I am having such an exciting time! Two e-releases in the same week is enough to make a person keel over. However I am here to chat to you about the ideas behind both of them, so I’d better wait until later for an attack of the vapours.
Both Dancing in the Rain and Somewhere Beyond the Sea are romantic suspense, though Dancing in the Rain has an added paranormal/spiritual aspect. I love writing in this genre, though I really enjoyed writing my time travel novel, A Stitch in Time too.
Dancing in the Rain was the first adult novel I ever wrote about twelve-ish years ago. (Actually, looking at my notes, just found that I didn’t finish it until 2005) It has been carefully edited and honed since those early days, thank goodness. I first got the idea in 2002 at the beginning of a four week long holiday in America when I had made up my mind to write a novel after many years of faffing. I was and still am an avid fan of Dean Koontz and I read two of his books on the long car journeys. Lots of coincidences happened whist travelling around relating to his books, (too detailed to go into now) and so I decided to write to him when I returned. I never expected a reply, but he did reply explaining that he didn’t believe in coincidences.
I wrote to him again later to ask his advice on getting an agent (cringe) and he replied again. He wished me luck and said that perseverance matters. Thank goodness I took that on board. And isn’t he a lovely guy? He has sold 450 million books, but took the time to write to me in his own handwriting.
One of the reasons for the trip was to explore Monument Valley belonging to the Navajo Nation as well as other sites – Crazy Horse National Monument in honour of the great Sioux leader. At that time, I taught The American West at GCSE and was totally absorbed in the whole subject. The beauty of Monument Valley completely blew me away and I returned another three times over the years. Traditionally, Native American culture is against harming the environment and being a one with nature. That sparked the first idea for my novel, and then the petroglyphs (ancient rock art) around the area and the history associated with the people who had created it gave me the next. Then as I travelled, one by one the ideas came. And soon Jacob Weston was born. It has been a long road to publication for this one, but I always believed the day would come.
As well as loving the desert region of Arizona/Utah, I have always felt a great affinity with the ocean. I especially love the north coast of Cornwall and am lucky enough to have realised a life-long dream and now actually live here! The idea for Somewhere Beyond the Sea grew out of my love for the area, but how the actual mystery behind the story of Karen and Nathan Ainsworth arrived in my head I have no idea. I guess I liked the little village that the TV character Doc Martin lives in ( Port Isaac) and loosely based Kelerston on that. The village doesn’t really exist however. I wanted an imaginary village based between Mawagn Porth and Padstow, about twenty minutes from me. If I chose a real place, people would expect detailed street names etc. I wanted a ‘feeling’ of the place so I could include bits of my favourite towns. There are touches of St Ives and Falmouth in Kelerston too. I loved writing this story and couldn’t wait to see where the characters would lead me. One of the characters has a very dark secret and it was such a challenge keeping it from the reader but at the same time giving them just enough to keep them guessing. It was very tricky trying to resolve the problems of the character too, but I loved every minute of it. I hope you will enjoy reading it.
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