Things I Wish I’d Known

When Claire Cooper was 15 she’d swear on her Wham! album that…

1) Big hair and rah-rah skirts were here to stay
2) Spandau Ballet would never split up
3) She would marry her idol, heart-throb footballer Andy Pailes

Fast forward twenty years and things haven’t gone quite to plan.
And when Claire discovers a sealed envelope containing the ‘dream list’ she wrote as a teenager, she realises how far removed her life is from the one she’d imagined. Divorced, stuck in a dead-end job and dating an ambulance-chasing personal injury lawyer, she decides it’s time to put her
life back on track.

But what really happened between Claire and her
teen idol back in the eighties?
And is meeting him again the way to make her dreams come true?

Or a huge mistake?

‘A book for any woman who ever had a poster of her idol on her
bedroom wall.’



About This Book

I, like my peers, knew it all at fifteen. I knew that my heavily hair-sprayed flick looked good, that I’d always love Spandau Ballet’s music and Spurs were destined to be the most successful football team in history. So, spot on with those then.
When I set out to write Things I Wish I’d Known I wanted to capture the essence of what it is to be fifteen. The giddy mixture of hopes and dreams, unrequited love and the mass of insecurities. And of how the intensity of the emotions you feel is so strong it can lead you to do things your parents wouldn’t believe their little girl is capable of.
I also wanted to look at how that period can affect you for the rest of your life. Of what is left of that 15-year-old by the time they hit forty. What has happened to their hopes and dreams. And the things they wish they had known back then.
Here are a selection of mine:
…..1. It really wasn’t worth lusting after George Michael – you were never going to be his type.
…..2. Neither was it worth crying for Michelle when Dirty Den got shot in EastEnders– he would come back from the dead years later.
…..3. The kids who chose the weird new subject ‘computer studies’ at school were onto something.
…..4. Wearing a brace did not mean no-one would ever fancy you – just that no-one would fancy you while you wore it.
…..5. You will realise your dreams – but it may take until you’re 35 to do so.
…..6. Don’t worry, your teenage years are not the best years of your life; your twenties will be fun, thirties hard work and in your forties you can start to relax a little and enjoy it.
…..7. The love of your life will be the one who sees you at your worst and still loves you. He will not necessarily have a suntanned six-pack but it honestly won’t matter.
…..8. The girl who picked on you at school will end up single and stacking shelves at Tesco and you will know about it because of something called Friends Reunited.
…..9. You should have made the most of your time in a rah-rah skirt because cellulite will prevent you wearing one at 35

…..10. You need to remember that in the same way your mother didn’t understand, you won’t understand your children either.


‘This initially light chick-lit read soon reveals a dark core, exploring the hold celebrities can have over their young fans. Worth a look.’
News of the World

‘I love this book from beginning to end.’ ****
The Sun

‘I really enjoyed Things I Wish I’d Known and I loved the fact that it was jam-packed with 80s nostalgia. A fab read.’
Chicklit Reviews


Readers’ comments

‘Brilliant book, loved it.’

‘I loved it. Being a child of the 80’s it brought back so many memories for me. Cannot wait for the next one.’

‘Fab, fab, fab! I couldn’t put it down.’

‘Love the new book. Can’t wait for the next one.’

‘Really enjoyable.’