Life Cycle of a Writer: Seven things I found out in That Big London

This usually Midlands-based Romaniac was out and about recently – seven days in the big city with RNA meetings and the summer party thrown in. Pretty exciting for a person who normally lives mainly in the thick of charity shops and card emporiums, you might say. But not only was it fun – the week away was a timely means of stepping out of my comfort zone and getting ready for the next writing chapter. A kick start was needed, in a very big way. Here are seven things I noticed, visiting the hub:

  • The RNA Summer Party is still a brilliant place to catch up with old friends and make new ones, and the committee meetings and AGM  are NOT ONE BIT SCARY AT ALL. The welcome is warm, the Joan Hessayon Award is always a lovely tribute from a caring husband to a lady who believed strongly  in the NWS and the short listed books are of a very high quality. Choosing a winner must be hellish. Dr Hessayon buys fizz too, every year. Congratulations to Kate Field – a worthy winner – The Magic of Ramblings is fab.

STAIRS                      INDIA

  • Sometimes, if you’re patient, surprising things happen. Tower Bridge opened for us (I’m assuming that was the reason) and I saw Stephen Fry in the very flesh (Yes, the real live Stephen Fry) just being his normal lovely self in Waterstones. I’d like to say I rushed up and wowed him with my witty banter but actually it wasn’t quite like that. Anyway, nobody fell over or burped or anything.

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  • I CAN wear big shoes. It’s just…not for long.

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  • Visiting places you’ve mostly seen on a Monopoly board is never going to get boring.

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  • Maps are amazing – tube plans, guide books about Hidden London, street signs. I love them all. You have to have them the right way up though. Just saying.

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  • A foxy new note book and pen is often all you need to spark off a brand new book. Or two in this case. #worryingbrainoverload

DFLY

 

  • Going home is sad, but coming back is even more fun. In fact,  I’ll be in the big city very soon. So all good. Just hope Stephen gets the memo.

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So, what does London mean to you?

 

 

Roving Romaniac – Lucie’s loose in London!

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Last month when my friend, Leanne, tweeted me  saying ‘this looks good, we can go after uni!’, it was the start of a very exciting conversation. She is fantastic and is sometimes an extra pair of eyes on Twitter for things exactly like this event. Because I spend a lot of my time either writing books, writing university papers or reading textbooks, my time on social media comes about in fits and starts, so I sometimes miss these great announcements of events and by the time I see them, they are sold out! This is where it is handy, as a lover of books and writing, to have a friend like Leanne to scout these events and tweet me about them! She did the same about the Paige Toon event I went to last month which I shall blog about next week as I totally forgot to at the time! (I blame university/book brain!)

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Arriving at the News Building, ready to join the queue!

So fast forward to yesterday, the day had finally come. We were off to London to the offices of Fabulous Magazine for their author event. Not one, not two, but THREE fantastic authors were there to chat to everyone and sign books. A-MAZ-ING, right?

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Lindsey Kelk

So, we had the very lovely and VERY funny Lindsey Kelk, author of the ‘I heart’ series alongside other novels. Her latest book, ‘We Were on a Break’ is OUT NOW and promises to be another incredibly funny and witty read.

 

Next we have the amazing Giovanna Fletcher, super talented author of books such as ‘Billy and Me’, ‘Dream a Little Dream’ and her most recent novel, ‘Always with Love’ is a great read. Mum to Buzz and Buddy and wife to Tom, Giovanna amazes me with how she manages to fit everything in and still manage to meet fans and

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Giovanna Fletcher

enjoy an evening out.

 

And last, but by no means least, the incredibly talented and super friendly Mhairi Mcfarlane. Mhairi is one of the nicest people I have met; easy to chat with, identifiable and  a total word wizard! Mhairi’s latest book ‘Who’s that Girl’ is OUT NOW. I am about a

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Mhairi Mcfarlane

third of the way through it and LOVING IT!

 

So, what do you get if you add three FABULOUS writers and a FABULOUS magazine – you got it, a FABULOUS evening! A free glass of wine – tick – a free book – BIG tick and a stunning view – phenomenal tick! The ladies chatted about their books, how they write, what they write, why they write. The topic went from cats with urine infections (don’t ask) to Tom Mcfly killing off Giovanna’s characters and using the lives of friends to help create the most craziest stories. There was laughter, lots of it, and great questions from audience members. The interview was filmed for a short while on Facebook Live which added a great dimension to the evening and the room in which the event took place was kitted out amazingly with lights, music from a DJ and a wonderful buzz of excitement that flew around and into every nook and cranny of the space. 14708104_517561595109091_4382367823175074922_n

I had the chance to meet all three wonderful ladies and have my books signed. We did have to queue for quite sometime (they are popular women) but when each and every person arrived at the front desk, it didn’t feel rushed or awkward and each person was given adequate time to chat and enjoy the company of their idols. I had some lovely conversations with each of the ladies, I almost wish I could have pulled up a pew and indulged in conversation all evening.

But unfortunately, as all good things, the evening had to come to an end. My friend and I left – with another friend of mine from back in high school who I recently have started to bump into at these book events (Hi Hannah!) – and we strolled back to London Liverpool Street station ready to embark on our journey back home.

But not before a quick snap on London Bridge to add to our souvenirs from another very enjoyable event.

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Selfie on London Bridge!

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Bumping into school friend, Hannah

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Fabulous Magazine for hosting a great event.

 

Thanks to Lindsey, Giovanna and Mhairi for providing many laughs and incredible books.

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And thanks to my friend, Leanne, for finding the event, accompanying me and providing yet more laughs on the journey home at the expense of her jacket!

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Novel Research

It’s an exciting day for me, my third novel, THE HALF TRUTH is published today. It’s a romantic suspense, set mainly on the south coast of the UK but also in London. I had some interesting search terms when researching it, things like, Glock 26 and Russian gang tattoos but my favourite was St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

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I’ve visited St Paul’s on several occasions, the first, as a child, when my sister, my mum and I stayed with my nan for a week. (She lived in De Beuvoir Square in London, which I also used in The Half Truth.) During that week, my nan took us to St Paul’s and I loved the Whispering Gallery – my sister and I had great fun whispering messages around the walls to each other. As an adult, I’ve appreciated the beauty and splendour of the building, both the interior and exterior.  Writing those scenes brought back very fond memories.

The Half truth

Every marriage has its secrets…

Tina Bolotnikov, widowed after her husband, Sasha, is killed in a car accident, relocates back to her hometown on the south coast of the UK, to bring up her young son. Her life back in London with her adored husband is now nothing but a memory; a history to pass onto her son.

DS John Nightingale saw his partner killed in the line of duty and has made it his personal and professional quest to bring to justice the Russian gang responsible. Five years on and the killer is still free but as reports come in of Sasha Bolotnikov’s brother returning to the UK, John is tasked with tracking him down and following him to the seaside town of Littlehampton.

Tina finds herself an unwitting connection to a world she knew nothing about. She thought she knew her husband. She thought their past was the truth. But now as the investigation draws her closer to DS Nightingale, professional lines are blurred, and only he holds the key to her future.

 

Tuesday Chit-Chat with Lisa Jewell

Today, we proudly welcome to Romaniac HQ, best-selling author, Lisa Jewell…

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Hi Lisa, thanks so much for joining us. It’s a huge week on the excitement front, with your eleventh novel, The House We Grew Up In, launching on Thursday. What sparked the idea for this story and can you give us a little teaser about what to expect?

I had been trying to write a psychological thriller for three months and had just come to the terrible realisation that I couldn’t make it work. I gave myself two weeks to come up with another idea and I spent most of those two weeks just walking around aimlessly waiting for inspiration to strike. On the last day of the two weeks I was walking past a mansion block on Finchley Road and noticed one of the windows was completely filled up with junk. I’d been watching TV shows about hoarders and knew that there was always some deep psychological trigger for the hoarding compulsion to strike and it made me wonder about who lived in that flat and why they had started hoarding and as I thought that, I suddenly pictured Lorelei and her big family and her scruffy cottage and I started writing it the next day.

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In the book,  Lorelei likes to, how shall we say, “collect” things.  Are you a hoarder or can you de-clutter at will?

I am a disgusting hoarder. My problem is that because I live in a very big house it hasn’t quite hit me yet just how much ridiculous, pointless crap I have accumulated. If I had to downsize and fit it all in a smaller house I think I would be horrified. Unlike Lorelei, however, I don’t have an emotional attachment  to my crap. I would love someone to come along and get rid of it all for me. (Apart from my books – nobody touches my books!)

Just how busy has your pre-publication agenda for this novel been, and how will you be celebrating, come Thursday?

So far I haven’t had any pre-publication duties to attend to at all. But these things can sometimes be a bit last minute so we’ll see. As for celebrations, I have nothing official planned but have been invited out for – unconnected – drinks with some local mums. I shall use it as an excuse to drink champagne with impunity. It’s also my birthday the day after so I will be drinking champagne yet again. And then it’s the weekend, so, you know. More champagne.

You’ve held some fantastic author events and signings over the years, with some equally fab competitions. Any upcoming dates/features we should know about for our diaries?

Could I direct your readers to my blog in answer to that question? For some reason after years of being NFI I am suddenly very in demand for events and panels and I have a comprehensive list of everywhere I’m going to be for the rest of the year here: http://www.lisa-jewell.co.uk/blog

Your characters truly come to life on the page, Lisa, which is what makes them so memorable and, in turn, drives such great stories.  Are you a people-watcher? If so, where are your favourite places to pick up those ideas and snippets of gossip?

The book I’m writing at the moment was inspired in part by a feature I saw on the Jeremy Kyle Show. It was about two sisters who’d shared a childhood trauma so haunting I couldn’t shake it from my consciousness. Another strand of the story was inspired by old neighbours of ours. It was the husband’s third family and I was fascinated by the idea of how some people can go from family to family, children to children, and make it look so unremarkable. I wanted to look at all the painful moments that lay behind those decisions. 31 Dream Street was inspired by a crazy house I saw near my sister’s place and Toby was inspired by a man outside my local tube station holding a placard for a comedy night. Arlette’s story in Before I Met You came from an article I read on the net about a real-life jazz orchestra. Betty’s story was inspired in part by Meg Mathew’s arc from Guernsey girl to Queen of the Primrose Hill scene. So, I guess what I’m saying is that there is no ‘favourite place’. I don’t even have to leave the house sometimes to find inspiration! You just need finely-tuned antenna that can pick up on the gems within all the white noise and wallpaper.

If you could read an excerpt from The House We Grew Up In to an audience at any venue, worldwide, which venue would you choose and why?

For greatest effect I would actually like to read a passage from it whilst in a hoarded house, the audience maybe sitting on tops of piled up boxes and squashed between bin-bags. But if I were to be truly indulgent, probably on the beach at the Eden Rock Hotel in St Barths. Who’s coming?! (Room for nine, Lisa?!) LJ blog pic 3

The fabulous Eden Rock…

 

And finally, a few for fun …

Perfect day out in London?

I think I may have had this yesterday actually. I spent the morning on the South Bank with my youngest daughter, then had lunch at home in the garden with my husband and brother-in-law and our children, then I met my sister and a friend at Barbican and we sat in the afternoon sun in Postman’s Park. There’s an art nouveau tiled memorial there, each plaque telling the story of an ordinary person who sacrificed their life to save somebody else’s. It includes  lots of children rescuing younger siblings. There’s a whole novel contained on each plaque and every one is heartbreaking and fascinating. LJ blog pic 2

We then wandered up through to Farringdon and got the tube to Kings Cross to a cool canal-side bar called Shrimpys where we drank beer out of plastic cups and laughed till we cried.

Biggest writing myth?

I think the greatest misconception people have is that easy to read books are easy to write.  They are not.

Author  you’d love to interview?

JK Rowling.

Most unusual place you’ve ever seen or heard about anyone reading one of your books?

Someone once wrote to tell me they’d picked up a rather ragged copy of Ralph’s Party at a remote trekkers’ hostel in Mongolia.

Glastonbury or Notting Hill Carnival?

Neither, thank you!

Three words that sum up Lisa Jewell?

Lazy, happy Londoner.

Thanks so much, Lisa. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you. Best of luck with The House We Grew Up In ahead of its launch on Thursday, and Happy Birthday for Friday!

Available to pre-order : http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-House-We-Grew-Up/dp/1846059240?ie=UTF8&tag=randomhouse&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=1846059232

Connect with Lisa on Facebook via:  http://www.facebook.com/LisaJewellofficial

Follow Lisa on Twitter @lisajewelluk

Tuesday Chit-Chat with Jean Fullerton

Hi Jean, it’s great to see you here at Romaniac HQ. How about a welcome cuppa? Tea or Coffee? Oh, and a slice of one of Celia’s legendary cakes (naturally…)

Tea, please, and just a sliver of cake. 

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We know it’s a hectic week for you (excitingly so) as your new novel Call Nurse Millie is being published on Thursday. Can you tell us a bit about Millie and her story?

We meet Millie on VE day in 1945. As the bombs stop and the troops begin to return home, the inhabitants of London attempt to put their lives back together. For 25-year-old Millie, a qualified nurse and midwife, the jubilation at the end of the war is short-lived as she tends to the needs of the East End community around her. But while Millie witnesses tragedy and brutality in her job, she also finds strength and kindness. And when misfortune befalls her own family, it is the enduring spirit of the community that shows Millie that even the toughest of circumstances can be overcome.

Through Millie’s eyes, we see the harsh realities and unexpected joys in the lives of the patients she treats, as well as the camaraderie that is forged with the fellow nurses that she lives with. Filled with unforgettable characters and moving personal stories, this vividly brings to life the colourful world of a post-war East London.

Although I’m a district nurse, I had a great deal of pleasure researching the equipment and techniques she used to nurse her patients, which are so very different from the ones I used during my time on the District.

Nurse Millie

How has the run-up to publication been for you? Can you give us a teaser about what’s involved?

In a word: hectic. All writers, be they with a large publisher like myself or self-published, need to do a great deal of promotion. My publisher handles the national press and trade publicity but since I handed in the second part of Millie’s story to my editor in February, I have written at least a dozen blogs and articles.  Over the past five years I’ve built up many contacts in local newspapers and radio and I’ve been getting in touch with them for feature articles and afternoon slots on chat shows.

Your knowledge and fondness for the East End of London shines through in all of your novels, Jean. What would you say are the main contributing factors behind their authenticity?

That’s very kind of you to say so. I think the main reason for my books authentic feel is that I know the area and the East End culture through and through. And not because I’ve read books and researched, which I have, but because it is the place where I was born and raised. It’s in my bones, and as I write long-forgotten snippets from my childhood. Stories told to me of what the East End used to be like drift back into my consciousness. In Call Nurse Millie, I draw on much of my immediate family’s history to bring the post-war Docklands alive. Also, and probably more importantly, I just love the place.

You clearly love English history but what in particular inspires you about the 18th and 19th centuries in which your books are set?

To my mind, the Victorians invented the world we live in today. Things we take for granted like railways, mass produced consumer goods, civil engineering, modern medicine and even bank and company regulation, started in the Victorian age, not to mention many revolutionary ideas such as social responsibility of the rich to the poor. It’s also history you can touch as most of us have old sepia photos of our own Victorian ancestors and thanks to the Victorians love of detail, we have the priceless records of the 19th century censuses to draw on for research.

Which genres do you enjoy reading?

Although Historicals always catch my eye, a book for me is always about the story but I try to read something I wouldn’t write, such as a juicy crime by Lee Childs or well-written women’s fiction by people like Carole Matthews or Julie Cohen. I find it difficult to read my own genre as I find myself turning from a reader into a writer and I start thinking ‘I would have done this or that’ and so it pulls me out of the story.

Describe a typical writing day for you, how it ties in with your day job.

I no longer work as a district nurse but lecture in nursing studies at a London University so my day-job hours are more writing friendly. Most days I’m home by 4.30pm so I reply to any emails that I couldn’t deal with in my lunch break then me and the Hero-at-Home prepare the evening meal together. We usually eat at 6.30 as he is often out to 7pm meetings.  I go up to my office at 7ish and write until 9.30 when I take a TV break for an hour or so, then most nights back up again from 11-12 midnight to read through and fiddle with what I’ve just written. We both have busy lives, so try to have Friday night as our time together, usually in a local hostelry. I also work Saturday and Sunday afternoons if the family- of three grown up daughters, son-in-laws and their offspring- aren’t around.

You’ve given many valuable author talks and conducted various successful writing workshops – what are the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of these?

The thing I love most about both my talks and workshops is meeting people, particularly if someone tells me how much they loved my book. That’s why I write, after all, to bring others into my stories. I also enjoy helping and guiding others as they learn the necessary skills to write their own page-turning novel.

Who or what (or both) would you credit with being the biggest influence on you as a writer?

That’s difficult to say but I suppose the writer who got me into this was Anya Seton with her fabulous book Katherine but the biggest influence has to be the wonderful Romantic Novelists’ Association who helped me learn my craft and encouraged me to stick with it.

Any other creative passions, Jean?

My dad was an amateur artist and I used to be quite good at drawing and painting but I don’t do it now, however, I am very visual so enjoy art galleries and exhibitions. I often use old photos of East London to help me when I’m writing.

How will you be celebrating Call Nurse Millie’s launch on Thursday?

Packing my suitcase for my well-earned Mediterranean cruise the day after.

And finally, as is customary here at HQ, a few quick-fire questions for you:

Favourite London Landmark? Tower of London

Charles Dickens or Jane Austen? Jane Austen

Celebrity you’d most like to be stuck in a lift with? Hugh Jackman- for the obvious reason!

Guilty Pleasure? Haribo Tantastics

Theatre or Museum? Museum

Dream Holiday Destination? Anywhere on a cruise ship.

Sunday Roast with all the trimmings or Fish & Chips? Sunday Roast.

Novel you never tire of reading? Katherine by Anya Seton.

Jean, it’s been an absolute pleasure chatting to you. Best of luck with Call Nurse Millie.

You can connect to me on my website at www.jeanfullerton.com to find out about me, my previous books, and my East London heritage along with pictures of the actual locations I use in my books.

You can also find me on Facebook as Jean Fullerton and follow me on Twitter as @JeanFullerton__
To buy. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Call-Nurse-Millie-ebook/dp/B00BMUVRT0/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363208639&sr=1-1

Find Out Friday with Juliet Greenwood.

A Romaniac Interview with Juliet Greenwood.

Good Friday morning to you, Juliet, and welcome to our blog. It was great to meet you at this year’s Romantic Novelists’ Association Conference where your love of nature was even more apparent in person. What did you think of the teaching garden at the Penrith site?

Thank you, lovely Romaniacs. It was great to meet you too. Sorry I couldn’t make it to your famous kitchen parties – I was with you in spirit!

I adored the teaching garden at Penrith. I love my garden at home, and I’ve recently installed a polytunnel, so to find the unexpected gem of a horticultural garden at Penrith was wonderful. I enjoyed every minute of the conference, but there was so much to take in it was great to be able to disappear for a few minutes into the peace and quiet of the gardens. I loved the little meadows of wildflowers amongst the ponds and the cottage garden feel of the beds and those polytunnels full of produce and surrounded by herbs were just to die for. It was a perfect place to sit and read and absorb everything – and take notes for my own garden!

How are you taking advantage of the late burst of summer?

Well, I suppose my answer should be that I’m catching up with my garden. I’ve done a bit of tidying, so it doesn’t totally disgrace me, but I’m making the most of the sun by going out and seeing other people’s gardens. The sort of grand ones that belong to castles and stately homes. I live in the Snowdonia National Park, where people come from all over the world on holiday to see the sights. It’s really easy to take where you live for granted and not make the most of it, so that’s what I’m doing now. I’m going out with friends, being a tourist at home! So far we’ve spent a day at Portmeirion, which is one of my favourite places of all, and visited Gwydir Castle and the lovely grounds at Glynllifon. I’m planning a trip round Anglesey next, if we get any more sun, and then probably back to Portmeirion again…

In what ways do the seasons affect you? Which inspires you the most and why?

Now that I live halfway up a mountain, I’m so much more aware of the seasons than when I was in London. Having a collie, who needs lots of exercise whatever the weather, helps. I’m so glad I live in a place where the seasons give a rhythm and a pattern to the year. Winter is time for log fires and beavering away at the next book. It doesn’t take much for us to be cut off up here. A bit of snow and the cars stay put. Whichever way you go it’s steeply downhill – and we’ve all seen too many cars that have gracefully slid into stone walls to try. My day job’s office is based by the sea, when it never snows, but like most employers round here they take a look at the hills and know I’ll be working from home for a few days! Spring is always a miracle. I feel full of optimism and energy and buzzing with new ideas. And summer – when we have one – is a great time to be out enjoying the countryside and the sea and relaxing with friends. I love summer evenings. That’s when my garden is great for parties or for just sitting listening to the sounds of the neighbours (the ones that aren’t sheep) enjoying being outside. But my favourite season is autumn. I love its richness mixed with fragility, the crystal clear quality of the light, and the sense that every day is precious and must never be taken for granted, for tomorrow everything might be encased in ice. Exhilarating!

You post amazing landscape pictures on your Facebook page. Have these images sparked ideas or are you simply sharing the sheer beauty of the natural world?

Thank you, I’m glad you enjoy them! I’m really lucky to live in a beautiful part of North Wales, with the mountains on one side and the sea on the other, and a few ruined castles thrown in for good measure. I studied photography when I lived in London and the best advice my tutor gave me was to always keep a small camera in your bag because you never know. I love sharing the unexpected things I come across while on the daily dog walk, like a stunning sunset or finding an octopus on Llanfairfechan beach. I do find the images sparking ideas too. They creep into my books when I least expect them. It was an early morning walk on a beach in Cornwall that inspired one of the central scenes in ‘Eden’s Garden’. Even though I didn’t know it at the time.

Please tell us about your latest book, Eden’s Garden.

Eden’s Garden is a time-shift, based partly now and partly in Victorian times. It follows two women, living a hundred years apart, each trying to find their own true path in life and in love, despite the conventions and expectations that still surround us as women. At the story’s heart is a fading mansion with a neglected garden that holds the key to a mystery and an extraordinary secret. I loved writing the novel and I was so excited when Eden’s Garden was chosen by the Welsh Books Council as Welsh Book of the Month for May this year.

How did it feel when Eden’s Garden hit the top 100 best sellers Amazon list, and then continued to climb?

Gobsmacked! There’s no other word for it. I’m an unknown with a small publisher and it never crossed my mind that it would go anywhere near the bestsellers, except in my dreams. I was scrabbling around hysterically trying to work out how to do a screenshot when it got to 97, so it was very exciting when it crept up further and further and ended up in the top 50 of the Historical Fiction kindle charts. I’m still cheering inside!

The book is based in Cornwall, Wales and London. What are your connections to these places?

It was great to set a book in my three favourite locations. Wales is my home and my passion. Although I wasn’t born here, I’ve been visiting since I was six months old and I’ve lived here for the past twenty years.

I love London. I’ve always had family there and I studied and worked there for nearly ten years. It still feels like home when I go back for visits. Plus Dickens is one of my favourite authors. I love his depictions of the hustle and bustle of London streets. It was great to spend time in Victorian London in my head. 

Cornwall and Devon are some of my favourite locations. I’ve been visiting since I was a teenager. When I was younger I walked the coastal path with friends, carrying tents on our backs. The last time I chose a more civilised mode of camping, with Emily, my ‘Romahome’ mini campervan. Emily has since succumbed to old age, so next time it’s just going to have to be a cottage on the Lizard. I can’t wait!

Is the garden in your novel influenced in any way by your cottage garden in Wales?

The garden in Plas Eden is on a much grander scale of course, but my cottage garden was a wonderful place of healing for me when I was ill for a year with a severe virus and ended up with M.E.  I think it was that year when I hit rock bottom and had to rebuild my life, when I was sitting in my garden grown wild, that the first idea for ‘Eden’s Garden’ began to take shape.

If you had to describe you book as a flower, which one would you choose and why?

I think it would have to be a forget-me-not: deceptively delicate, an emblem of memories, both cultivated and wild. Oh, and it spreads like wildfire. (Here’s hoping…)

What have been the best and worst moments of your writing career?

My best moments were working with my wonderful editor, Janet Thomas, at Honno. It was the most incredible learning experience, one that stretched me to the limit and made me so much more professional in my approach. I’ve never worked so hard in my life, but it was also exhilarating, feeling that I was being pushed to take my writing to another level. Utterly life-changing. And a total privilege, knowing that someone had seen potential in my writing and was giving me that rare feedback it’s so hard to come by. When I did something and I could see that it worked, then it was the greatest buzz of all!

As for the worst. Mmm. There are so many to choose from. I think the very worst was in my early thirties when I decided it was time to grow up and forget the dream as it was never going to happen, and I needed to settle down to a proper job instead. It’s no coincidence that was the time I became really ill. Which, ironically, was what set me off on the journey to becoming a published writer. So you never know.

Have you any future plans you would like to share?

I’m busily working on my next book, which is based around three women during the First World War. It’s getting a bit nail biting at the moment, so I can’t wait to get back to it every day. My alter ego, Heather Pardoe, is also busy writing a serial for ‘The People’s Friend’, which is based in the Welsh Gold Rush – and yes, there really was one!

Thank you so much for visiting our blog today, Juliet. Good luck with the continued sales of Eden’s Garden.

Thank you for having me. I’ve had a wonderful time. I feel I’ve joined the Romaniacs for one great party!

My website:    http://www.julietgreenwood.co.uk/

Facebook:        http://www.facebook.com/juliet.greenwood

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/julietgreenwood

Amazon link to Eden’s Garden: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Edens-Garden-Juliet-Greenwood/dp/1906784353/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347440140&sr=8-1

Eden’s Garden

Sometimes you have to run away, sometimes you have to come home.

2011 – Carys agrees, with mixed feelings, to look after her mother after a fall. This decision unsettles everything – her job, her plans, her relationship with Joe. Once home she is drawn back into village life, into her family history hidden in the attic, and into the history of Plas Eden, the ramshackle great house that was so much part of her childhood. Where, at 18 she forced herself to say goodbye to David Meredith. How will she feel when they meet again?

1898 – Ann, destitute, stands on London Bridge. She remembers her last visit to London, a spoilt aristocratic bride, sure of the power of her youth and beauty. Now she is running from everything she trusted. Is the river her only option, or will the Meredith Charity Hospital hide her?

Two women struggling with love, family duty, long buried secrets, and their own creative ambitions. But over a hundred years ago, Ann left a trail, through North Wales, Cornwall and London, that may help Carys find her true path. What is the secret of the statues in the garden?

Juliet’s Bio:

Juliet lives in a traditional Welsh cottage halfway between the romantic Isle of Anglesey and the beautiful mountains and ruined castles of Snowdonia.

After studying English at Lancaster University and King’s College, London, Juliet worked in a variety of jobs, from running a craft stall at Covent Garden Market to teaching English.

Juliet began writing seriously about ten years ago, after a severe viral illness left her with debilitating ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for years. Juliet always says that M.E. was the worst, and the best, thing that ever happened to her. On one hand, it sent her from being able to walk up mountains with ease to struggling to do the simplest of everyday tasks for more than a few minutes at a time. But on the other, it forced her to re-evaluate her life and her priorities. And it made her a writer.

She is now well and back to dog walking and working on her beloved garden. As well as novels under her own name, Juliet writes stories and serials for magazines as ‘Heather Pardoe’.

When not writing, Juliet works on local oral history projects, helping older people tell their stories before they are lost forever. .