Move Over Darling, my second contemporary novel published by Choc Lit, is influenced by where I live, on the far-flung coast of west Wales. The population here is small, with comparatively few people spread out over a large area. I started to wonder how couples ever found each other! It’s an exquisitely beautiful part of Wales, attractive to tourists and second-homers, but some of the lowest wages too mean that employment prospects are often brighter elsewhere. A trip to New York suggested the book’s premise: She’s escaped to the country. He’s escaped from the country. Who’s going to admit that home is where the heart is? From there, I met Coralie Casey and Gethin Lewis. Coralie doesn’t like the hand fate has dealt her so she’s taken charge of her own destiny. Gethin’s an artist living in New York who thinks he’s escaped his home village for good – until I came up with other plans for him. I also had fun with a cast of supporting characters to reflect the book’s theme which is about separation and reunion.
Separation and reunion was something of theme for my writing for a while too; there were times during the writing of my second book when I almost gave up. My first novel, Turning the Tide, was a Kindle bestseller in the UK, but instead of spurring me on, the reality of having a first novel ‘out there’ gave me terrible ‘stage fright’. Talking to other writers, showed me that Second Novel Syndrome wasn’t unique to me and encouraged me to keep going. As with many writerly-related problems, the cure seems to be to grit your teeth, apply butt to seat, and keep writing! If there’s any advice I can pass on, it’s to hang on to your dream and keep going. Thanks for having me as your guest here and good luck with your writing everyone.
Excerpt from Move Over Darling
Doris Day was singing in the background, telling Coralie Casey that whatever would be would be. Coralie disagreed. Doris was a goddess – but she was wrong about fate. The future was yours to see. Furthermore, you could look at it, decide you didn’t like it very much and do something about it.
She dragged her thoughts back to the present before they had a chance to head off like a wayward dog and poke around for something nasty festering in the corners of her mind. Instead of waiting to be dealt another bad hand she’d reshuffled the cards and laid out her own destiny. She’d swapped suburban streets for country lanes and the nine-to-five for the steady rise of Sweet Cleans, her range of natural cleaning products for body and home. It wasn’t completely true to say she’d moved on, but she had, at least, moved over.
Beyond the window of her workshop the late January snow spiralled in the air like down, cushioning the gentle green slopes in soft white. In seven swiftly-passing months Coralie had seen the west Wales landscape in many moods and was learning to love them all. Even the rain, which seemed to fall in epic quantities in Penmorfa, was eventually followed by pale candyfloss clouds and bright blue skies. She stopped for a moment to gaze at the delicate beauty of her garden under its white veil. A winter wonderland. Doris Day started telling her it was magic, but Coralie knew it was all down to hard work. By taking a huge gamble and some tough decisions she’d made her own dream come true. Or was making progress towards it. Who needed a crystal ball to see that things were looking good?Blurb
When is it time to stop running?
Coralie Casey is haunted by her past. Deciding it's time for a fresh start, she sets up 'Sweet Cleans', a range of natural beauty and cleaning products, and escapes to Penmorfa, a quiet coastal village in west Wales.
Gethin Lewis thinks he's about to put his home village Penmorfa behind him for good. Now an internationally-acclaimed artist living in New York, he just has to return one last time to wind up his father's estate.
But the village soon disrupts their carefully laid plans. As truths are uncovered which threaten to split the community apart, Gethin is forced to question his real reasons for abandoning Penmorfa, and Coralie is made to face the fact that some stains just won't go away.
I like to joke that my journey to publication has taken me from chocolate to Choc Lit. Winning a tin of chocolate in a national essay competition at primary school inspired me to become a writer but it was losing my dad to cancer that made me realise that if I was ever going to get a novel published, I had to put my writing first.
Christine Stovell: http://christinestovell.com/
Blog: Home Thoughts Weekly http://homethoughtsweekly.blogspot.com/
Choc Lit: http://www.choclitpublishing.co.uk/index.html
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve read my blog. There’s a prize of a free ebook copy of MOVE OVER DARLING for two lucky readers who will be selected at random from those who leave a comment. Thank you!