Hi Ros and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?
Hi, I took early retirement, having been a primary school headteacher in three different schools, and we moved to live permanently in France. It was there, with plenty of time on my hands, that I began writing in earnest. I completed a book of contemporary romantic fiction which I initially indie published. I soon took it down after I was accepted onto the RNA New Writers’ Scheme and received feedback on the manuscript. My second book was accepted by Endeavour Press (now Endeavour Media) and after redrafting the first, that was accepted too. Also, I have two novels and a novella which are 20th century historical fiction about three sisters during times of major conflict. These, I have indie published and all three have been awarded ‘Chill with a Book’ reader’s awards as well as two with ‘Discovering Diamonds’ awards. The last in this ‘Strong Sisters series’ is on the way and will be set in the Cold War.
Who are your favourite authors and have any of them inspired your writing in any way?
This is a hard question because there are many. My mum was a published author of many romantic novels and was, too, a member of the RNA in the 1970s. She always encouraged me to write but I was a busy working mum and didn’t get around to it. I hope she’s proud now, from wherever she’s looking down. I love James Hilton’s books, especially ‘Random Harvest’ which is a great traditional love story with a magnificent twist at the end. He’s more well-known for ‘Goodbye Mr Chips’. I have a copy from 1941 with my granny’s pencilled notes in the margin. She inspired my book, ‘Flowers of Flanders’, although it’s not her story. I guess there’s an emotive response to ‘Random Harvest’ for that reason, too.
How do you go about choosing character names for your novels?
For the Strong Sisters, I needed flower names because they are ‘Flowers of Flanders’ in the first book and ‘Flowers of Resistance’ in the second. So, I chose Rose, for the traditional warm and caring sister, Delphinium, known as Delphi, for the exotic, wild and selfish one and Iris, (Izzy) for the youngest, who will bloom in unusual, unexpected and striking ways as she matures. The last book in the series, set in the Cold War, is probably going to be ‘The Flower that Shattered Stones’. For the contemporary books I trawl names on the internet which seem to suit the times and the personality of the character. Some of my characters are French so I use the same principle.
Beach or city girl? Where are your favourite holiday destinations and why?
I would say beach, but I don’t enjoy lazing on one. I prefer exploring or bouncing about in the waves. My childhood was spent in Cornwall around Penzance, with cousins. Happy memories, and my latest WIP is set near there, in a tiny place called Mousehole. We have discovered cruising recently. That, I do love. Its so interesting to visit different places and also to spend time people watching.
Are you able to tell us a little about what you are working on at the moment?
I’ve literally just completed a new-adult romance. That’s the one set in Cornwall. I’m half way through another romance about a 40 something woman who has to relocate from London, following the death of her husband. She moves to a small Northamptonshire village. She needs to rehabilitate to contentment. A homeless rough sleeper plays a significant part in this and as well as a Frenchman with a mysterious past.
And lastly, you’re planning a year away on a desert island. Name four must haves and the reason for choosing them.
Pencils and paper would, of course, be a must. I’m assuming there’s no electricity or internet. Perhaps a Bible. I follow no doctrinal religion at all, but in the absence of other people it would be good inspiration for adaptation to modern times. It’s full of great stories. That’s two items. I’m counting the pencils and paper as one. Hope that’s alright. I’d take a family photo. My husband and I have two daughters and four granddaughters as well as two sons-in-law. My last item would be one of my ‘fumsup’. These are tiny keepsakes of a mannikin given to soldiers in WW1. They have wings on their ankles for a speedy return, a four-leaved clover impressed into the forehead and their tiny arms raise up to touch the wooden bead head. I have a collection of different ones; some brass, others silver or gold. Many are quiTe rare.
I worked as a head teacher, so my writing then was policy documents, essays and some stories to which young children enjoyed listening. I have two married daughters and four granddaughters. Having lived in France for ten years we are now back in England living in a small town between Stamford and Peterborough and loving it. We enjoy ballroom and Latin dancing as well as walking the dogs.
All my books may be purchased here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=ros+rendle
or from me, via my website:
Other links are: