In this Victorian dual timeline novel, Amelia Wise feels a jolt when she finds a blue perfume bottle in the overgrown garden of the house she has inherited. Several events in her life mirrors those from the past and, with the help of her newfound cousin, Olivia, the bottle’s secret is uncovered.
1 When and where do you prefer to write?
While the house is not quite awake, with just the sound of traffic, or the occasional passer-by, I settle on my settee to write in the living room. Or, if I am on holiday in the Lake District, I sit by the window with the sounds of birds cheeping and lambs bleating.
2. Do you have a certain ritual?
I don my dressing gown, make a cup of tea, turn on the laptop and off I go.
3. Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
My first drink is herbal tea, and then weak, milky tea. I’m one of those oddities who don’t like alcohol.
4. What is your favourite book?
That’s a hard question. There are so many. Either Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett or Clan of the Caveboy by Jean M Auel.
5. Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
Well, I’ve tried dual timeline with The Peacock Bottle, romance with Florence and the Highwayman, murder/mystery with Lea Croft, YA with Nancie and Harriet of Hare Street, all set in Victorian times, as well as several children’s picture books, so I might try a more serious children’s book in the future.
6. Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Various aspects of people I know creep into some characters. And I use events from my childhood, such as throwing rotten eggs at a wall, yuk, which Jamie does in Looking for Jamie, so you could say some are based on myself.
7. Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
My diary is my constant companion, otherwise I would never remember what I have to do each day, so I use the back pages to write down key words as they pop into my head, but I also carry notebooks for longer passages.
8. Which genre do you not like at all?
I don’t like horror, eroticism, violence, vampires, fantasy. Don’t I sound boring?
9. If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
As I am a panster, and don’t plot, I can’t imagine how co-writing a novel would work, with no two people having the same style of writing.
10. If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
As all my books are set in England in the Victorian era, I don’t feel the urge to go abroad, although if I could travel back in time I might go to America to see what it was like for Nancie when she disembarked from the boat. Whenever I go to the Lake District I research street names in towns like Cockermouth and Ambleside where I set The Peacock Bottle and Florence and the Highwayman, but as it’s my favourite holiday place, that is a pleasure.
Thank you, Angela Rigley and Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the author
Married to Don, I have 5 children and 9 grandchildren, I live in Derbyshire, England, and enjoy researching my family tree (having found ancestors as far back as 1465), reading, gardening, playing Scrabble, meals out and family gatherings. I am the treasurer of my writing club, Eastwood Writers’ Group, and I also write and record Thoughts for the Day for Radio Nottingham. At church I sing in the choir and am an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, a reader, a flower arranger and a member of the fundraising team for Cafod, my favourite charity. I have written hymns, although I cannot read music.
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