Five people in a sleepy English coastal town. One year that changes everything.
They seem to have it all. They’re in good health and are financially secure. They live in a pleasant and comfortable town. But as their lives intertwine, cracks emerge and restlessness grows.
For Clive, is retirement the beginning of the end? Can fun-loving Saskia break free from her adulterous husband? Will Andy marry his childhood sweetheart? Is Jamie prepared to change his dishonest ways? Might Ellie’s happy marriage be shattered by temptation?
Heart-warming and heart-breaking collide in this novel about aspirations, expectations and the realities of everyday life.
Dag Els (Ik kan en beetje Nederlands spreken – en jaar of twintig geleden heb ik in Den Haag gewoond)
Many thanks for agreeing to join Rachel’s blog tour for my new novel The bench by Cromer beach. As requested, I’ve submitted a Q & A. Do let me know if you’d like anything changed. The work that bloggers like yourself undertake is hugely valuable to authors and is much appreciated.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I’m so fortunate, I have a space I love to use in the small extension at home in Cambridge. It’s extremely light with large Velux windows and french windows leading to a courtyard garden filled with pots of flowers and plants. Perhaps a villa in the Tuscan countryside overlooking olive groves and hills would be nicer, but you can’t have everything, can you!
– Do you have a certain ritual?
Not really. Sometimes I write for many hours a day, sometimes not at all. However, if the gap between writing is too long it takes a while to get back into the mood of the novel plot and characters.
– Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?
Coffee seems to be an essential.
– What is your favourite book?
My favourite book changes according to mood, and I suppose the most recently read ones come to mind first. Currently I’m enjoying Jo Spain novels. Regarding favourite book(s) ever, I’d probably select something related to my own writing interest – perceptions. I’m fascinated by how one protagonist can acquire a view based on what they see or hear that is completely different to how another of the protagonists perceives it. Of course, that can lead to a plot ranging from the comic to the tragic. So which books? The Magus (John Fowles). Fingersmith (Sarah Waters).
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I’m not 100% sure what genre I’m currently in. My publishers have placed me in Romance but if there were a genre called Relationships (unlikely as it would get muddled with counselling advice) that might be more appropriate. Why ‘relationships’? Although plots are important in my writing, my novels are character-driven as my protagonists set off on tragi-comic journeys in search of love while carrying cartloads of baggage.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
The spark at times is an acquaintance, something they’ve said or done, this before shooting off on an entirely fictional journey.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
If the question was ‘Should you…’ the answer would be a definite yes. ‘Do you…’ is making me feel guilty because I know it’s a mistake not to. I have to dash home from somewhere to jot down a half-remembered idea.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
I struggle with any Science Fiction that is vastly removed from current reality.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
To provide the maximum opportunity to be famous, I’d go for one of the top sellers. Beyond that, for a choice to further learn the craft of great story telling, Tracy Chevalier would be high on the list.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
Italy would be the place. I love the frenetic atmosphere, the historic backdrops, the scenery and food which all evoke such powerful opportunities for writing. Venice has an important role in my novel Jack & Jill went downhill. But I do love the close to home setting of Cromer for my latest novel.
Thank you, R J Gould (love the personal note 🙂 ) and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
R J Gould is published by Lume Books and Headline Accent and is the author of five novels: A Street Café Named Desire, The Engagement Party, Jack and Jill Went Downhill, Mid-life follies and The bench by Cromer beach. He is a (rare male) member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Having been selected for the organisation’s New Writers Programme, his first novel was short-listed for the Joan Hessayon Award. Ahead of writing full time, R J Gould led a national educational charity. He has published in a wide range of educational journals, national newspapers and magazines and is the co-author of a major work on educating able young people. He lives in Cambridge, England.
(Visit for a free copy of R J Gould’s award-winning short story The Kiosk)
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