When Izzie Dean’s beloved nan, Molly Blackshaw, passes away, Izzie returns to the Blackpool bungalow where she grew up, to say goodbye once and for all. When Izzie’s homecoming reunites her with her first love, Justin Swift, every emotion that Izzie has repressed since the day he broke her heart comes rushing to the surface. But then an unexpected discovery changes everything.
Between the pages of the battered secret diary Molly kept during WWII, Izzie discovers a story of love, heartbreak, and the incomparable hardship of life in a world at war. Reading her grandmother’s words soon puts her own story into perspective, and suddenly Izzie realises that the only thing holding her back from happiness, might be herself. Now she just has to convince Justin that they deserve a second chance at forever…
Hello there to you and your readers and many thanks for having me on your blog, I really appreciate it.
When and where do you prefer to write?
I have a lovely little office at home where I work; although if the weather is beautiful and warm, I sometimes take a notepad and pen outside so I can take advantage of the sunshine and birdsong.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
I do, I try (and must admit, don’t always manage) to either take a walk or do some stretching before I begin writing in an attempt to keep fit – ish!
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
Yes, I love a brew… Regular coffees in the morning and cups of tea in the afternoon.
– What is your favourite book?
Oh, my word, there have been so many. One that I have read more than any other was gifted to me by a past editor, now good friend, Sue Curran. It is called Simply Heaven by Serena Mackesy; it’s a fun love story that twists into gothic thrills and I just love it!
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
Strangely, the book I have just written for One More Chapter – The Secret Notebook – is a different genre for me. It is a dual time line story with a historical story and a linked present-day story. Up until this book, I have written what I would describe as romantic intrigues. But certainly, I would never say never to trying something different. When I first began writing, it was to write Poldark-esk 18th Century sweeping love stories! I look back on them now as my apprenticeship.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Yes, I do. Sometimes it is obvious to those friends reading – I have made them friends of the heroine, mostly, and usually secondary characters. Main characters tend to have their lives emotionally delved into – so I build those characters from a mixture of sources, personal experiences and sometimes experiences I would like to have had!
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
Oh yes! I have been caught out, too – and had to write on the back of a Tesco receipt whilst in a queue. It is funny, I used to waken up and think, oh! I have to write that down, which I would. Then back at my desk, I would often find that the exact words, or some very similar had already been written!
– Which genre do you not like at all?
That would probably be terrifying horror. I have tried to read some in the past, but found the gory bits just too much in that they played on my mind, and not in a good way!
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Someone fun, I’ve a few fabulous writer friends who fit this bill!
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why
Portugal; we had two large family holidays there with a huge crowd of us and the local people were so warm and welcoming. Oh! Or on a cruise… I’ve never been on one, but I do have an idea concerning a cruise!
Thank you again for having me – I thoroughly enjoyed answering your questions x
Thank you, Julia Wild and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Lancashire born, I moved to Bedfordshire in the late seventies, married and started a family. I’m a past Hon Sec of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, have been a member since 1993 when I joined their New Writers’ Scheme as a probationer. That came about after winning a week’s historical writing course on the strength of the first chapter of my third Poldark-era romance. The tutor on the last day loved the story and handed me details of the Romantic Novelists’ Association – she said I absolutely must join as they would be able to help me towards publication.
Some four years later my first published book, Dark Canvas, won the RNA’s New Writer’s Award in 1997, the sixth, Illusions, won the RNA’s Romance Prize in 2003.
After working in the local library service for 18 years, during library cut-backs I took the leap to become self-employed as a writer and worked on releasing my backlist as eBooks for Kindle.
Most recently, I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing Charlotte Ledger when she pulled me from the writing wilderness and have now signed a three-book deal with One More Chapter.