The sun … the ocean … the farmhouse … the scammer… the police… the 3-legged dog?
George and Ellen have retired to sunny Mallorca. Social butterfly Ellen is itching to make yacht-owning friends while George’s heart is set on a secluded farmhouse in the country. In fact, now that they’re no longer living busy London lives, they’re beginning to realise they have very different ideas of happiness.
Private investigator Salva specialises in cases of adultery. That’s why it’s particularly embarrassing that he didn’t realise his long-term girlfriend has been cheating on him. He has no time to nurse a broken heart, since his family are the victims of a property scam they urgently need him to solve.
Robyn Chase is giving talks on her self-help book, No More Toxic Relationships – 7 Years, 7 Lessons. She’s finding it awkward being a relationship guru when her own boyfriend is avoiding her.
The sun is shining in Mallorca and everything looks beautiful. But the residents of one particular apartment block are about to discover it all might be too good to be true.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I write very happily in my office at home. It has great energy. I have a big white desk which I can either sit or stand at. The office opens onto a terrace where I can see the washing I really should have taken in by now. I’m most creative in the morning, but I have a toddler, so I have to be flexible.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
A shower is non-negotiable. You won’t see me writing in pyjamas very often. I like to get dressed. In summer I will be barefoot. Water glasses will pile up. Coffee is necessary after lunch. And if there’s a mug of tea only half drunk beside my computer, that’s sign of a very productive day indeed.
– Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?
Unicorn juice and toasted ants. Nah, just plain old tea, coffee, water… but if I’m working at night, I’ll pour myself a glass of red wine or a cold beer. If I’m flagging I’ll eat a piece of toast and manchego cheese (I’m not being fancy, I live in Spain!).
– What is your favourite book?
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. The dialogue in it so brilliant.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I don’t think of genre so much as story. I want to write gripping stories. They probably won’t have ogres in them though… I would love to write children’s books one day.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
I try not to. I upset a few people with my debut novel Shopgirl Diaries which started out as a blog about working in my mum’s chandelier shop. (Sorry people! I was young!) In my new novel Tipping Point my characters aren’t based on anyone particular, though my observation of people in general will always influence them.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
Often. I’ve borrowed so many pens over the years from random strangers. Nowadays I use my phone to write notes if I’ve got no paper.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
That’s hard. I like to think I’d read anything if it was well-written. I can’t stand pretentious literary fiction which decide not to use punctuation or paragraphs just to make the reader work hard.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
David Nicholls… I was recently interviewed on a podcast called The Yank and The Limey and the host, Laura Lockington, turned out to be a friend of his. She told me he’s very nice and down-to-earth. His novel Starter for Ten is one of my favourites.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I like the idea of riding on a horse through Patagonia. I’m happiest surrounded by nature, and I speak Spanish which would make interacting with the locals more fun.
Thank you, Emily Benet and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Emily Benet is a journalist, award-winning blogger and author of contemporary fiction. Her books include the blog-to-book Shop Girl Diaries, Wattpad hit Spray Painted Bananas and social media romcom #PleaseRetweet. She lives in Mallorca with her husband and daughter and the sunny island is the setting for her latest novels The Hen Party and Tipping Point. She writes regularly for the luxury lifestyle magazine abcMallorca.