How did you feel when you had finished writing your book, and did you miss any of the characters? My husband and I immediately applied for a housesitting gig in South West France.
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The assignment was to care for a beautiful chateau in the wine region and a handsome cat called Monsieur Smudge. It was there that I worked on the manuscript and where I battled not to be distracted from the enormity of my task by the beautiful house and swimming pool and bounty of French wine and cheese! And in the end, I will admit that I had grown very fond indeed of brave Lori, the heroine of the story, and was rather smitten with Ethan, the gorgeous hero.
I imagine you had the opportunity to dream up other stories. Tell me, who would you like to read your book and why? Janice: Actually, if I can bend the rules a little, I would sincerely like any woman who dreams of travelling the world to read my book. Janice Horton writes contemporary romantic fiction with a dash of humour and a sense of adventure. In , as empty-nesters, Janice and her husband set off to explore the Caribbean. In , they returned to the UK only to sell their material possessions in favour of travelling around the world.
Her current location is somewhere in the Caribbean. What a pleasure to meet an author and a traveller. Clearly, Janice loves the simple things in life, and I admire the way she grabs opportunities: life should be an adventure. The Backpacking Housewife sounds like a good laugh! Please see all my author interviews at My Guests and my website and blog at JessieCahalin.
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Grab yourself a coffee, take a break and let Jan chat to you about her novel. The extract I have chosen is fairly early on in the book. I think it perfectly portrays how Alex principal male character feels after his memorable first encounter with Rebecca principal female character at Hawksley Manor, the plush hotel in which they are both staying as guests, little knowing the drama that lay ahead of them. Open the book as you move from place to place, and flit from one dilemma to the next over the course of their eventful weekend and beyond. As much as he hated how big-headed it sounded, even to himself, he was used to people staring at him.
Pampering and relaxation is just what Rebecca needs to distract herself from the creeping suspicion that her husband, Greg, is hiding something from her.
She never imagined that by the end of the weekend she would have dined with celebrities or danced the night away in exclusive clubs. Nor could she have predicted she would meet famous footballer, Alex Heath, or that he would be the one to show her that she deserved so much more ….
His ethics and morals had me swooning as much as his physique! Jan is a South London-dwelling all-round book devotee, married to Dave, and one eighth of online-writing group The Romaniacs. I suggest you go shopping, stock up on your favourite treats and pamper yourself with a great read.
Please see all my extracts at Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahalin.
Christmas is never far away when Sue Moorcroft releases her Christmas novel. When Sue agreed to chat to me about her latest novel, it felt like an early Christmas gift.
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I also wanted to know how Sue manages to capture the Christmas spirit each year and tell yet another magical story. Did you think of the title while listening to the Christmas song? Sue: No, my editor and the sales team chose it! Jessie: How do you manage to create such vivid settings? Sue: Yes! It was lovely! The Swiss really know how to do Christmas and we went to processions, markets, brunches, choirs and all kinds of things. I try hard to include all the tiny details that capture a setting: the snow on chalets and Christmas lights on balconies. Sue: I met a woman in a same-sex marriage and she had just had a baby.
It raised all kinds of questions in my mind and I wanted to write a heroine who had two mums. This meant I had to find a relief manager for the pub, The Three Fishes. Sometimes a character can be secondary but also pivotal. Jessie: When do you write your Christmas stories? Then the editing came in lovely weather again. I had the chance to return to Switzerland when I was almost at the end of the first draft and that would have been fantastic.
Sadly, the dates clashed with a professional engagement so I had to give it a miss. Jessie: Your romance novels have layers and always explore contemporary issues and the changing family unit. How did you research this? For the emotional side I was able to read case studies on websites and talk to someone about twins they know who are searching out all their half-siblings and learn something of their journey.
Jessie: I am in awe of how you manage to vary your characters and always make them so likeable. What three tips do you have for developing characters? Sue: Thank you! My big tip is to look at each major character through the eyes of several other characters. How was she regarded at work? What about her ex husband?
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In real life we behave differently with and are perceived differently by different people and I use this to build multi-faceted characters. Jessie: The sparks always fly in the brilliant dialogue between your characters. What advice do you have for writers who wish to make their dialogue realistic? Can you give us a snapshot of some of the dialogue in your latest novel. Sue: I think one develops a feel for dialogue. I listen to people speak, think about the syntax they use and try and make it appropriate for age, background and region.
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It breathes life into characters, allows them to interact with each other and passes information to the reader. Lily climbed on a stool and began to feed the string of lights through hooks above the bar. You know this, Zin. Zinnia bulldozed on.
You and I grew up sharing a bedroom! She jumped down, scraped her stool towards the next few hooks, gave Zinnia a hug then clambered up again. Sue: No.
I give out most of my free copies when they arrive to various members of my family who would read them and to anyone who has played a major part in research. Jessie: What is your typical Christmas like and are there any special family traditions or recipes? Sue: I like the run up to Christmas and all the festive meetings of the various writing organisations to which I belong or Christmas meals with friends, but when Christmas itself comes around I like a quiet time with family.
Sue wraps up her Christmas stories beautifully and her novels are perfect Christmas gifts. The Ebook is out on the 26 th September.