One Day author David Nicholls on how the pandemic inspired his latest novel

Virgin Radio

23 Apr 2024, 09:30

David Nicholls and Ryan Tubridy and Nicholls' new book You Are Here

Credit: Amazon/Virgin Radio

One Day author David Nicholls popped in for an interview on The Ryan Tubridy Show all about his new novel, You Are Here.

As well as sharing his thoughts on Netflix’s recent adaptation of his 2009 novel, Nicholls also opened up to Ryan about his new work and how the pandemic helped inspired it.

You Are Here tells the story of Marnie and Michael, two strangers brought together by a mutual friend and some poor weather for an epic walk with huge personal consequences.

“It’s a love story,” Nicholls told listeners on Monday (22nd April). “It’s about two lonely people, Michael and Marnie, who become a little bit isolated, they’ve had bad relationships, and they’re brought together on a weekend walking trip to the Lake District…

“I suppose the novel is about the distinction between loneliness - which is difficult and uncomfortable, sometimes painful state; and solitude - which is what both of the characters are looking for.”

Nicholls began work on this novel during lockdown, and took inspiration from the period. “I started thinking about this novel in lockdown,” he explained. “I know a lot of people who [spent] it by themselves and who found ways to make it, not just bearable, but enjoyable… I didn’t want solitude to be the enemy in this novel.”

The author explained: “The original draft had a lot more about the pandemic. It was definitely a post lockdown novel when I started it, and I wanted to try and capture that awkwardness a lot of us felt when we saw our friends [for the first time after], the inability to communicate and not being quite sure what you’re doing with you face and what to say and the way we all had to relearn social interaction.

“Marnie really just hasn’t gone back out into the world in the novel,” Nicholls continued. “She’s become rather reclusive, and I wanted to write about how unnerving and how frightening that can sometimes be.”

You Are Here is out today (23rd April).