When Little Black Dress, the novel, was released, we had to find out more! So we caught up with its lovely author Susan McBride. The book is about two sisters, Anna and Evie, whose lives are torn apart when that little black dress works its magic, giving them a glimpse into their unexpected but unavoidable futures. What was the inspiration for Little Black Dress? My mother always told me: 'Every girl should have an LBD in her closet for all of life's events. It's just one of those things you're supposed to have', and it's totally true. Also, a little black dress is that one item that binds all women no matter what their differences. It just wouldn't have worked with any other garment.   Your novel contains magical undertones- do you think putting on an LBD is a form of escapism for women? Yes, most definitely! A lot like with reading, it gives women that chance to escape the chaos of their reality and really consider themselves. A little black dress works almost like a costume or a mask that woman can hide behind.   The LBD in your novel seems to have a life of its own, and anyone wearing it becomes powerless to its desires. Why do you think an LBD is such an important thing in a woman's wardrobe and life? The little black dress is just magical in itself and has something inherently special about it when you put it on with your stockings, your pumps and your pearls. It's why I included that quote from Chanel at the beginning of my book: 'A woman without an little black dress has no future.'   Describe the LBD in your novel? I didn't actually give too much of a description as I wanted the readers to use their own imaginations. That's why I loved how they didn't reveal much of the dress on the front cover. I love that classic, simple, A-line dress with no embellishments; well cut and tailored- simple is good. I actually had a picture of Audrey Hepburn on my computer the whole time I was writing the novel as I love the dresses she wore.   Have you had any personal experiences as a result of wearing an LBD, like the characters in your book? About sixteen years ago, before I was a published writer, I was writing so many manuscripts and all were getting rejected. I was at my Grandma's funeral and somebody asked me if I was still writing, in a tone of voice that suggested I should give up. I was wearing this little black dress, and it was in that moment I realised I would never stop writing. One year later I got my very first contract for And Then She Was Gone.   Describe a day in the life of Susan McBride It's pretty boring! I send my husband Ed off to work then spend the morning answering emails and updating my site and promoting my books- I feel like I'm in the Post Office! In the afternoon, I write and when I'm up against a deadline, I get totally obsessed with the writing and spend the day in my PJs, writing until my hands cramp! Describe your perfect LBD moment I would be out for romantic dinner with my husband, wearing that LBD that makes me feel magical and special, with my hair and make up done, sitting under that dim candlelight which makes everyone look beautiful. Ed loves me wearing little black dresses- he loves that I am obliged to wear them since this writing this novel! We've got five exclusive signed copies of Little Black Dress (£7, HarperCollins) to give away! For your chance to win email us at [email protected], including your full name and putting 'LBD competition' in the subject line. View terms & conditions

Terms and conditions

  1. Entrants must be over the age of 18 at time of entry.
  2. This competition is only open to UK residents. It is not open to members or employees of Little Black Dress or their immediate family, associated companies, agents or anyone connected with the draw.
  3. No purchase necessary.
  4. There are no alternative cash prizes.
  5. To enter the competition, send us an email including your full name to [email protected], putting 'LBD competition' in the title box.
  6. The Promoter can accept no responsibility for entries that are not successfully completed due to a technical fault.
  7. Closing date for entries is Tuesday 12th October 2011 at 23:59 GMT.
  8. The prize draw will have five winner selected at random from all valid entries (by an independent person). Each winner will be notified by Email by Wednesday 14th of October 2011 at 15:00 GMT. The Promoter's decision will be final. The same person cannot win more than once, even if they enter multiple times.
  9. There are five prizes and there will be five winners of the book: Little Black Dress by Susan McBride.
  10. Winners must claim the prize by noon on Monday 14th November 2011. How to claim details will be provided with winner's notification. In the event a winner fails to claim a prize within the time limit or is otherwise disqualified from the draw, that prize will be withdrawn and the entry will be void.
  11. Events may occur that render the prize draw itself or the awarding of the prizes impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the Promoter and entrants agree that no liability shall attach to the Promoter as a result thereof.
  12. Winners may be required to take part in post-event publicity.
  13. All entries become the property of the Promoter. By submitting an entry entrants acknowledge and accept these terms and conditions.
  14. Promoter's decision is final and no correspondence or other communication will be entered into regarding the draw other than as specifically contemplated in these rules.
  15. The name and county of the winners will be available until 30th November 2011 and can be obtained by sending a request and return SAE to the Promoter's address below.
  16. By entering this competition the entrant agrees to receive marketing information from Little Black Dress.
  17. The PROMOTER: Little Black Dress, The Old School House, Thirsk Street, Manchester, M12 6PN. The Promoter is a registered data user under the Data Protection Act 1998. No provisions of these terms & conditions shall affect any statutory rights of entrants.