Every dog walk brings new drama into the lives of these dogs and their people. A supermarket shelf-stacker, a stay-at-home dad, an elderly widow and a freelance photographer sound an unlikely bunch of friends but they have one thing in common: they all walk their dogs in Beauville Park at roughly the same time each morning.
And that’s enough for Angela, bored organiser without a cause, to get them together to form the Dog-walking Club.For Jock the Scottie, Benji the spaniel, Pixie the boxer, Mitzi the poodle and Bassett the … all sorts, walking each day with their friends is a dream come true. And it changes the lives of widowed Sybil who’s spent a lifetime hiding her secret sorrow, hopeless-with-women Jon who’s wandering almost unwittingly into an affair, freelance photographer Jemma who is at every wedding but her own, and Maggi who is frantically trying to save money to visit her family in Australia.
And for long-suffering Angela a nasty shock turns into a new start in disguise for her and her husband – and their love life.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
Where is easy: I am most comfortable writing in my study on my pc. I am not as adept at writing on my tablet and certainly not on my phone, which, anyway, is very old and struggles to do anything. (Sounds familiar!)
When is trickier to answer. I don’t have a set time. I am trying to teach myself to use odd moments, to change my mindset, which says that I need a long concentrated period in order to write. But I’m not being very successful.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
Not really. Check Facebook, Twitter and my blogs, do an online jigsaw, maybe play a game of Sudoku, then do it all again trying to put off the moment when I start writing.
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
I always have a glass of water on my desk although I sometimes forget to drink it.
– What is your favourite book?
Brother of the More Famous Jack by Barbara Trapido. I read it when I was a young married so it must be thirty-five years ago. I loved the characters in it so much I wanted to live in the Goldman family. Years later Ms Trapido brought out a sequel. I was thrilled and jumped on it. But it not only didn’t live up to expectations, well, I gave up reading it quite early on because the characters weren’t the same. Even allowing for ageing and maturing the change was too much. So I never finished it. It was such a disappointment.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I have written what I think of as a more literary serious novel about a girl’s search for her father, and a sort of crime novel. When I tried submitting the latter to publishers and they asked for genre I was very uncertain what to put and ended up as just contemporary. I can’t see myself ever writing sci-fi or fantasy because I don’t read it.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Um, no, of course not! Okay, maybe occasionally – or more often than that. I suppose most of my characters have features I’ve adopted from real people but I don’t think any of my characters are exact replicas of anyone I know.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
Yes, usually, and then I forget I have it and try and remember things in my head. Which sometimes works.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
As I said I don’t read sci-fi or fantasy but I wouldn’t say I don’t like it. I just have enough books in my reading pile without adding any extra.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Nobody. I am not good at collaborating. I am a lone writer. I always think what I write is better! I suppose if it were with someone like Stephen King it would be an excellent chance to learn – but I’d be far too intimidated to offer any suggestions.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
When I ghost-wrote the autobiography of a New York cop I spent a short time in the Big Apple, but while my husband went out seeing the sights, I was stuck in a hotel room with my cop, a notebook, and a tape recorder. I’d like to visit again. Other than that, Brazil, I think because it seems to be a land of contrasts, of beauty and drama, tragedy and optimism.
Thank you, Liz Hinds and Rachel’s Random Resources.
I’m a golden-retriever-loving granny, who enjoys walking by the sea or in the woods, who eats too much chocolate and gets over-excited when the Welsh team plays rugby.
Writing-wise, I am an experienced freelance writer – published in The Guardian, Christian Herald and various other magazines and newspapers – with an MA in Creative Writing (Trinity College, University of Wales). My short stories have been published in Cambrensis (the now sadly-defunct short story magazine of Wales) as well as in several anthologies including Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe (Parthian) and Catwomen from Hell (Honno). I am also the author of several non-fiction books published by Hodder & Stoughton, Scripture Union and Kevin Mayhew.
I have self-published two novels, This Time Last Year, and The Dog-walking Club.
I enjoy speaking about my writing to various gatherings and the media, and am an active blogger, facebooker and tweeter.
My everyday blog: www.liz-and-harvey.blogspot.com
My writing blog: http://notanotherwannabewriter.blogspot.com/
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