Saturday 20 May 2017

Blog Tour: Summer at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn Author Interview!

I am so excited to bring you another fabulous author interview today as part of the exciting blog tour for Darcie's Boleyn's new novel Summer at Corwenna Cove. Buy links and goodreads links can be found at the bottom of the post. Before I start with my probing questions, here's what it's all about...

Eve has a glittering career, a loving husband and a future. But a terrible twist of fate means she loses it all, and with nowhere left to turn she flees to her Aunt Mary’s home in Cornwall. The last thing on her mind is romance – until she meets Jack.

Jack has seen the worst things people can do to each other and realised he is better off alone. He settles in Conwenna Cove, and saves his affections for the rescue dogs he cares for. But when Eve arrives in the village he can’t deny his attraction to her.

Eve and Jack are both scared to trust, but when they come together it’s impossible for either to ignore their feelings. Can they put their fears aside and learn to love again?

Summer at Conwenna Cove is an emotional and heart-warming holiday read about being brave enough to take a chance on love

And now for the interview...

First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?

I’ve always written, and as a child I used to enter short story and poetry competitions. This continued when I went to university but then, as life became busier, writing took a back seat. I nursed the dream to write for years when my children were young, and I tried to write a novel but spent far too much time procrastinating, which meant that it didn’t get finished. A few years ago, my husband encouraged me to really try again, and following a few false starts, I finally had that amazing acceptance email. Since then, I haven’t stopped!

Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?

I do now. I recently left teaching after almost twenty years and I’m delighted to have such a fabulous opportunity. Basically, for me, I’m living the dream!

Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer?

I’ve written books in first and third person but I don’t have a preference. It happens organically when I sit down to write. I let the characters tell me how they want their story told. So far, I’ve written contemporary romance and that’s what I enjoy, but I like stretching myself as a writer, so who knows what I’ll write in the future.

How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?

Creating new characters, and watching as their lives unfold is a very enjoyable process. The way I’d describe my character development is that it’s like entering a dark corridor where the lights come on automatically, one at a time, as I move forwards. I don’t always know exactly what’s at the end, or even the next step, but as one light comes on, I can see more of the way ahead and this keeps going until I reach the end.

There’s a standing joke amongst writers that if someone makes you mad, you’ll write them into a novel, but although I might base certain characteristics on a real person – or give a character the name of someone I know as a mark of respect – my characters are entirely fictional.

What was the inspiration behind Summer at Conwenna Cove?

There were a few reasons why I wrote this novel.
Firstly, I adore Cornwall and wanted to set a story there. It’s an absolutely fabulous location with a dramatic coastline, stunning beaches, pretty fishing harbours, spectacular scenery and a rich and intriguing history.  As a teenager, I enjoyed some amazing family holidays in Porthleven; they were magical times and I treasure the memories.
Secondly, as an author, teacher, wife and mother, I’m well aware of how stressful and hectic life can be when we’re trying to juggle it all. Taking time out to be with loved ones is so important. Holidays can be restorative and allow your body and mind to recuperate from the ups and downs of everyday life. Cornwall is the perfect place to do this and that’s why being in Conwenna Cove has this effect upon my characters. I wanted to write about a place where my characters could go to rest, to heal and to fall in love.
Thirdly, I wanted to write a story featuring greyhounds. As a greyhound mum, I care a great deal about these beautiful, gentle creatures. I adopted my girl, Freya, from Greyhound Rescue Wales, and the rescue sanctuary in the novel is based on the sanctuary in Wales, where Freya came from. The employees and volunteers of GRW work tirelessly to care for the hounds and they deserve recognition for the wonderful work they do. In the story, Eve’s healing process goes hand in hand with that of Gabe, the greyhound, and I wanted to show how they rescue each other. With help from Jack, of course!

What is your writing process-do you map it out first? Write a bit at a time?

I write an outline and character sketches, then type away. But I find that my characters often tend to surprise me, and I love it when that happens, especially when they reveal a secret that even I didn’t know they’ve been hiding.

How much of you is reflected in your writing?

There will always be elements of me in my stories and my characters, especially where emotions are concerned, but I am writing fiction, so I try to allow the characters to develop themselves and to ensure that they make decisions that would make sense for them. This is also where a good editor comes in; to point out if something is ‘out of character’ or to question if a character’s thoughts and feelings are fully developed. In Summer at Conwenna Cove, the greyhound sanctuary is particularly important, because it’s something that matters to me, but it’s also important to the story and to character growth.

What kind of research did you do before/during writing your latest book?

I did a lot of reading about Cornwall on the internet and made lots of notes about typical Cornish towns and villages. I also looked at old holiday photographs from my own Cornish holidays to try to get the details just right. To ensure that the greyhound details were accurate, I contacted some of the very helpful people at Greyhound Rescue Wales, for their greyhound stories and for advice about Gabe’s behaviour in the story.

How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?

This is a tricky one. Reviews can be wonderful and a good review can make you feel absolutely fabulous. But, like everything in life, writers have to accept that not everyone will like what they do. 

Are friends and family supportive of your writing?

My husband and children have been incredible and are my cheerleaders with everything I write. If it hadn’t been for my husband’s initial support and encouragement, I don’t know if I’d have had the courage to start writing again. I am also extremely lucky to have some amazing friends in the writing and blogging communities, and their support means the world, especially when I’m ploughing through edits.

How do you feel leading up to your publication day?

Excited. Nervous. Giddy with anticipation.
I have to admit to having a giggle about this with other authors, as before I was published, I thought publication day would be a whirlwind of champagne launches and celebrations, but in reality, I might spend publication day writing, editing, cleaning, ironing or food shopping. However, I always make time for a celebratory glass of wine at the end of the day and enjoy interacting with readers, authors and bloggers on social media because they always make it a special time.

Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?

So many authors inspire me and I enjoy reading a wide variety of genres. This is always a difficult question as I’m worried I’ll miss someone out if I start naming them.

Finally...what are you working on right now?

Right now, I’m working on revisions for my second summer novel, Love at the Italian Lake, and plotting out Christmas at Conwenna Cove. I have a busy few months ahead of me! J

Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

Summer at Conwenna Cove was released in the UK on 15th May

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