The Student Windsurfing Association

Lucy Clarke, an ex-member of Cardiff Windsurf Club talks about her new novel...

Lucy Clarke used to be a member of Cardiff University's windsurf club. With her latest novel - about a fresher joining her uni surf club - on the shelves, we have a chat to her about it...


Give us a brief run-down - what's this book about?


Surf Wax and Vodka Jelly diarises a year in the life of an 18-year-old student, Josie Williams. Swapping the comfort of home for the hedonism of university, Josie discovers the up and downs of living with flatmates and an elusive surfer she fancies, alongside unwelcome visits from an ex-boyfriend, a mum rediscovering her youth and some rather prissy girls in halls.



Is it your first novel? And are there more to look forward to?


It’s my second book; I co-authored the Student Survival Guide with my housemate, Jenny Hawkins, whilst in my second year at Cardiff. Hopefully they’ll be many more books to follow!! I’m just plotting my next novel at the moment, which is quite an exciting stage because it can take you in so many different directions.




What made you decide to write about student life?


I had such a fantastic time as a student that I thought I could use some of those experiences in a book. No novels currently focus on uni as the central setting, so I thought it’d be original and fun to write, too.






Who will enjoy reading it?


Well, our blurb on the posters says, ‘If you’re a student, you’ve been a student or you’re thinking about becoming one – then this book is for you. Oh, and for anyone else who’s found themselves sitting in a shopping trolley wearing nothing other than a tutu and chocolate body paint!’ I think that’s about right!



Is it chick-lit?


Yes and no. It’s written from a female’s perspective, giving an insight into the female psyche – so it could be seen as chick-lit in that sense. On the flip side, Josie lives with three boys and a lot of the action focuses around them too. My boyfriend, James Cox, is a big burly professional windsurfer and he and his friends have read it and profess to love it and confess to ‘laughing out loud!’




Are any of Josie's experiences based on yours?


Although Josie isn’t strictly based on me, a lot of her experiences do parallel with my own. For example, I joined the Cardiff Windsurfing club at university (in the novel Josie joins the surfing society) – both of us lured in by the appealing male members wearing boardshorts at the Freshers’ Fayre! The scenes of struggling into wetsuits in the back of a minibus are taken from no other place than Cosmeston Lake!





So do you like windsurfing?


I love it! I’m not sure I’ve progressed that much since my days splashing around with the Cardiff Windsurfers, but I love it more than ever. Anyway, because I live with a windsurfer, I don’t have much choice. We’re always holidaying in windy spots or trucking off to some event or another, but it’s a great lifestyle and anything based near the sea gets the thumbs up from me.




And finally... how does it feel to be such a high-scoring Boardseeker Babe?!


Ha ha! I was really shocked to get such a high score! I guess the judges were feeling pretty generous that day – but I’m not going to complain!!

Lucy in one of her Boardseeker shots

Interview by Emily Koch



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