once you’ve somehow managed to find an agent, and secure a publisher, the journey is only just beginning…”
– James Bailey
[ About The Book ]
It’s New Year’s Eve and Josh has a high-flying proposal planned. An exclusive pod on the London Eye, with champagne, truffles and the ring. It’s perfect.
Until she says no. And they have to spend the next 29 excruciating minutes alone together.
By the time Josh is back on the ground, his whole life is up in the air. He’s managed to lose his girlfriend, his job and his flat.
Realising he can’t trust his own judgement, Josh puts his faith in fate. From now on he will make every choice by flipping a coin. It’s reckless and scary, but Josh has tried the right way and look where he ended up.
And what if the girl of his dreams is just one flip of a coin away?
Q & A with James Bailey
How would you summarise The Flip Side?
The Flip Side tells the story of Josh, a man in his twenties suffering a quarter-life crisis. He starts the year losing his girlfriend, his job, and having to move back home with his parents. He decides that his choices haven’t worked out well for him, and instead he’s going to flip a coin to make every choice for a year. The novel follows Josh to see whether his coin flipping can help him find himself and love.
What are the key themes in the book?
Choices and chance are two big themes which run throughout the book. How much are we responsible for our destiny? Also, love, friendship, and family are central to the narrative.
What inspired you to write The Flip Side?
I think mainly personal experiences – having been through a similar ‘quarter-life crisis’ to Josh myself – and I thought the concept would make an interesting novel. Hopefully it is relatable to many other twenty-somethings or those who have lived through that decade of being unsure about where your life is headed.
How did you approach writing a novel?
After a few years of writing and rewriting various drafts of this novel, I enrolled onto Curtis Brown Creative’s Six Month Novel Writing Course in 2018, and that was really the game changer for me. It certainly made me take the process more seriously. From that point on, I was more rigorous with my writing, and more determined to finish the novel.
When do you write?
Whenever I can find time really! I don’t really have any set patterns, but, as I have a day job, it is primarily in the evenings and weekends. Obviously, with Covid restricting any form of a social life this year, I’ve had more time to be writing Book 2. I can get quite easily distracted though and have come up with many forms of procrastination!
What surprised you most about the process of writing a book?
That even once you’ve somehow managed to find an agent, and secure a publisher, the journey is only just beginning. When I previously purchased books, I probably didn’t appreciate the amount of time which goes into every aspect of it.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
No, I wanted to be a tractor driver as a kid! And then a footballer, and then a journalist. Since a teenager I’ve always been creative and I wanted to write a novel, so whatever else happens I’m pleased I can say I’ve done that.
Which authors influence your writing?
As a teenager and in my early twenties, I loved reading books by David Nicholls and Nick Hornby. They certainly have had the most influence on my writing. I do think I’m also inspired by movies too, as much, if not more than by books.
Have you always been a fan of romantic comedies? Which ones are among your favourites?
Yes, I have certainly always enjoyed reading and watching romantic comedies. The likes of High Fidelity and Starter for Ten by the aforementioned Hornby and Nicholls would be among my favourite rom-com books. In film, I love ‘When Harry Met Sally’, ‘Amelie’, ‘The Apartment’, and Woody Allen’s back-catalogue.
Who would be your dream casting for a movie of The Flip Side?
This is a very tricky question, and one which I probably spent too much time thinking about before I’d even finished writing the book. I’m hesitant to give an answer, as I’ve been in talks with a production company and I wouldn’t want to jinx anything, but I think there are lots of great British actors in the right age range who would be brilliant as Josh. I always imagined Jake as being played by Jack Whitehall though so maybe we could cast him.
[ Bio ]
Born in Bristol, James Bailey began to dream of a writing career following a top mark in a Year 8 English exam, and he soon pursued journalism, starting a student newspaper and a sports website, interviewing athletes including Usain Bolt and Rafa Nadal. This burgeoning career was halted however, when he was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a cardiac arrhythmia. Following two operations, James supported the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young, carrying the Olympic Torch, running the London Marathon, speaking in the House of Commons, and appearing in BBC1’s Lifeline appeal, alongside pop star Pixie Lott.
Upon moving to London for university, during which time he avoided high rent by living in a Travelodge, James juggled studying Spanish with working as a red carpet reporter, interviewing stars such as George Clooney, Emma Stone and David Beckham.
Following his graduation, he travelled the world, journeying through twenty one countries looking for himself, and hopefully love. Having found neither, he returned home to Bristol, where he founded a walking tour company of the city and began working on his debut novel, having been selected for Curtis Brown Creative’s Six Month Novel Writing Course.
The Flip Side is his debut novel.
Website – www.JamesBaileyWrites.com
Twitter – @JBaileyWrites