I'm delighted to welcome Georgina Troy back to the blog to talk about the latest book in her Jersey series, A Jersey Bombshell.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing journey?
I wrote my first book about 18 years ago but did nothing with it. Then about 10 years ago wrote my second book and then a third – A Jersey Bombshell is my ninth book. I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme, which enabled me to submit a full manuscript each year for a critique by a published but anonymous reader.
In 2012 I entered the first three chapters of my historical, Broken Faces, written under my own name, Deborah Carr, into the Harry Bowling Prize. The judges gave it a special commendation and later that year the book was a runner up in the Good Housekeeping Novel Writing Competition. One of the judges, Luigi Bonomi, asked to see the rest of the book and then offered me representation, which I was delighted to accept. Luigi and I have now amicably parted ways, but Broken Faces has been published through a small imprint, Green Shutter Books. I’m now writing the sequel, Splintered Lives.
A Jersey Kiss and A Jersey Affair were initially also published through Green Shutter Books and reached #3 and #7 in the local Waterstones Top Ten Bestseller chart. I was delighted when Accent Press offered to relaunch the two books with a contract to write a further two in the series. A Jersey Kiss was relaunched in September 2014, with A Jersey Affair the following spring. A Jersey Dreamboat came last September and A Jersey Bombshell is out this June.
A Jersey Bombshell is the latest in your Jersey Scene series and features Gabriel returning home to the Island to help his family run their hotel, did you need to do much research about the hotel industry?
No, because from 1966 to 2007 my father and then later assisted by my brother ran a hotel in Jersey. When my grandfather died in 1962 the large home he and my grandmother lived in ended up being too big for her, so she moved into a smaller home and the building was altered and turned it into a hotel. The hotel I write about, although looking different to my father’s did have the rose garden, a row of huge pine trees at the front of it, and a large valley behind with geometrical ponds that had originally belonged to the house – just like in A Jersey Bombshell.
If you had to describe Gabriel in three words, what would they be?
Brave, loyal, determined
I know that you live on the island of Jersey yourself, was that the deciding factor on basing the series solely on Jersey as opposed to featuring the other Channel Islands?
It was. I love Jersey and there are so many places, both hidden and public, that are perfect settings for scenes in my books. Although I’ve visited the other Channel Islands, I don’t know them very well, and know places far away much better.
Are you a plotter or do you prefer to see where the story takes you?
I always write a synopsis for each of my books. I find these help me when I hit a wall when writing the first draft and remind me where I intended going with the story. However, once I begin writing I do enjoy it when the characters develop and I end up taking a different route with their storylines.
What essentials do you need to have close to hand when you're in writing mode?
Large mug of tea, a note pad to make odd notes when things come to mind, and my three dogs because they interrupt me and make sure I get up and move about every so often, otherwise I’d forget the time and just keep writing.
If you get a plot block during the initial writing phase, how do you work your way through it?
I go back to my synopsis, read through it, and then try to work out where I should be going with the scene/character. If that doesn’t work, I try to think what the reader might expect me to do next and then do something entirely different.
What authors have influenced you as a writer?
Christina Jones is one of my favourite authors and now one of my closest friends. Her books have made me want to produce a story that gives my readers the same wonderful, enveloping feeling that hers did for me – that’s the intention anyway. As a person she’s always been encouraging and supportive and believed in me when I really didn’t believe in myself.
I also love Karen Clarke’s books, they always make me laugh and I love reading them.
Finally, can we expect more books in the Jersey Scene series in the near future or are you working something different?
I’ll definitely be writing two more books at least for the Jersey books, A Jersey Sundae – based in Jersey and Venice, and A Jersey Mystery – based in Jersey and… I’m not sure yet, but I’m travelling to a few places this summer and one of them will no doubt end up being in the book. I’m also working on the sequel to Broken Faces, and that book will be out later this year.
Gabriel has returned to the island of Jersey after ten years abroad to help his aging showbiz parents revive their failing Art Deco hotel. This proves to be something of a challenge, especially as his singer father and actress mother are more concerned with staying in the limelight than keeping track of the cash-flow. Gabriel isn’t going anywhere fast…