Good morning Ian and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?
Hello Jo, thank you so much for inviting me today. I’m nearer 60 than 50 but in my head I’m 39. I live on the Norfolk coast very near to the beach with my other half of twenty years. I work full time and write whenever I can. I love my garden and walking my dog on the beach – all very boring to other people but to me I feel very blessed to have the life I have.
How did your writing journey begin?
I have always loved escaping into a good book. I’ve also written the odd story here and there. Then four years ago I published my first book Putting Right The Past. Soon after that we moved to Norfolk and I’ve only started writing again in the last twelve months. My new book The Little Terrace of Friendship came out in March
What made you decide to write romantic comedy?
Over the years I’ve read interviews with authors and publishers advising to write what you know and love. I love romantic comedy, so that’s what I do.
Which part of the writing process do you enjoy the most and what do you most dislike?
I love the start when I discover the characters. I roughly know where they are going but always things end up changing. What I don’t like is if I find I’ve created an essential character who isn’t as interesting as the rest. It’s times like this when I tend to escape to my gardening to work out how to make changes.
Name a favourite holiday destination and the reason it’s so special
This is a no brainer it has to be Parga in Greece it’s on the Greek mainland opposite Corfu. It’s small, quiet and beautiful just perfect. I have so many happy memories of being there with family and friends. Not a neon sign in sight, just a sandy beach, lemon trees and fabulous restaurants – paradise! But don’t tell anyone as I don’t want it to get too crowded and popular!
And lastly, you are planning to spend a year on a desert island, getting away from it all. What four ‘must haves would you take with you?’
Oh no not a desert island! I’m far to nosey to be left on an island by myself. I’m a great people watcher in Parga and here in Norfolk. I’m not a lover of cities now I’ve got older. Having said that, I do have 4 ‘must haves’ in life –
a) My iPad – I couldn’t live without it’s news, gossip and, of course, for research
b) My kindle. I never thought I would ever have one as I love a proper book but it is so easy to carry around and you can flick between books to fit your mood.
c) The beautiful Norfolk coastline walking for miles with the dog and family.
d) I could not live without cheese was there ever a better food. Give me a pound of cheese a jar of mayo or pickle and I’m in heaven.
Carole Harding is in her 50s. She divorced her husband after he cheated on her with a prostitute. She hated her life – working in a Bristol supermarket – and the only exciting thing she’d done was to go on holiday (to Scotland in a caravan).
Then she inherited 2 million pounds.
Now she lives in an apartment in a plush complex in Tenerife, but it seems all her neighbours have problems and Carole finds herself helping to change their lives…
Nadean is the actress who hit the headlines and had to go into hiding; Victoria, a model, why did her family turn against her? Hamilton spent his life traveling the world, earning so much money, but was so lonely; Riley gave up everything for love… Then there are Peter and Paul, who only seem to be happy when having a crisis and Jeremy – who has secrets from his wife and from the law.
As Carole gets involved with the lives of her neighbours, she blossoms into the woman she’d always longed to be… when she meets Robson, can Carole make the biggest transformation of her life?
Maggie Hosking is in her early sixties, and she lived in Devon with a husband who never worked and took her for granted. But now Maggie is going to have an adventure of a lifetime taking her to London, New York and Martha’s Vineyard.
All her working life Maggie has been a cleaner in hotels and private homes. Maggie cleaned for actress Helen Heacham’s parents until their deaths, when Helen moved Maggie up to London to take care of her home. Helen lives in a beautiful terrace in Kensington along with famous and not so famous neighbours. Actors, writers, models and businessmen; they all seem to need a cleaner and that’s when Maggie’s adventure starts.
It’s not just Maggie’s life that’s changing but big things are happening for the other residents in the terrace; success, romance and fraud, but most of all friendship.
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