Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Cornwall, Cornwall, Costal Romance, Writing, Writing Journey


How did we get to 30th November so fast? It’s a really strange phenomenon that during 2020 it’s been a quieter year for me and yet I seem to have more to do.  The arrival of this month saw the annual clock change in late October. For a while we had lighter mornings, but for a good part of last week waking up to fog and unable to see across the valley, has made it feel as if we’re getting up in the middle of the night.  I remember when I was working, that the last week in January was the time when I walked home from the bus stop in dusk rather than dark.  So I measure the beginning of a move back to lighter evenings by that time.

I guess the one big event during November was the arrival of my new computer.  My old one had given me just over ten years of good use, albeit with several changes of keyboard and monitors.  A bit like Trigger’s broom on Only Fools and Horses with 17 new heads and 14 new handles!  I looked at all in ones and was tempted, but eventually opted for another, smaller tower, new 24″ monitor and a good quality keyboard. As a touch typist I’ve got through a load of these in ten years. Usually the I went first, then the E, S and L.  It seems to me that keyboards aren’t meant to last. During my working life the letters on the office computer kreyboards I used were more robust and didn’t wear off after a few months use as they do today. Yes, I know, maybe I should have splashed out a bit more money, but even the more expensive keyboard I’m now using doesn’t feel as if it will be any more durable. I guess only time will tell.  Oh, and almost forgot, I also have a camera, where previously I had to use my husband’s laptop in order to use Skype to catch up with friends and relatives.  All in all, three weeks into the use of this new computer set up, and I’m really pleased with my purchase. 

On the 3rd of November we had our last Tuesday lunch out before Lockdown No 2.  We had been eating out since early July when we came out of the first lockdown, keeping out of the city and visiting pubs in the surrounding villages instead.  All the pubs we’ve been to have observed strict hygiene rules and we never once felt compromised.  Some of the those we used to visit still have yet to reopen, opting for a takeaway service instead. Coming out of lockdown No 2 this week, we will be in a Tier 2 area instead of 1, as we were previously.  This has seen us having to cancel a planned lunch out with friends. Christmas certainly is going to be different this year!

I hope having to  make these sacrifices will get us all safely to the time when the vaccine becomes available and life gets back to some form of normality.  It’s easy to tell yourself that you don’t know of anyone who has had Covid and to query whether it’s actually as bad as everyone says. Or whether, as some believe, it’s only people in towns and cities who get it. Hand on heart I’d only heard of cases through friends of friends. And then two weeks ago my best friend called me to say her son had a temperature and was self-isolating. His Covid test came back positive but thankfully he has come through the whole episode safely.  It certainly goes to bring home the fact that it is out there and you can become infected when you least expect it.

And finally where am I with my writing? Well everything is going well at the moment. Happy to say writing mojo has made a reappearance. At the moment I’m trying to balance working on book 10 with reading and reviewing, which I’ve been doing throughout the year. I have to say there have been some amazing new titles during 2020 and I’ve currently earned my ‘100’ badge from Netgalley.  However, despite having a huge appetite for other authors’ work, I haven’t lost sight of the fact that my own writing is as important.  I’m hoping for a late spring publication with this, the second part of the Cornish Estuary trilogy. Currently working hard and pushing forward with it. Wish me luck.

And so, that’s about it for the month. See you all at the end of December when I’ll be looking back at the year and my memories of 2020.

Best wishes

Jo xx




Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Ruby Fiction, Writing

Journey’s End…

It’s always a relief to finish a manuscript. By the time I begin working on edits my mind is already well into sorting out the next story. Friday morning saw ‘The End’ become a reality as I e-mailed the final version off to my publisher.

I seem to have been working on this latest book forever. It’s not that I hit writer’s block or lost enthusiasm. It’s all been down to unexpected health problems. I’m hardly ever ill. Borrowing a phrase from one of my friends I haven’t got time to be ill. Over the last eighteen months, however, I seem to have experienced more than my fair share of health issues.

It started in Minorca on holiday in late May 2018 where we were staying with friends for birthday celebrations (mine). The night before the big day I received a text from Choc Lit offering me a contract for A Cornish Affair. As you can imagine this was the best birthday present ever and also an omen (or so I thought). It meant the coming year was going to be a good one. That lasted all of 24 hours. The next evening, before we left for the restaurant – before the cork on the pre-dinner bubbly had even popped – I stepped awkwardly off the bottom step of the villa’s staircase, twisted my ankle and broke it in three places. I’d just started to write a second book for my Cornish Coastal series and, of course, that came to a very sudden halt. Surgery, four weeks in plaster, two in an orthopaedic boot, physio and getting back to walking again took a big chunk out of the summer.  And when I did get a chance to sit in front of the computer (with my leg propped up on a cushion), I found it difficult to concentrate on anything. It was September before I felt ready to sit down and resume work on the project. The new year came, the word count grew and then in March I was called in for elective surgery (which had been postponed due to the ankle break). This wasn’t as intrusive as the ankle but, again, it took a couple of weeks before I could fully concentrate on my writing once more.

Then were the usual breaks and holidays in 2019 – Stratford on Avon, Suffolk, North Wales – and in between the writing continued. In September we had a week in Dartmouth. I had a sore throat for seven days and on our return this developed into a full blown bronchial virus making me wheeze like a heavy smoker. It took me three weeks to shake it off. I thought that was it. A mid-week break in Cornwall in October ended with another sore throat which quickly turned into a cold and yes…not wanting to be left out of all the fun…the dreaded virus joined the party!

Two weeks later, having managed to successfully get my twice cancelled flu shot, I’m hoping this is it as far as winter illnesses are concerned. I feel I’ve certainly had my share…and someone else’s too! But winter has only just begun so it’s a case of crossed fingers and a whole lot of hope.

So what’s next? Well I’m planning to take the weekend off, catch up with all the things I had to set to one side in order to get my writing finished – including social media. And then I’ve that new book to start…

Posted in Cambridge, Contemporary Fiction, Writing


Good morning Carol and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Good morning, Jo, and many thanks for inviting me round. I live in London and img_0541Cambridge, with my new husband and our ginger cat, and I’ve got two novels to my name, the latest being Hampstead Fever. My novels came after a string of non-fiction books, most of them on health and parenting. I have three sons, including twins, which obviously inspired some of my books. “The boys” are all grown up now, and they haven’t turned out too badly.

You qualified as a doctor, are a medical journalist and have published several parenting guides. How did the switch to writing fiction come about?

I’ve always wanted to write fiction, but I was busy with non-fiction books and health journalism, not to mention being a doctor, so it was difficult to find the time. The creative urge was there all along, though, and eventually I could ignore it no longer. By the time I set out to write a novel, I had a reasonable grasp of the process of producing a book. But, of course, it wasn’t plain sailing. The proof is a drawer full of manuscripts that will never see the light of day.

Your novels are set in London. Are you planning to use this as a base for future stories or would you ever be tempted to use another city?

I enjoy using London, especially North London, as a setting for my novels, but as I also livejacaranda_ebook-cov_may2016 in Cambridge, you can expect a little more of East Anglia to feature in a future book. I prefer writing about what I know, so I’d never use somewhere I didn’t know well as a location. One of the books I am planning at the moment will be set mostly in Egypt. I grew up in Alexandria and my memories of it are still vivid.

There are a few well known writers who have switched genre – Rom Com to Thriller or Crime is one example. If you were asked to write something other than Contemporary Fiction, what would be your choice?

I’m in awe of anyone who can write a good thriller. I’m not nearly devious or clever enough myself. If I were to choose another genre, I’d go for something completely different. I love writing dialogue, so I think it would be a screenplay.

Can you tell us something about your current WIP?

I’m actually writing two more books. One is the novel I mentioned which is set mainly in Egypt. Unusually for me, the story will unfold from just one point of view. The other book I’m working on will take many of the characters from Hampstead Fever and let them experience changes in their careers, their relationships, and their family lives. Like my first two novels, it’ll be a multi-viewpoint story, with both male and female voices. I like getting inside people’s heads. Maybe that’s the doctor in me.

Describe your writing room. Do you prefer to write in silence or with background music? If the latter, have you any favourites?

I have in the past written under all sorts of conditions. Some of my parenting books were img_2053produced two feet away from a computer where my children played Command and Conquer, at full blast. At times I’ve found it productive to write with music on, especially choral music, but nowadays I prefer utter silence. Because I write my first draft in pencil on paper, I can do it in most places. That usually means on the sofa in my living room, but in good weather it can equally be by the banks of the Cam.

And lastly, you’re holding a dinner party and can invite four famous people. Who would they be and why would you choose them?

Barack Obama, Prince Harry, Howard Jacobson and Kate Atkinson. Three of them (Obama, Jacobson and Atkinson) are terrific writers, and they’re all warm, witty and articulate. I think they would each have some great stories to share, which would make for a memorable evening.

for-jd-1-resizedimageAbout Carol

Carol Cooper is a writer and doctor. She is a journalist for The Sun newspaper, broadcasts on TV and radio, and has a string of non-fiction books to her name including an award-winning textbook of medicine. Now she writes novels all about complex characters looking for love.

Social media

Blog Pills & Pillow-Talk (URL:
Facebook author page Carol Cooper’s London novels (URL is
Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram @DrCarolCooper



Summertime and the living is…. complicated.

Ex-con Dan should be blissfully happy. He has the woman of his dreams and a job in a trendy Hampstead bistro. But his over-anxious partner Laure, engrossed in their baby, has no time for him.
After surviving serious illness, Sanjay’s got his life back. Now he wants adventure. Where does that leave girlfriend Harriet?
Casual sex with the football coach makes up Karen’s love live. As a single mum of four, romance is on her to-do list, just below laundry.
Stressed doctor Geoff finds solace in the arms of a mercurial actress. But why does she seem intent on upsetting everyone?
In a London heatwave, six people’s emotions rise to boiling point. And the fever spreads.

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