Friday, 30 May 2014

Meeting My Main Character Blog Hop

Many thanks to fellow ChocLiteer, Laura James for inviting me to take part in the ‘Meeting My Main Character’ blog hop. Laura introduced us to Victoria Noble, the heroine of her forthcoming novel, Follow Me, Follow You. You can meet Laura and Victoria here, but you’ll have to wait until September when Laura’s latest novel is published to find out if Victoria achieves her goal!

My latest novel, Follow a Star, is out soon. As much as I love Bill, the book’s hero, it is, after all, my heroine’s journey, so this is a bit about her.

May Starling
What is the name of the main character? Is she real or fictitious?
Her name’s May Starling and like all my characters when I’m writing about them, she feels real to me.

When and where is the story set?
It’s set in the present and begins in a vintage wooden boat leaving Portsmouth Harbour bound for sleepy seaside town, Little Spitmarsh, the location for my d├ębut novel, Turning the Tide

What should we know about May?
May’s had enough. She’s set fire to a couple of bridges and is running away to sea to escape the smouldering wreckage of her burnt-out career and one very demanding ex.

What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?
Well, for a start, there’s Bill, a strapping red-haired builder, trying to do his best for his ailing uncle. There’s the strange sea malady that not only has her barfing over the side of the boat but which is also giving her distinctly disturbing feelings about Bill. And when May arrives in Little Spitmarsh she quickly discovers her troubles have only just begun – and not just because the scrappy little woman who owns the boatyard is breathing fire at her - wherever she turns, it seems someone's ready to put her in her place.

What is May’s goal?
Oh, May just wants everyone to go away and leave her in peace… but life’s never that simple, is it?

What is the book’s title?
Follow A Star … Why? Well, the answer’s in the book!

Thank you, Laura, for inviting me to take part in this blog hop.  I'm handing over to two more Choc Lit authors (they were nearest when I was twisting arms up backs finding volunteers):

and my fellow Mrs July (our books are out at the same time!)

And finally, my apologies for the lack of blogging during what's been a particularly busy time on the writing front. Thank you for visiting.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The Fullness of Time

Some of you may remember this. It’s just over a year now since what I thought was a teeny, harmless patch of eczema turned out to be a basal cell carcinoma. I’d neglected to take it seriously for so long that quite a chunk had to be removed from my arm. At the time, I wasn’t in the least bit worried about the scar, I was simply very grateful to the consultant for his prompt treatment, but for anyone who might still be reluctant to visit their GP for fear of what the consequences might be, let me also show you this.

Nope, there’s not much to see at all, and that small scar just reminds me – as if I need it – to be careful in the sun.

Blog time has got away from me this year for various reasons, some of which have been outlined in previous posts. Tom’s had some ups and downs following his fall from his bike after his charity ride as it’s become clear he’s done a bit more damage than we first thought, but hopefully he’ll be sorted soon. In better news, it was an incredibly proud moment when we heard he’d been awarded Arts and Humanities Research Council funding for his PhD proposal – but, my goodness, he really had to put in hours of very meticulous work for it. I’m just so pleased for him that all the hard work was recognised. 

May Day brought a bonus bit of good news from my publishers, Choc Lit, which I hope to share soon. With that and the final preparations for the publication of ‘Follow A Star’ I’ve been very busy on the writing front. Every new cover I see beneath my name on my Amazon Page is as thrilling as the first time, but always brings a tinge of sadness that my dad didn’t live to see it. Next month, it’ll be nine years since his death. Nine years which have gone in the blink of an eye, reminding me to make the most of every day. I’m sure he would be very pleased to see that his music system, which now sits in our house, is still doing excellent service. Time may have moved on, services like Spotify enable us to access a world of music in an instant, but there’s still nothing to beat Dad’s big old Wharfdale speakers when it comes to sound quality!