Posted in Writing


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Hi Anne and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Firstly, thanks for inviting me onto your blog, Jo, it’s lovely to join such super authors on Tuesday Talk.
I’m a retired psychotherapist and hypnotherapist; a mother of three grown-up children and grandmother to two small ones living close-by. Only really happy when by the sea, I’ve moved around a great deal to ensure that’s where I live ☺

How did your writing career begin?

Although I’d often had the ‘itch’ to write, particularly enjoying writing the essays for my OU degree (!), I never seemed to have the time or motivation to start. Then, about eleven years ago, I was pushed into entering a 500 word true-life story competition in Prima magazine and amazed myself by winning. This spurred me on to start the novel which became the first in The Guernsey Novels series, ‘Dangerous Waters’. I was a complete beginner and knew nothing about how to write but thoroughly enjoyed the process. It was only after receiving a couple of professional critiques, one from the RNA NWS scheme, that I realised I had a way to go if I wanted to see the book published. So began many re-writes and edits. Having no joy with agents, although some offered encouragement, I took the plunge and self-published in 2012 under my own imprint, Sarnia Press.

Who are your favourite authors and have any of them inspired your writing in any way?

My list of favourite authors has changed over the years as I’ve matured and acquired different reading tastes. I’ve loved books by Maeve Binchy, Joanna Trollope, Erica James, Katie Fforde, Robert Goddard, Mary Higgins Clark, CJ Ransome and Barbara Erskine. My stories focus on relationships, family dramas and mysteries, including a touch of dual-time and time-slip. My inspiration comes from across the board, but I feel I owe most to Erica, Maeve and Barbara.

Your books are set in Guernsey. Is there any other favourite location you might use in the future?

Mmm. At the moment I can’t see that happening as I love writing about Guernsey, having lived there for many happy years. I’m now in Devon so that’s a possibility one day …

If money were no object, where in the world would you take a very special holiday?

Oooh, choices, choices! I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some fabulous places over the years, but would love to visit India and China. Their ancient cultures are so intriguing and their modern so different to ours, I’m bound to have a wonderful time.

Are you able to tell us a little about what you are working on at the moment?

Yes, it’s number 7 in the series (all standalone stories, but with links to each other) and titled ‘The Inheritance’. In the other books I’ve referred to events of the German Occupation in tandem with the present, but this story goes back to Victorian times, when Victor Hugo lived as an exile in Guernsey. It’s dual-time, and the Victorian element concerns a young widow, Eugenie, who is befriended by Victor Hugo and his mistress Juliette Drouet and becomes his copyist. She lives in Hauteville, near Hugo’s house and her life becomes involved in theirs. Eugenie finds him charismatic, becoming more and more drawn to him. She reminds Hugo of his beloved, dead daughter, Léopoldine, and he sees her as a reincarnation of his child. In the present day, Tess, a doctor, inherits Eugenie’s house from a great-aunt, the family being direct descendants of hers. The family myth has always been that Eugenie was Hugo’s mistress, bearing his child. Tess finds Eugenie’s journals, hidden since the late nineteenth century, and learns the truth behind the myth.

And lastly, you have been invited onto I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. Name four celebrities you would like to share the jungle with.

Can I just say, nothing would ever tempt me to do this in real life! But, hypothetically speaking, I’d choose Colin Firth – for his manly presence – Dawn French ¬– for a laugh – Bear Grylls – to do the yucky stuff – and Daniel Craig – to get me out of there!

Author Page on Amazon:


Iphoto for emailAnne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children, and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.
By profession, Anne was a psychotherapist, but long had the itch to write. Now a full-time writer, she has written The Guernsey Novels, six having been published and the seventh, The Inheritance, is due out in 2018.

Posted in Writing

Tuesday Talk chats to author Katey Lovell about her writing journey, favourite authors and desert island ‘must haves’

Today I’m chatting with Harper Impulse author Katey Lovell


Hi Katey and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Hi Jo! I’m a romance writer based in South Yorkshire who loves reading, writing, live music and musical theatre.

What made you want to be a writer and how did that journey begin?

I’ve always loved making up stories – as a child I had a lockable notebook that I used to write my first tales down in. As I got older I started writing what would now be called fan-fiction about Take That, and then moved on to poetry and short stories.

In 2014 I was struggling with ill-health (I have Crohn’s Disease, which wasn’t diagnosed at this point, as well as anxiety). I left the job I’d been in for the previous nine years and started working as a lunchtime supervisor, thinking it would give me more time to focus on both getting better and working towards making a career in writing. During that time I wrote the Meet Cute series of short stories, which were published by Harper Impulse in 2015, who’ve also published my three full-length novels.

Who are your favourite authors? Have they influenced your writing at all?

I’m a big fan of women’s fiction and I love Miranda Dickinson, Rebecca Raisin, Giovanna Fletcher, Carmel Harrington, Carrie Hope Fletcher…so many people! I’m a voracious reader, so I’d be surprised if I hadn’t been influenced by some of my favourite authors.

The first book I read that made me want to write about relationships with a touch of humour was Come Together by Emlyn Rees and Josie Lloyd – I actually met Josie a few years back and told her how I’d been influenced by her.

Currently you write feel good romance. Do you think you would ever be tempted to write something completely different or are you happy where you are?

I really enjoy writing about love, friendships and family dynamics, and I think anything I write will focus on relationships, but I’d love to try my hand at magical realism in the future – I have a notebook bursting with ideas that may one day become a novel!

Beach or city girl? Where are your favourite holiday destinations and why?

I’m definitely a city girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love the beach too, but our holidays are almost always to cities – I’ve particularly loved Florence, New York and San Francisco. I’m drawn to interesting buildings and exploring residential neighbourhoods to get a flavour of the places I visit.

That said, I do wish I was the type of person who could enjoy lazing on a sun-lounger with a good book!

Can you tell us what you are working on at the moment?

I’m currently working on the first book in a trilogy with my agent, Julia Silk from MBA. I can’t tell you too much, but it centres around a 30-year-old woman who’s trying to get her life in order. It’s about friendship and family and the pressures of modern society.

You are planning to spend a year on a desert island. What four ‘must haves’ would you take with you and why?

Oh heck – I’m rubbish at these kind of questions. I’m pretty miserable without the ability to record my thoughts, whether that’s writing books or making lists, so either a laptop or a notepad and pen is a must. If there’s no electric, I guess I’ll be going the old fashioned route! The same goes for a book – I’ve always got at least two on the go. If I was just selecting one, I’d probably go for 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, which is my ultimate comfort read. I’d also find it hard to be without music, but without electricity I suppose I’d need some kind of Walkman and a lot of batteries! And finally, cake. I’m a big fan of cake…

You can contact Katey via Twitter – @katey5678, Instagram – @katey5678 or facebook, or her blog, which can be found at

Katey’s Amazon page –


DSC_9580 copyKatey is the author of three commercial women’s fiction novels published by HarperCollins imprint HarperImpulse. Her heart-warming novels are about people overcoming everyday challenges with the support of their friends, family and local community. She has also written a series of coffee-break romances and two novellas, and is currently working on a new series of three novels.
Originally from South Wales, Katey now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and son. When she’s not writing she’ll most likely be found indulging her love of musicals, enjoying live music or reading anything and everything she can lay her hands on.


Posted in Writing

The Next Big Thing…

It’s Monday once more and the outside the rain is steady and persistent.  I feel this winter has been particularly awful with very few light sunny days and so much wet, dark weather. We’re very lucky to live on the side of a hill even though we are probably only five hundred yards from a river – By Brook – which meets the River Avon on the edge of the village.  No chance of flooding, which I guess, next to fire must be one of the most awful things a house owner can experience.

When I woke up this morning I realised we’d already reached January 15th – half way through the first month of 2018 already!  I’m trying to keep up the positive vibe, pleased that I’ve secured Tuesday Talk interviews for February and March.  That’s one less pressure. I’m also nearing the end of a very long writing journey.  As no doubt I’ve mentioned many times in previous blogs, my current WIP has at times has taken to me to the edge of my patience…and sanity.  It began really well last January and I thought that this, like all my previous books, would be finished by Christmas. Unfortunately not. This story has taken on a life of its own.  I guess I could keep revising and improving until the men in white coats turn up to take me away.  However, I’m glad to report I have one extra scene to write – something I feel needs to be included in the book – and then I’m done.  Part of the reason I’m drawing a final line under this particular WIP is that a new story is knocking on the door.  I’ve been gradually putting it together in my head as I’ve been doing revisions on The Boys of Summer.  This has given me the boot up the backside I badly needed in order to get one project finished and another started.

Hopefully at the end of play today I’ll have written and polished that final scene and the whole thing will be winging its way to my editor for a final check and read through.


And the new project?  Well currently I’m getting the cast together. The location? I’m still not there yet.  It’s going to be either South Cornwall or North Devon  I have a great love for both counties and the atmospheric backdrops they can provide so am finding  it very hard to choose. As far as the plot goes, although there’s the central romance there will. as usual, be subplots woven through the book.  I began as a saga writer and I guess I’ve never been able to shake off the need to write a story which centres on more than just two people.  Strangely I’m not a great fan of soaps although I guess there is a slight parallel in my books in that it’s all about characters, families and communities.  So what do you think?


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In the time it’s taken to write this, the rain has stopped and then returned.  A thoroughly miserable Monday but this writer has work to do. So now I’m off to sort out that very last scene. Wish me luck!

Posted in Writing


Tuesday Talk’s first guest of 2018 is Choc Lit author Kathryn Freeman…

5707-2Hi Kathryn and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Only if I can start by thanking you so much for inviting me to Tuesday Talk . A bit about me. I’m a wife and mum to two boys who find it highly embarrassing that their mum writes romance. I trained originally as a pharmacist and spent over twenty happy years working in the pharmaceutical industry as a medical writer before leaving to become self employed . Now I juggle both types of writing and wait in dread for the day my beating hearts get mixed up. I keep fit by running, swimming and playing tennis (not all on the same day). The exercise means I can then indulge in my favourite pastime of eating (fish and chips, if you’re asking) and drinking (champagne if you’re buying).

How did your writing journey begin?

My first book was written as a New Year resolution – the only one I’ve ever kept to. It crashed and burned, but the writing bug had taken hold. Three years and many manuscripts and rejections later, I was lucky enough to get a publishing contract with Choc Lit. The breakthrough had been joining the RNA New Writers’ Scheme and getting their invaluable feedback on what I was doing wrong.

Would you ever consider writing something other than romantic fiction? If so what would that be?

Romantic fiction is my passion; it’s what I love to read in my spare time, so I think that’s why it’s also what I love to write. I can’t imagine writing a book without romance, though I would like to dip my toe into romantic suspense – see answer to question 6!

 If money were no object, where in the world would you particularly like to visit?

Holidays are a priority for me (who needs double glazing/ a car that doesn’t keep breaking down/savings?) and I’ve been lucky enough to visit several ‘dream’ holiday destinations already. I’d go back to the Barrier Reef, Hawaii and Florence in a flash. Still on my wish list are a safari in South Africa, a relax on the beach in the Seychelles and a tour up the West coast of Australia.

What were your favourite books as a child?

I was a Famous Five addict as a child, becoming a Mills and Boon addict as a teenager.

Are you able to tell us a little about what you are working on at the moment?

My next book out will be a romance set in a biscuit factory, currently (and cunningly?!) entitled Crumbs. Meanwhile I’ve started writing a third Christmas book (the other two were written at Easter; this time I wanted to write one in the right season). I’m also trying to knock into shape an attempt at romantic suspense. She’s a scientist, he’s the bodyguard hired to stop some evil men wanting to use her virology expertise for their own end.

And lastly, you are planning a dinner party. If you were able to invite four famous guests (living or dead) who would you choose and why?

  • Jenson Button would be first on my list, because after writing Before You (featuring a racing driver) I’m in awe of the bravery, skill and fitness required to be a Formula 1 driver. Oh and because I totally swoon whenever I see him interviewed.
  • Terry Wogan because he made me laugh as a teenage girl and still had me laughing when I turned fifty.
  • Ryan Gosling so I could just sit and ogle him. Shirt not required.
  • Nora Roberts, so I can ask her how she’s able to write such incredible books.


Kathryn’s social media links



I was born in Wallingford but have spent most of my life living in a village outside Windsor. A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also loves to write romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…
I’ve two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) so the romance in my life is all in my head. Then again, my husband’s unstinting support of my career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.

Before You

When life in the fast lane threatens to implode …

Melanie Hunt’s job working for the Delta racing team means she is constantly rubbing shoulders with Formula One superstars in glamorous locations like Monte Carlo. But she has already learned that keeping a professional distance is crucial if she doesn’t want to get hurt.

New Delta team driver Aiden Foster lives his life like he drives his cars – fast and hard. But, no matter how successful he is, it seems he always falls short of his championship-winning father’s legacy. If he could just stay focused, he could finally make that win.

Resolve begins to slip as Melanie and Aiden find themselves drawn to each other –with nowhere to hide as racing season begins. But when a troubled young boy goes missing, everything is thrown into turmoil, including Aiden’s championship dream.

Buy link for Before You