WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR STORY
The idea to write Clementine and Claudia came from a dream I had about forbidden love set in the early part of the twentieth century. I awoke and was unable to get it out of my mind. The dream was short but it was the magnetism, between the man and woman, who neither spoke or touched, which affected me. One day I put pen to paper and never stopped. It was like reading a book I couldn’t put down.
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF WRITING MORE HISTORICAL ROMANCE OR WOULD YOU LIKE TO WRITE IN OTHER GENRES I am in the process of putting the finishing touches to another historical romance, and have plans to write at least one more, which is already in the planning stage. Therefore, for the foreseeable future, it’s
I am in the process of putting the finishing touches to another historical romance, and have plans to write at least one more, which is already in the planning stage. Therefore, for the foreseeable future, it’s
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BEST PART OF BRINGING THIS BOOK TO LIFE
The best part of bringing Clementine and Claudia to life was the creation of the characters. They became very real to me. I loved them all, despite their flaws and spending time with them was an utter joy. It was also a visual experience; the scenes playing in my head like a movie screen.
DO YOU HAVE A PLAN WHEN YOU START WRITING OR DO YOU JUST FOLLOW YOUR MUSE
Not a plan, more an idea from the dream of a sensible man and woman falling madly in love in an impossible situation; an overwhelming love that causes them to act uncharacteristically. I found that as the characters developed they more or less dictated the storyline. The setting greatly helped too for war brings out the best and the worst in people.
WERE YOU FAMILIAR WITH WW1 TIME PERIOD OR DID YOU HAVE TO DO MUCH RESEARCH. WHERE AND HOW DID YOU RESEARCH
I’ve always been drawn to WW1 and being a time of great social change, it seemed the perfect backdrop for the story. Several members of my family were involved in it, including my grandmother who was a VAD and my father-in-law whose distinguished flying career I loosely based Piers upon. As for locations, I am blessed to live in Dorset, a county in the south of England, and being naturally familiar with landmarks and towns there was no contest when deciding the setting for the home scenes. France is but a short hop over the English Channel and I made a couple of trips to Etaples and Le Touquet to get the feel of the place. Apart from that, I read everything I could get my hands on about the war and the more I read, the more real my characters became.
THERE WAS ONE CHARACTER I REALLY DISLIKED. DO YOU FEEL A PERSONAL CONNECTION TO YOUR CHARACTERS AND IS IT HARD TO WRITE ABOUT BAD STUFF HAPPENING TO THEM
I felt each one’s pain and joy and I definitely shed a few tears at certain points. I don’t expect every character to be loved, but as their creator, they are all very close to my heart. There’s probably a little bit of me in them all. We are all one.
WHAT IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT YOU WOULD LIKE YOUR READERS TO WALK AWAY WITH AFTER READING THIS BOOK
I would like to feel I managed to suspend the reader’s disbelief and allowed them to escape from their everyday lives for a while, as many books have for me, especially at difficult moments in my life. Also, to consider a moment the changes that have taken place in the last century and wonder how they would have coped living at such a time.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NEXT
My next book is another story of forbidden love, with far-reaching consequences. Unlike Clementine and Claudia, it starts shortly before the war and is set completely in England. The idea for it developed after a friend told me a story about a member of her family which happened in WW1. I was intrigued and it also meant I was able to continue my research in areas that have become more of a fascination than just an interest.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEW WRITERS
Over the years I’ve read many authors’ advice to new writers. The two that stay in my mind are ‘don’t give up’ and ‘ write about things you know’. I would like to add, read aloud what you write. It’s always helped me and you’ll know immediately if it needs reworking. Your ear will tell you so. If you’ve someone whom you can read to, so much the better. I use my husband and he’s not shy about telling me what he thinks, good or bad! And, last but not least, do use adjectives sparingly. As they say, less is more!
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