When I decided to do a Valentine Feature Week on the blog I tweeted asking for contributors, one of the first authors to contact me was Carole Matthews. I've previously had the pleasure of doing blog interviews with Carole before but I'm delighted that she offered to take part in this fun Valentine's chat.
What has been your most memorable Valentine’s experience, either good or bad?
When my novel The Chocolate Lovers’ Club was out my partner, Lovely Kev, took me to The Pudding Club at the Three Ways Hotel in Mickleton in the Cotswolds. They have a Chocolate Suite there which he’d booked for the night. We have a really lovely time and, more importantly, lots of chocolate! That earned him a lot of brownie points.
If you were to receive a book as a Valentine’s Day present, what book would you like to receive?
I would like hardback of any of Philippa Gregory’s Tudor novels - probably The Other Boleyn Girl is my favourite - signed by the author.
If you had unlimited funds to spend on Valentine’s night, what would you do?
I had a wonderful trip to Swedish Lapland last year to research for my next Christmas book, Calling Mrs Christmas! With unlimited funds, I’d whisk, Lovely Kev, back to the Icehotel where we spent the most magical evening. Everyone should go once in their lifetime. As it’s February and freezing cold, we’d have an excellent chance of seeing the Northern Lights. There’s no more romantic experience.
Will you be having a ‘date night’ this Valentine’s?
I hate crowded restaurants, so on Valentine’s day we normally sneak out and have a romantic lunch together somewhere quiet.
Other than your partner, who would your ideal Valentine's date be? You can choose anyone dead or alive.
Can I choose someone both dead and alive at the same time? I have a current passion (obsession!) for Alexander Skarsgard who plays Eric the Vampire in True Blood. He’s a 6 ft 5 inch hunk of blond, Swedish manliness and his character is very naughty.
Do you think Valentine’s Day has lost its magic now that it’s become commercialised?
I think it’s nice to mark Valentine’s day, but I don’t think you have to go mad and buy into the whole hype. A nice candlelit meal at home or a nice bottle of wine and some chocs is enough to mark the day. I’m very fond of a living room picnic and that’s a great way to have a cheap yet special celebration. I had friends once who were a bit tight for money and couldn’t afford to do very much for Valentine’s Day, so they decided to take some time to write love letters to each other. I thought that was incredibly romantic.
What tips would you give to us singletons for surviving the hype that is Valentine’s?
Get some equally single girlfriends around and have a party involving a chick-flick and cocktails. Don’t sit at home alone thinking that everyone else is having a brilliant time. I’d also send a few valentine’s cards if I was sure that no one would ever guess they were from me.
Complete these sentences:
Love is.... Different things at different ages. Where I am now, I want mutual respect, friendship, fun, laughter and shared interests. I’ve had my fair share of high passion and high drama when I was younger and thought it was love. I’d run a mile from that now. We all like a bad boy but, in real life, they’re very overrated.
My favourite film to watch on Valentine’s night would be... Bridget Jones’ Diary or anything that involved Hugh Grant at his peak - Love Actually or Notting Hill would work just as well.
My perfect Valentine’s date would be... I’m a sucker for afternoon tea and The Ritz Hotel in London has to be the place to take it.
To find out more about Carole and her books, why not visit:
A Cottage by the Sea: Hardback, Kindle or paperback (published March)