Hello Emma and welcome to Author’s Limelight! Congratulations on the recent release of The Green Hills of Home .
What was the first story you ever wrote?
I absolutely loved Enid Blyton stories when I was younger, and used to write many Famous Five type adventures, but without the ginger beer, my characters drank apple juice instead.
Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character?
Bronwyn, the owner of the tearooms in my debut novel ‘The Green Hills of Home’, is a minor character, but she’s definitely my favourite! She’s very kind, but very, very nosy, and will never take ‘No’ for an answer!
Has being published changed you at all? If so, how?
Hearing that people are enjoying my book has given me a lot more confidence in what I do. I love writing romance because it brings a smile to readers’ faces, there’s nothing quite like a wonderfully happy ending.
What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader?
We have an extensive library, and I like to read from my genres. I usually have at least two books on the go – a non-fiction, probably historical, and then maybe a romance or some chick lit. I also like to read the ‘classics’, especially Jane Austen, when I can!
What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten?
I was a notoriously fussy eater as a child, and basically lived on marmite sandwiches until I was eight, so as an adult I do try to be more experimental with food. However, to me raw fish is extremely unappealing! I’ve tried and tried, but frankly it’s just slippery and weird!
If you could be any of the following characters for one day, who would you be and why? How would you re-write the ending?
a) Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind.
b) Thelma or Louise from Thelma and Louise.
c) Princess Leia from Starwars.
d) Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys.
I think I’d have to chose Holly Golightly – she’s just so glamorous! I adore the ending of the film, but I’d love for Holly to realise that she’s capable of more than just being pretty and hanging off the arm of an adoring man. Maybe she could take up designing little black dresses for swanky Manhattan ladies! In fact, I’ve named my Maine Coon cat after her!
Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why?
Probably something by Jane Austen – she’s made such an impact in the literary world, and her writing is extraordinarily clever and witty.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
Oh, definitely the power to stop time! I could write whenever I want then and still have time to do everything else that needs doing!
If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you?
Maybe stay in Britain, but travel to the Regency period – the costumes from that era are amazing, and I love the mores and manners from the time.
What would I take with me? A well stocked first aid kit, with as many modern medicines as I could fit in it!
Can you tell us about your works in progress?
I’ve got two projects on the go, a collection of slightly more serious articles, and my next romance novel, which should be out later this year and is called ‘The Spaniard’s Secret Daughter’. Exploring the themes of jealousy and trust, the story follows Iris, a withdrawn and doubting single mother, who keeps her child concealed from its father, Sergio. However, during a completely chance meeting, Sergio discovers he has a daughter, and is furious with Iris for hiding this from him. As they both struggle to work together in raising their little girl, old passions become re-ignited, but, after what’s gone on in their past, can they ever really trust each other?
Finally, can you give us a sneaky excerpt from The Green Hills of Home, please?
I’d be delighted to! This extract is one of my absolute favourite parts of the novel: my hero and heroine’s first meeting:
‘Gwen looked up and locked eyes with the man. She was so taken aback by the intensity of his gaze that it took her a moment to gather her wits enough to murmur “So sorry.”
“It’s fine,” replied the man as he passed her the purse that had fallen out of her bag.
Gwen took the brief opportunity to examine him further: he was tall, certainly over six foot, with a strong physical presence projecting an aura of masculinity. He was dressed in a suit, but his jacket was open and Gwen could tell through his shirt that the body underneath was used to exercise. She took in his dark hair and was drawn back down to his deep chocolate brown eyes, the sort that Gwen could easily lose herself in given half a chance.
His inviting eyes seemed to be evaluating her with similar awareness. Returning to the moment with a start, Gwen felt a little embarrassed by her brazen scrutiny of the stranger, but warmed by his reciprocal appraisal.
Gwen smiled at him shyly but, as suddenly as it had formed, the spell broke. He stood up and straightened his tie self-consciously before moving past her with a nod and taking off at a brisk march.
“They certainly don’t make them like that back home,” murmured Gwen a little regretfully to herself as she checked that everything was safely back in her bag. ‘