Beth is a bit of a wreck. Despite the almost daily reassurances of her GP, she is certain that she has some sort of disease (fatal, natch). Her personal life is a total mess (i.e. non-existent) and she doesn't seem to have any career ambition. She feels like a 26-year-old loser! Older sisterflatmate Simone's dewy skin, glossy locks and well-coordinated power outfits make a daily mockery of Beth's -floordrobe' and haphazard grooming regime, while Simone's long-term relationship with Mr Reliable, Dave, throws Beth's singleness into sharp and painful relief.
Being a medical receptionist – alongside best friend and partner-in-crime Kelly – might not the best job for a chronic hypochondriac, but it does have one perk: the gorgeous Dr Brendan Roberts. He obviously fancies Beth … until, that is, The Morning After, when he flees before she wakes then commits the cardinal sin of failing to text, making for a very awkward Monday at work. Beth knows it's time to sort out her shambolic life but has no idea where to begin.
Enter Shane Mitchell: hot, slightly dishevelled forklift driver. He may not be suave or rich but he does laugh at Beth's jokes, remember how she takes her coffee and hang around until morning. Even better, the more they hang out, the healthier Beth feels. But when Shane suddenly cuts off all communication, Beth begins to think there's no such thing as The One and decides to sort herself out once and for all. Only life is never that simple, and Beth must take a chance if she hopes to find the cure to her ills.
Lovesick is a funny, light-hearted romance about getting sick, getting better and taking risks.
Jean Flynn was born in Melbourne and became a graphic designer before turning her hand to writing. Her non-fiction work has appeared in a range of Australian newspapers and magazines and online, and she has had several short stories published in anthologies. Lovesick is her first novel. Jean lives in Ballarat and teaches creative writing at Federation University. Her mother, Rachel Flynn, is a bestselling children's book author. For more details: www.jeanflynn.com.au.
Lovesick won Jean the inaugural XO Romance Prize, netting her $5000 and a publishing contract. It is the first title published under the new imprint.
Author: Jean Flynn
Question: What inspired the story of Lovesick?
Jean Flynn: Lovesick has lots of autobiographical elements. When I was in my early twenties I lived in inner-city Melbourne, worked as a receptionist and was an absolute hypochondriac - just like Beth! I also love a good rom-com, so I definitely wanted to focus on romance.
Question: What was the best thing about creating the character of Beth?
Jean Flynn: I loved describing Beth's antics - she gets into some pretty crazy situations - and writing her off-beat dialogue. I hope readers like her as much as I do.
Question: Is there a message you'd like readers to take from Lovesick?
Jean Flynn: Yes: that being yourself is okay. Honesty is attractive!
Question: How does it feel to have won the XO Romance Prize?
Jean Flynn: It's still seems quite unreal, but I'm completely thrilled - what a fantastic opportunity.
Question: What's next, for you?
Jean Flynn: I've just started working on another romance - stay tuned!
Interview by Brooke Hunter
Author: Jean Flynn