Rationing, bombing, disease and pit disasters are part of Rose Kelly’s World War 2 childhood. When the spirited coalminer’s daughter discovers a family secret, she makes a choice that overshadows her teenage years. Rose tries to make the most of post-war opportunities but family tragedy pulls her back to a life in the colliery rows. She relinquishes her bright future for domestic duties because her family comes first. Will family ties get in the way of her dreams?
-When and where do you prefer to write?
I can write anywhere and at any time if I’m pushed but I do like to tuck myself away into my study for a few uninterrupted hours. No two days are the same in my house so I’m flexible about what time of day. My study has everything to hand and no distractions. I am hopeless at writing outdoors and in cafes because there is too much going on and I want to join in.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
When I’m writing something new, I read what I’ve written the day before and make a few adjustments and that gets me into the flow of the story. When I’m revising my work, I can carry on exactly where I left off.
– Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?
I get through a lot of tea. Yorkshire tea or darjeeling, black no sugar is the way to go.
– What is your favourite book?
This is too difficult! I’ve chosen a dozen then thought of another. If I have to choose, the one that always crops upin my thoughts is “The Time Traveller’s Wife” Audrey Niffenegger. I must read it again.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I write contemporary fiction and I’ve just branched into historical so those genres are enough for now. All of my books, whatever timeline, are character driven family sagas about relationships, struggles and romance. That is what I love writing about.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
I wouldn’t dare say! Certain characters in my books have certain traits of people I have met but they are all fictional. I think a lot and write lots of notes about my main characters before I start to write so they are absolutely real to me from the start.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I should but I often rely on scraps of paper or typing a note into my phone.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
I can’t get into science fiction. I do like different worlds such as Harry Potter, the Twilight series and The Hunger Games but sci fi is something I avoid.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
What an interesting idea! I’d jump at the chance to write with Marian Keyes because I’m a big fan although I’m sure co-writing is difficult. It would be lovely to listen to a group of wartime nurses from the kind of isolation hospital that looks after Rose and to write their story.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I tend to write about places I’ve already visited because it keeps the budget low. ‘A Jarful of Moondreams’, my debut novel, included trips to Bergamo in Italy and Egypt because I loved both. I have a Texan, Jackson McGee, in ‘The Barn of Buried Dreams’ because I enjoyed the Texan characters I met when I holdayed there. I’d love to visit Nashville one day … maybe there is a book that could be set there?
Thank you Els. I loved the review you gave for my last novel ‘The Barn of Buried Dreams’ so I’m glad you’re featuring this one too. Chrissie
Thank you, Chrissie Bradshaw and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Chrissie, 2016 winner of the Romantic Novelist’s Elizabeth Goudge writing trophy, is a seasoned tea drinker and a tenacious trainer of her welsh terrier, Oscar. She has always loved match-making a book to a reader. Writing the kind of book she loves to read takes this a step further. She has written two contemporary sagas, A JARFUL of MOONDREAMS, a contemporary story about family relationships, secrets and how dreams can come true, and THE BARN OF BURIED DREAMS, a contemporary story about two sisters who are struggling after the death of their mother. ROSE’S CHOICE is her first historical saga and is set where Chrissie lives in Northumberland. When she is not writing or reading, you will find Chrissie walking Oscar on the beautiful Northumbrian coastline, travelling or spending time with her family and friends.