I’m the author of Living My Best Life, Married at First Swipe and my new novel, The One, about love, loss and learning to live again. I am also Assistant Editor at The Sun on Sunday’s Fabulous magazine, which involves editing copy, managing a team and making sure the magazine goes to press on time each week, as well as looking after all of our book reviews, interviews and book-related events. Life is pretty busy! Welcome to my week…



It’s writing day! Seven months ago I made the decision to go down to a four-day week at the magazine and now every Friday is my writing day (and not my ‘day off’ as my family often call it). The pandemic was still raging, uncertainty was all around and lockdowns had made me reassess the way things ‘had to be’. But the two overriding things that pushed me into making the decision were the extra time that day gave me to devote entirely to writing – and also the change in mindset it created. Being an author is now no longer the thing I do ‘on the side’ or ‘in my spare time’. I am both a journalist and an author. I have two jobs, both of which are really important to me.

This morning I meet an author friend for a (freezing) walk down the river before we warm up in a coffee shop and get out our laptops for a writing session interspersed with plot-point questions on our WIPs. As well as chatting with fellow authors on WhatsApp and social media, I find seeing people in real life a real boost. After we’ve caught up on each other’s lives, we have a good gossip about the books world and what novels we’ve loved reading recently. Writing can be an insular experience, so to sit in a buzzing coffee shop with a good friend and our laptops does wonders for my soul. I head back home for the afternoon and resist the urge to watch yet another episode of Below Deck, and instead anchor myself to my desk. I check my Fabulous emails and make a note of some action points for Monday, before diving back into my manuscript. By the end of the day I’ve written 2,000 words, plus finished a couple of features I’m writing as part of the publicity campaign for The One. A good day.



I see an advert on TV that says, Do a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life, and I start laughing. I love both my jobs, but they are hard. However, I spend quite a lot of this morning procrastinating, which is annoying as my partner Steve is due back from work at lunchtime and I wanted to get a big chunk of writing done before then. I force myself to sit down and tap out 1,000 words, before I’m saved by him arriving home ravenous. I close my laptop and decide the rest of the day is for chilling on the sofa. I finish the book I’ve been reading, make some quick notes of my thoughts on my phone so I can write a review for the magazine, and then it’s time for Netflix and wine.



I wake up to my brain racing, so I write a list of tasks I need to get through, what review books from my TBR pile I need to read next, and then plan out my writing week. I’m currently working on the first draft of my next book and it’s been pretty slow progress with Christmas, publicity for The One and general life stuff getting in the way, so now I need to really power on.

Later we head to our local lido for a swim. Thankfully, while the air temp might be just seven degrees, the pool water is heated. But it’s still quite a shock when I get in. I try to look like a pro and not gasp out loud (I’m not fooling anyone, however). After a few lengths I’m beginning to warm up and I start thinking about the latest plot issue I have with the main character. I do much of my thinking about my WIP in the pool and feel really lucky to live close to such a gorgeous lido that’s open all year. It was a total saviour when it reopened during lockdown, as it gave me a beautiful, peaceful place to get away from the rolling news and sense of dread that was the background to most days. We end our session with a dip in the hot tub, and frankly I never want to leave, but eventually hunger gets the better of me (my post-swim need for carbs is always insatiable). In the evening I start reading a new proof, but I’m not feeling it, so I cross it off my review list and pick up something else. Thankfully, I love this one immediately.

I just have time to proofread a few layouts before I have to jump on the Tube and then catch my train. Today I manage to bag a seat with a table – result! I open my laptop and attempt to lose myself in my WIP.”


I’m in the office today so I force myself out of my bed at the crack of dawn (or in fact, before dawn even begins to crack) and start my almost-two-hour commute into London. I still can’t believe I used to do this five times a week, and think yet again that the pandemic has at least meant flexible working is (or should be) the norm. I now commute two days a week and do two days at home, which, for me, is the best of both worlds.

Once I’ve done Wordle (and shared my result in the family WhatsApp – today is a three for me – whoop!), had a look at the news websites, speed-scrolled social media and deleted half of my unread emails, I finally get my book out. I’m reading Mhairi McFarlane’s new book, Mad About You, and it so good! I tend to use my morning commute for reading and my train journey home for writing.

I reach the office, via Starbucks for a huge latte, and familiarise myself with where every feature in the current and following issue is at in terms of copy, pictures and layout. Someone once described my job as being the glue that holds the magazine together ­– basically I boss everyone around and make sure every page is as good as it can be before I send it to the printers. Mondays are meetings days, but first I catch up with my team, as it’s still a novelty to see everyone’s faces in the flesh. Then all heads of department have a conference, where I chase up late copy and remind everyone of their deadlines. Then the Features and Celebrity teams pitch ideas and we decide whether they are right for the magazine or not. Next I have a meeting with our Commercial team and we talk about what advertising campaigns we have coming up. I grab some lunch, tackle my inbox and then I have one-to-ones with my team. I just have time to proofread a few layouts before I have to jump on the Tube and then catch my train. Today I manage to bag a seat with a table – result! I open my laptop and attempt to lose myself in my WIP.

By the time we’ve made dinner, cleaned up and finally collapsed on the sofa, I already know there’s no way I’m going to make it to my desk this evening. I push the guilt away and instead watch Rules of the Game on iPlayer (Maxine Peake is everything).



I have a bit of a lie-in as I’m working from home, and I make myself a proper coffee with frothy milk. I’m at my desk by 8.15am, and get down 500 words, though I have half an eye on my work emails. I read back what I’ve written and realise it’s terrible. With a second coffee made, I try again and the paragraphs I’ve written this time are definitely better.

The postman knocks and hands me a huge pile of parcels. I never tire of opening book packages (even if my poor postie tires of having to deliver them to me), but my house is increasingly littered with piles of books. As well as the 30+ proofs I receive a week as a journalist, I also get sent some as an author to quote on, so I am definitely never short of books to read!

I set up my work computer and screen and get going on my to-do list. I edit the copy for the entertainment page and then write my reviews of two books to add to it. I fire off emails to the publicists, letting them know I’m going to feature the titles in the magazine.

The rest of the day is spent reading page layouts, fighting fires (a case study decides she wants to drop out of a feature at the last minute!), coming up with cover lines for this week’s issue with the editor and then giving every page a final read. It’s a long day – I finally log off at 9.30pm.



I’m not feeling in any way creative this morning, so instead of forcing the words out, I log in to my work computer early. Today the magazine goes to the printer, so it’s all about final tweaks, checking for last-minute typos and making sure my editor and all the top bods at the newspaper are happy, before I finally sign off the pages for print at the end of the day. I treat myself to a celebratory glass of wine and glance guiltily at my laptop, but the sofa is calling, followed by book and bed. I finish Mad About You and am blown away. On one hand I’m totally overawed at the way Mhairi manages to write such smart, clever, emotional and funny books, on the other I’m super-inspired to keep raising my own game.

By the time we pull into London, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much as I’ve barely added to my word count, but I remind myself that it’s about quality not quantity.”


I’m in the office today and to make up for my lack of writing this week, I open my laptop on the train before I’ve even done Wordle. I’m at a pivotal part of my novel but I just can’t face writing a big emotional scene at 7.45am, so instead I read back over the last few chapters and do some tweaking. By the time we pull into London, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much as I’ve barely added to my word count, but I remind myself that it’s about quality not quantity.

Today is a day of forward planning and getting stuff done at work, but I take some time out to open the book post that’s come into the office over the past few days and find I have a couple of proofs I’ve been waiting for, so I immediately put them to my bag to add to my ever-growing TBR piles at home and place the rest on the bookshelves for my colleagues to pick up (#sharethebooklove).

I get an email from my editor at Simon & Schuster asking me to take part in an online event for bloggers and reviewers, which I immediately say yes to. I’ve chaired and hosted lots of author events, so it’s always strange being on the other side of the interviewing fence, but it’s a great opportunity to talk about The One. I also email my agent and finalise a time for the call we’ve planned for tomorrow.

The afternoon whizzes past and I haven’t done half the things I need to, so I spend my journey home firing off emails and compiling a comprehensive handover for my deputy, before finally sticking my OOO on. I catch up with Steve and we make plans for future weekends – that don’t involve either of us working! Head to bed with the new Clare Mackintosh, feeling excited and hopeful about my writing day tomorrow.


Claire Frost grew up in Manchester, the middle of three sisters. She studied Classics at Bristol University before finding a job in magazines, and has worked at Fabulous since 2008. The One is out now in paperback, eBook and audio download from Simon & Schuster.
Read more
Twitter @FabFrosty
Instagram @Therealfabfrosty