Author Interview – Maxine Morrey

Happy Sunday everyone!

I am still clinging to half term here, with one lad at football and the other full of cold in bed. The weather has changed, Halloween is nearly here, and Christmas is on my mind!

Today we chat to the lovely Maxine Morrey, who is feeling the Christmas spirit herself!



Hi Maxi, thanks for coming to chat to us today!

Hi Rachel, it’s lovely to be here. Thanks so much for having me!

Q1. Can you tell us a little about your WIP?

We’re just doing the editing tweaks on my most recent one, ‘The Christmas Project’ (out in November). It’s about Kate, who is a Professional Organiser and likes her life, like the houses she works on, to be ordered and tidy but then she takes on her best friend’s gorgeous brother as a client and things start to get a bit messy…


Q2.What’s next for the writing? What are you working on currently?

I’ve got a couple of things I’m thinking about and playing with. Nothing set yet. It’s been a crazy summer with a family emergency and so I’m kind of just catching up with myself at the moment. But I’m looking forward to diving into something once I know where I am again.

Q3. In addition to your books, what kind of career have you had?

I’ve mostly worked in the admin field – I did motor insurance for five years for a Lloyds of London syndicate, then moved over to PA work, and did that until I was forced to leave the 9-5 world through ill health.

Q4. A typical day in the life of you – what does that look like?

I’m not really a ‘typical day’ kind of girl. There’s always something to be done but as I have Fibromyalgia/CFS, it can depend on how that is and how much energy I have as to when it gets done. I usually like to write first thing though, as it’s easy to get distracted and suddenly find half the day is gone. Everything else generally fits around that but I’m not really one for schedules. I take each day as it comes and go from there.

Q5. I collect elephant ornaments (and books of course!) – do you have something you collect?

Like you, books! I don’t really collect much else. It’s a case of space more than anything! If we visit anywhere I do like to get a pencil as a little memento, so I do have a little collection of those.

Q6. Women writers, and romance writers in particular, often see prejudice and a certain ‘pigeon holing’ when it comes to their books – what would you say about your own work?

From what I’ve read and seen, some of the people doing such pigeon holing haven’t always even read the books they’re so prejudiced against. I’d say that I write romcoms/chicklit/women’s fiction and that I’m not ashamed of any of those labels. I write what I enjoy reading and I think the time for such book snobbery is passed. As long as people are reading, surely that’s good?

Q7. If you could branch out into a different genre, which one would you choose and why?

I do enjoy a good thriller (rather than crime – I’m a little squeamish for those!) so probably something like that.

Q8. Do you have any tips for the budding novelists out there reading this?

Keep writing. Perseverance is key. It’s easy to give up – I’ve done it myself at different times for different reasons but I wish I hadn’t. Have faith in yourself, and just keep going. Also read – a lot! Keep writing and keep reading.

Q9. What are you reading currently?

I’ve just got the latest Harlan Coben novel, Home, so I’m part way through that at the moment.

Q10. Finally, do you have a next goal or dream in life? If so, what is it?

Apart from winning the lottery? Just to keep writing, and to get to the point where I’m actually making a proper living from doing what I love.

Thanks for coming to chat to us!

Read on for more info on Maxine and her work…

Maxine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember and wrote her first (very short) book for school when she was ten. Coming in first, she won a handful of book tokens – perfect for a bookworm!

As years went by, she continued to write, but ‘normal’ work often got in the way. She had written articles on a variety of subjects, as well as a book on Brighton for a Local History publisher. However, novels are what she loves writing the most. After self publishing her first novel when a contract fell through, thanks to the recession, she continued to look for opportunities.
In August 2015, she won Harper Collins/Carina UK’s ‘Write Christmas’ competition with her romantic comedy, ‘Winter’s Fairytale’.
Maxine lives on the south coast of England, and when not wrangling with words, can be found tackling her To Be Read pile, sewing, listening to podcasts, and walking

More on the Christmas Project…

Christmas in the city has never been more magical!

 Professional organiser Kate Stone has never – NEVER – been tempted to hit a client over the head with a snow shovel, but Michael O’Farrell is the most obnoxious – and heart-stoppingly gorgeous – man she has ever met. If he weren’t her best friend’s brother, she would not have waited on his doorstep in the freezing cold for five minutes, let alone an hour.

 Kate knows, however, that her job isn’t just about tidying up, sometimes she needs to be part therapist too, and Michael clearly needs her help to declutter his heart as well as his home.

 But with the festive season just around the corner there isn’t much time to get Michael’s house ready for the O’Farrell family celebrations, but everyone knows that at Christmas anything can happen..

Buy now on Amazon or see her website 🙂




A Day in the Life of Bella Osborne, author of Willow Cottage

A Day in the Life of Bella Osborne, author of Willow Cottage

Today on the blog we have Bella Osborne, author of Willow Cottage! Happy publication day to Bella, Part 2 is out today!

A Day in the Life of…

I am eased from my slumber by the gentle sound of bird song, I float angel like into my writing den, a Zen space that channels my creativity. Perfect prose drips from my pen in an uninterrupted stream and at 3 o’clock the bluebirds tie my manuscript in ribbon and carry it away…

Perhaps that’s not wholly accurate. Sadly I don’t live in a magical house so my day goes more like this…

I am woken just after seven by a cup of tea, well, to be precise my husband brings the tea. Like I said – not a magical house. Having woken frequently throughout the night as genius plot developments have permeated the molten marshmallow that is my brain and I have scrawled them on a post it note in the dark I now discover that my illegible scribble makes no sense at all.

I check what’s happening on social media and the child usually appears for a cuddle and often shares an interesting question to be pondered such as ‘If people could fly would they have to take a test to do it, like a driving test?’

We eat breakfast together, which is usually followed by a frantic panic when we realise that the child needs something for school such as lunch, spelling book or drumsticks and a hunt commences (not for lunch, we don’t make her hunt and catch her own lunch, we are surprisingly civilised).

We join others on the walk to school and conversation is usually interspersed with yawns until the children are deposited and I head to my study. I say study (because it sounds writerly) but it’s actually our spare bedroom. If I am in the middle of something it may appear on first glance by untrained eyes that I have been burgled or subject to a pretty intrusive police search but believe it or not I do actually know exactly what all those pieces of paper, jotted lines and post it notes are. And the biscuit crumbs are simply the by-product of a productive session. In there somewhere will be a current To Do list (I love lists) which I will consult and most likely add to.

Then I crack on. If I’m writing a first draft I will have already mapped out my plot and written character profiles so I am usually able to read the last line from the day before and just carry on. If I am rewriting I may read and reread the same sentence multiple times, change it, streamline it before moving onto the next sentence and then realising the former isn’t actually required at all. This is the time consuming side of writing and the bit that has you pulling your hair out in clumps.

My alarm goes off at 3 o’clock giving me time to finish off what I’m working on before I join the ‘walking bus’ of parents that wander back to the school for pick up. There is usually a quick fire download from the child on the highlights of her day before I take her to that day’s afterschool activity where I sometimes have a chance to grab a few minutes to do some more writing.

Then it’s back home and time to cook tea. I try to cook something new once a week which always causes a lot of muttering and head shaking from both husband and child and although they would never admit it eight times out of ten they like what I’ve conjured up. In the evening I will watch a bit of TV, drink more tea and then go to bed and read before thinking how lucky I am to have this life and the wonderful people in it. I never imagined I would have the job and the family of my dreams so perhaps there is a little something that’s magical about my house after all.

Sounds lovely to me 🙂 Ed. 

Here is a taster of the book…

Willow Cottage is Bella’s third novel and is being released in four parts digitally before being published as a whole novel in June 2017. Part one is already available and part two is published today, 20th October.
Beth is running away. With her young son Leo to protect, Willow Cottage is the lifeline she so desperately needs. Overlooking the village green in a beautiful Cotswolds idyll, Beth sees a safe place for little Leo.
When she finally uncovers the cottage from underneath the boughs of a weeping willow tree, Beth realises this is far more of a project than she bargained for and the locals are more than a little eccentric! A chance encounter with gruff Jack, who appears to be the only male in the village under thirty, leaves the two of them at odds but it’s not long before Beth realises that Jack has hidden talents that could help her repair more than just Willow Cottage.
Over the course of four seasons, Beth realises that broken hearts can be mended, and sometimes love can be right under your nose…
How lovely is that cover!
To learn more about Bella and her books visit her website or Twitter.
Willow Cottage is out now from Amazon and Kobo.

Book Blogger Showcase: Rae’s Reads


It’s Book Blogger Showcase day! Today I am honoured to have the rather awesome Rachel Broughton, owner of Rae’s Reads – Welcome Rachel!

  1. How long have you been a book blogger?

Since the beginning of December, 2015


  1. How old is your blog? Did you have any before?

It will be a year old in December, so still pretty new!

Rae reads is my first blog and I am still learning as I go.


  1. Why did you get into blogging in the first place?

I have always enjoyed reading and I used to leave the odd review on Goodreads. However after winning quite a few books in competitions I decided it would be lovely to start leaving regular reviews. I looked into starting a blog and decided it would be perfect for me.


  1. Tell me about your blog, why the theme? Why is your blog different than the others?

My blog is mainly based on book reviews although I do like to take part in Blog Tours and Cover Reveals. It’s lovely to help authors show off their lovely books!


  1. Talking books – what genres do you review/prefer?

Mainly romance but also thrillers, fantasy and childrens books.


  1. Apart from blogs – do you blog about any other subject? If not, do you have plans to in the future?

I have posted one product review as I won a subscription box and thought it would be lovely to review it. My book reviews pretty much take over! I would like to post more varied blog posts in the future though.


  1. What is your favourite book so far this year?

This is a tough one!!!

Okay I am going to cheat and pick three although I could pick a lot more.

The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts by Annie Darling

The Late Blossoming of Frankie Green by Laura Kemp

Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency by Kitty French


  1. What is your favourite book?

Another difficult one!

I’m going to pick one from when I was younger – Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

Then a more recent one – Who’s Afraid of Mr Wolfe by Hazel Osmond


  1. Which book are you looking forward to the most due to come out?

The 3rd and last in the From Manhattan with Love series called Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan. I’ve really enjoyed the series and I can’t wait to read Eva’s story.


Tell me a little about you!

I’m a mum of two so I am pretty busy running after my little ones most days. I also work part time so it’s lovely to relax with a book in an evening. I love sharing my love of books with my children and there is nothing better than reading with them. Definitely my favourite part of the day!

If I’m not reading I do like to watch a bit of TV and I am always looking for something new to watch. So any suggestions are always welcome!


  1. Sweet or savoury?

Can I have both?

If not I guess I will pick Savoury, crisps are definitely my weakness!


  1. Summer or Christmas?

Before having children I would have probably said Summer however Christmas is just that bit more magical now.


  1. Finally, if you could have written any book already in existence, which one would you choose and why?

Emma by Jane Austen


North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

In both of these books the heroines have their flaws and I think this makes them much more interesting. So it would have been great to have created these characters. Although to be honest even though I love to read books I don’t think I would be capable of writing one!

Follow Rae’s Reads on Facebook and Twitter.

Author Interview: Kate Walker – 65th book release day – Indebted to Moreno

Author Interview: Kate Walker –  65th book release day – Indebted to Moreno


Hi, thanks for coming to chat to us today! I am in awe that your 65th book title is out today – such a wonderful achievement!
Thank you for inviting me, Rachel – I’m happy to be here!
Q1. Can you tell us a little about your WIP?
Oh I had hoped that I would be able to say ‘it’s no longer ‘in progress’ as I just sent it off to my editor’  – but a bad migraine attack put paid to that and so I’, still putting the ending on to it and, sadly, it’s still on my desk!
Ok –  so  – my working title of the current book  us The Scandalous O’Sullivan Sisters  – Part One Imogen’s Story.  When my last  and latest  novel was accepted, my  (then)  editor said that she’s love to have a duet of linked books from me so of course I was happy to work on that. The point that connects the two books is that  – as must be obvious from the working title! – they are about two sisters who both have been labelled with the nickname the Scandalous O’Sullivan Sisters.  Imogen is the older sister and her younger sister is Ciara. They have only really just got to know each other since their parents split up and the father kept Imogen and the mother took Ciara with her.  Now   Imogen is getting married to a local neighbour – but a few days before the wedding takers place Raoul Cardini, the man she met and fell in love with three years before  but who rejected her cruelly then, turns up unexpectedly. His plan is to break up the wedding for his own vengeful reasons.
Q2.What’s next for the writing?
Well that’s an easy one – once Imogen had her happy ending, and the book is (hopefully) si8gned off – then obviously, the next job is to write the other O’Sullivan sister’s story. So my next project will be writing Ciara’s story. I have plenty of ideas and as I’ve had to include Ciara and some elements of her past and her present conflict in Imogen’s story, then I feel I already know her quite well – and I know a lot about her hero !
Q3. In addition to your books, what kind of career have you had?
I’ve been writing for a frighteningly long time – 30+ years! So I have been writing full time for longer than I’ve done anything else.  Before I was published I worked as a children’s librarian  which was a really satisfying experience. From studying children’s books and YA fiction, I  learned the importance of good storytelling which grabs the reader and holds them, keeping them involved, caring about the characters and wanting to in what happens to them – and how the story develops.  That was the way to keep children coming back for more- and reading more and more. It’s something I’ve remembered and hopefully put into place with my own writing  of romance.
Now, as well as writing romance, I also do quite a  bit  of teaching  creative writing. These weekend residential courses are based on the writing guide I wrote Kate Walker’s 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance and they’re a great way to meet new writers, readers, and to talk to the about books and writing.
Q4. A typical day in the life of you – what does that look like?
Hmm – there isn’t really a ‘typical’ day. Because I’m lucky enough to write full time and  because now there is only myself and my husband at home we can write – our adult son has a home of his own –  when we choose and for how long we choose – or not!  My husband is a writer too though he writes non-fiction  on history, the history of crime, local history and biographies. The  main thing we do regularly is to make sure we meet in the middle of the morning to have coffee together – and then we can talk over things we need to do – whether  about writing or the  practical things in life.  Then we  write for however long and how hard we need to make sure that we complete out contracts with our different publishers.   Whoever isn’t on a demanding deadline  cooks the evening meal.  But we do have one regular timetabled meeting  each week  – and  that is that every Saturday we go out to a coffee  shop, and sit down with the Telegraph Cryptic Crossword. We don’t leave until we finish it.  We’ve been doing this for five years now and we’ve completed it each time  so (fingers crossed) it hasn’t beaten us yet!
So you see the life of a published romance novelist isn’t exactly glamorous – it’s BICHOK  – bum in chair, fingers on the keyboard) !  Sometime I do get to add a little glamour  when I have a lunch with my editor in London or give talks at events – or as I said, I might be running a course with Writers’ Holiday or Relax and Write – but  mostly it’s sit down and put the words down one after another.
Q5. I collect elephant ornaments (and books of course!) – do you have something you collect?
The books-  oh dear, yes! Books.  And more books. I have a  collection of first editions of favourite author  – Mary Stewart and Dorothy Dunnett and a couple of antique  editions of Wuthering Heights and Villette  that I found in old book shops when I was writing my MA thesis on the Bronte sisters – the bookshop owner saw me with the 1855 edition of Villette  that was only 50p and said that if I preferred it, he had a ‘nice clean paperback edition ‘ for not much more cost! I declined the offer and kept the older version.
I have always loved crafts – particularly sewing/embroidery –  and I specially loved the old-fashioned ‘samplers’ that young girls (children of about 8 years old!) used to sew to practise their embroidery skills. Years ago I found one  – it was in a collection of ‘ rags’!  – and since then I’ve been collecting them when I can find the, When I started all those years ago, you could find a sampler quite easily and they didn’t cost too much. These days, they are much rarer and can be very expensive in antique shops.  The oldest one I have is dated 1789 and I have some modern ones  –  a couple that I embroidered myself and one that a friend did for me. Then there are ones that I have collected just because they were so beautiful – or one that I had to  take home with me because it was so badly done I just had to take it home!  The samplers usually have all the letters of the alphabet , some embroidered pictures – a house, a tree  etc – and then a bible verse. One of the samplers I have was done by Selina Dyson aged 8 – and the bible verse she chose was obviously picked because it was so short – it’s ‘Jesus wept’!   There are some interesting ones – like the one by Eliza Parker which lists all her family and their ages – I was able to look this family up with the help of a friend who does genealogy and so I’ve recorded what we found about them.  The saddest is a ‘mourning sampler’  where it marks the death of Lizzie Hindmarsh who died aged 18 ½  and it has this sad poem embroidered on it:
We have to mourn the loss of one
We did our best to save
Beloved on earth, regretted gone
Remembered in the grave
But my favourite is not actually a sampler, just a small embroidered bookmark – which says simply ‘To dear Mama From Katie ‘. Katie was my grandmother  – the first Kate Walker and I was named for her. So obviously this is very special.
 Q6. Women writers, and romance writers in particular, often see prejudice and a certain ‘pigeon holing’ when it comes to their books – what would you say about your own work?
Oh I get so tired about the sneering, condescending ways some people talk about women’s writing – specially with romance writing. I have been faced by someone who , when I said I wrote for Harlequin Mills and Boon,  actually said ‘Oh – you mean you operate the computer’! She actually believed that   there was a giant computer programmed with names, descriptions etc of the hero  /heroine – and a variety of plots that the ‘author pressed a button and the machine  would deliver a randomly selected plot and story!    I have to admit that sometimes I’m pushed into  emphasising my MA in literature and then pointing out that I got interested in popular fiction when I studied the gothic romances and popular fiction of the time of the Brontes when I wrote my thesis on them.  I do think the best response to the ‘they are all the same’ and ‘written to a formula’  is  from a dear friend of mine – Anne McAllister  who pointed out that one of the most rigid ‘formulas’ in poetry is the  sonnet form and yet thousands of people have produced endless variations on that theme over the years. Someone called Shakespeare wrote 154 of them!
I wonder if people realise how boring and uninformed it makes them seem churning out all the old tried and tested and overdone comments about ‘sex books’ or ‘hearts and flowers’ stories. (It always intrigues me how the books can be both!)  but when challenged they haven’t read  a single title published by  Harlequin for example. They just go by the covers on the Mills & Boon editions- and the author has no say in that at all!  One thing studying for my degrees taught me was that before you could comment on any book you first had to read it!  It’s amazing how few people actually do that –  and it’s a sad condemnation o their intelligence that they just accept that the books  are  as the reports make them out to be without ever question whether the (usually lazy) journalists who write  articles know anything about the real facts. The near-prehistoric covers that usually go along to illustrate these inaccurate articles are a bit of a giveaway there!
Q7. If you could branch out into a different genre, which one would you choose and why?
I’d love to write a ghost story – I’ve yet to read a really good ghost story that actually scared me, or  didn’t deteriorate into an apocalyptic destruction of everything at the end. And then there are the ones where the real life characters  interact with the ghosts without knowing! I’ve even read stories where a character (male or female) had sex with a ghost without realising! At the moment I just don’t have time to write anything else but I admit there are some times I look at my collection of samplers and wonder about the girls who made them . . . .
Q8. Do you have any tips for the budding novelists out there reading this?
 As I said,  I teach a lot of writing courses – weekend  residential courses, day long workshops here in the UK  and I know a lot of people want to write – and a lot of those want to write romance so my advice for aspiring writers is always the same – read, read, read!  You can’t imagine how many people I meet who want to write category romance  because they believe it will make them money – and they’ve never read a single romance title!  So  they  think the books are ‘formulaic’ and full of simpering swooning heroines and bullying alpha heroes.   It doesn’t matter if you want to write romance or any other genre  – you need to know what is being published right now in that genre – that will help you see what the editors are buying and why.  Then you need to make sure that you write something that is authentic to you – don’t just try to copy other authors because you’ll end up a pale copy of the already successful people. Many of the stories are  seen over and again because they are so popular but you need to put your own individual twist on to it, your own voice,  so that it is not just more of the same.  For that you need to start with creating interesting and sympathetic characters,
Of course  I should mention my writing guide – Kate Walker’s 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance – which is a book I wrote to answer all the questions I get asked  when people want to know about how to write. It works for all fiction, not just romance.  And it covers the same topics and problems as I deal with in my courses – it must work because I’ve now had 17 ex-students end up as published authors!
Q9. What are you reading currently?
Err . . is that reading  upstairs or downstairs . . . at home or away!  I have a terrible book habit and  I don’t have a TBR pile but a TBR bookshelf. I have one  book by my bed (no – that’s not true – I have several books by my bed) and a couple more by my chair downstairs. Then if I’m travelling as I was this last week, I either have my kindle with me or, if I can’t resist temptation I might pick up a new book and start that!  So I have  a thriller called Pretty Is  by Maggie Mitchell downstairs,   a Mills and Boon romance The Flaw In Raffaele’s Revenge on my kindle upstairs and when I was away last week I just couldn’t resist picking up  the novel Nelly Dean by Alison Case because I was so intrigued by the fact it’s obviously connected to Wuthering Heights and I wrote my MA on that.  I also grabbed Frog Music by Emma Donoghue because I read Room by her and that was amazing.   My name is Kate and I’m a bookaholic!
Q10. Finally, do you have a next goal or dream in life? If so, what is it?
Well, my latest novel – Indebted to Moreno – which is out  in October is  my 65th title! (I started writing very very young!)  65 is a great number – but it’s also a bit of a weird one because there isn’t anything special  to mark it.  People celebrate the 50th – or the 75th – and  nothing much in between. I’m going to be celebrating this 65th book on my blog and Facebook etc –  but  I’ve also decided that I want to aim for that next  big ‘official’ number and mark my 75th – the 66th is just about done, 67th is planned and ready to go . . .  I hope to make it  if I just keep putting the words down one after another!
Thanks for inviting me to chat Rachel –  I’ve enjoyed answering your questions and sharing.
Kate’s book is available now from Amazon UK, Amazon US or the Mills & Boon website.
For further info or to connect with Kate, please see her website.
I shall be reviewing Indebted to Moreno on the blog before Christmas too. I can’t wait, big fan here 🙂

Author Interview: Peter Jones


Hi Peter, thanks for coming to chat to us today!


Q1. Can you tell us a little about your WIP?


I’m currently finishing up my third romantic comedy novel. It follows the misfortunes of school teacher Adrian Turner, his American girlfriend Paige, and her fiendish ex-boyfriend, Sebastian Tumbridge. Does Sebastian still love Paige? Does Paige still love Sebastian? Does anyone love Adrian? And can any good come of this situation when all three of them find themselves in Slovenia for a wedding?


Q2. What’s next for the writing?


I’m already planning the fourth novel. After that I guess we’ll see what happens. The sequel to THE GOOD GUY’S GUIDE TO GETTING THE GIRL is still sitting on my desk waiting to be edited, and I’d like to pen a follow up to THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS CHARMING MAN. There’s the beginnings of another novel lurking on my hard drive, and at some point I might return to non-fiction and write another book on happiness.


Q4. A typical day in the life of you – what does that look like?


Three or four days a week I’m writing. I’m up and sitting at my desk by 7am. And then I write in five one-hour ‘sprints’, counting my words at the end of each hour. Anything less than 200 words per hour I have to give myself a stern talking to.


Around midday I post the days word count on twitface, along with my excuses, then I  have some lunch and spend the afternoons either ploughing through the endless amounts of paperwork I seem to accumulate, or speaking at a local WI, U3A, or similar group.


Q3. In addition to your books, what kind of career have you had?


Prior to becoming a full-time author I used to work in Credit Card Banking. I know! How could I possibly give that up? Actually I did quite enjoy it. Well, I liked the problem solving aspect. But as the years rolled by though, I became less and less comfortable with the fact I was basically making poor people poorer, and lining the pockets of humourless gentleman who I suspect weren’t even human. Then one day everything changed, and I finally realized that life is too short to spend time doing things that don’t make you happy.


Q5. I collect elephant ornaments (and books of course!) – do you have something you collect?


Not really, though I intrigued by the concept of an elephant ornament. Presumably that’s a slightly different thing from an ornamental elephant? The latter being a ceramic statue of an elephant, and the former being something an elephant might put on its mantelpiece? I liked you before Rachel but that’s just brilliant. J

I stand by my earlier words! Ed.


Q6. Romance writers in particular, often see prejudice and a certain ‘pigeon holing’ when it comes to their books – what would you say about your own work?


I know exactly what you mean! I was quite shocked when my first agent told me I wrote women’s contemporary fiction. So far as I was concerned, I was just writing the sort of thing that I myself would like to read. Some nice people said my first book was a bit Nick Hornby-esque… and I was just fine with that. Other people described it as lad-lit which I wasn’t so sure about. When my current agent told me that I was a ‘romance writer’ I was shocked. I even pointed out that my last novel (THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS CHARMING MAN) is more of a comedic heist, than a romance – but she retaliated by telling me that regardless of whether there’s any actual romance in my books, my audience are still, predominantly, romance readers. Basically, the pigeon holing has less to do with me, or my books, an more the intended market. And that I suppose makes sense.

Mind you – I do live in perpetual fear that my next book will be given a predominantly pink cover, with an illustration of a slender woman on the front, a cup cake, a tea shop – possibly all three.

Q7. If you could branch out into a different genre, which one would you choose and why?

 Science fiction. I’ve always loved sci-fi – though I’d find it hard to keep away from romance and humour… so I’d probably end up writing a romantic comedy set in space.

 Q8. Do you have any tips for the budding novelists out there reading this?

 Yes. Stop reading this. You haven’t got time. Get back to writing your book. And write like you mean it!

 Also, don’t write a novel about a school teacher unless you happen to be one. It’s way more difficult than you think.

 Q9. What are you reading currently?

 I read whatever anyone recommends to me so bizarrely I’m currently reading COMPLICITY by Iain Banks… which as you’d expect is excellent, though not as good as THE BUSINESS (which is my Iain Banks favourite).

 Q10. Finally, do you have a next goal or dream in life? If so, what is it?

What you talking about? This is it! I’m living the dream baby! 😉





Elsewhere on facebook:


Book Blogger Showcase: Julie Ryan at

To show my appreciation for the sheer effort, determination and passion that book bloggers show us authors, I have decided that it would be nice to know more about them! To this end, I have decided to run a book blogger showcase celebrating those bloggers!

First up on my showcase is the delightful Julie Ryan, who runs


  1. How long have you been a book blogger?

I started blogging about books in 2013 when I realised I needed to keep track of what I’d read and share the love of good books with like-minded people.


  1. How old is your blog? Did you have any before?

I set up in November 2013. I’d just published my first book and knew how important bloggers would be. By returning the favour and blogging about other writers I managed to build up a supportive network of readers and writers.


  1. Why did you get into blogging in the first place?

Apart from the fact that a writer friend told me I needed a blog, I found I enjoyed interacting with people.


  1. Tell me about your blog, why the theme? Why is your blog different than the others? My blog is about all things book connected – I review books in genres I enjoy, mainly romantic,  travel, historical and thrillers. I also host guest posts and interviews as well as promo posts.


  1. Talking books – what genres do you review/prefer?

I like anything with a good story and it’s probably easier to say what I don’t enjoy; science-fiction, fantasy, steampunk but even then I have been known to give them a go.


  1. Apart from blogs – do you blog about any other subject? If not, do you have plans to in the future?

I also have a personal blog where I blog about my own writing and experiences

  1. What is your favourite book so far this year?

I’ve almost finished Victoria Hislop’s ‘Cartes postales from Greece’ and it’s shaping up to be my favourite read so far. I love the stories that the postcards tell and can’t wait to see if there is a connection with the recipient. It’s so tactile it makes you want to keep stroking the book. I do hope it’s not just me!!!


  1. What is your favourite book?

I love John Fowles’ ‘The Magus’ – probably because it’s set in my beloved Greece. The writing is beautiful and he recreates something of Greece’s magic on the page. I also discover something new every time I read it.


  1. Which book are you looking forward to the most due to come out?

The next Victoria Hislop but I may have to wait a while.


  1. Tell me a little about you!

What would you like to know? I live in rural Gloucestershire with a husband, son and two daft cats. I’m cat mad, chocoholic by nature and collect books. Unfortunately my husband is dyslexic and doesn’t appreciate my passion, especially since they are taking over the house. We live in a ruin that we have been trying to do-up for about ten years now. Maybe one day it will get finished (if we win the lottery). When not reading, blogging or writing I enjoy treading the boards in our local amateur dramatic group, usually playing Fairy Godmother in panto – Oh yes I do!

11.Finally, if you could have written any book already in existence, which one would you choose and why?

For its sheer beauty of language I wish I’d written ‘Le grand Meaulnes’ by Alain Fournier. It’s so atmospheric and recaptures adolescence perfectly. I studied it for A Level and it has always stayed with me.  It may be time to have another read and see how good my French really is after all this time.

Thank you Julie for coming to chat to us, and please, dear readers, check our her blogs!


Rachel xx