Thursday, 22 January 2015

Author Interview: Linda Mitchelmore

Linda Mitchelmore has been a fab supporter of Shaz's Book Blog having taken part in the festive features for the last 3 years, Christmas Shorts in 2012, Festive Fun Q&A in 2013 and the Fictional Characters in Panto feature last year, so it's my absolute pleasure to welcome her back to the blog today to find out a little more about her latest novel Emma and Her Daughter.

Can you give a brief recap of the first 2 books in the series for anyone who hasn't read them?
TO TURN FULL CIRCLE is the first in my trilogy and begins in 1909. Emma Le Goff is not quite sixteen-years-old, and now and orphan. She is also homeless since being thrown out of her home by a ruthless landlord. The tricky thing is, Emma is sweet on the landlord’s youngest son, Seth Jago. But a charismatic and mysterious man, Matthew Caunter, comes into Emma’s life and through him she finds live-in work at an hotel. There she meets Ruby and they become the best of friends. And she still sees Seth, growing to love him more each time. Seth’s father and brother are truly evil – and meet their comeuppance for the most part, but Seth stands up them and Emma and Seth fall in love. The book ends with Seth asking Emma to marry him.

EMMA: THERE’S NO TURNING BACK picks up where Emma and Seth left off in 1911. They want to marry but come up against all sorts of hurdles, not least being that an ex lover of Seth’s dumps a baby on Emma’s bakery table. Emma knows all about homelessness and not being wanted so, seeing as she loves Seth with all her heart, she vows to be the best mother she can to baby Fleur. At the end of this book Emma and Seth, with Fleur, prepare to flee to Canada to escape Seth’s evil brother, Miles. But just before they go, Matthew Caunter makes a re-appearance in Emma’s life.  Emma can no longer deny her feelings for Matthew, who lives rather dangerously as an undercover agent, but she has promised to go to Canada with Seth and for her there is no turning back.

Can you describe Emma and Her Daughter in one sentence? 
Is Devon the place for them both to find happiness again, and love, or will they find out the hard way that some people are destined for heartache?

Can ‘second love’ be true love?

It’s 1927 and Emma has returned to England from Canada with her teenage daughter, Fleur. After the tragedies of the past, Emma is ready to start again in Devon, the place she used to call home – despite the bittersweet memories it brings back.

But memories are not the only thing that she has to contend with. There’s also the secret she’s been keeping from her daughter; the secret that’s revealed when an unwelcome visitor comes back and threatens to turn their lives upside down.

Throughout it all Matthew Caunter is rarely far from Emma’s thoughts and, as it happens, much closer than she thinks. Could he be the key to her finally finding happiness, or will Emma discover the hard way that some people are just destined for heartache?

Where did the inspiration for the Emma series come from?
From doing some family history research on my husband’s family. He had a great uncle who fished out of Brixham, but an accident forced him off the sea. He lived in a tied cottage which he was forced to leave when he could no longer work for the landlord. I know that his mother took him, and his family, in. But it got me thinking … what would happen to a wife and/or child if they lost their home in the same circumstances? It went from there.

Did you always plan on writing a series or did this develop once you started writing?
No, it was only going to be the one book. But at the end of book one Emma was still only eighteen years old, and I wanted to see how she would develop as a woman, and so book two was born. But although I could have finished Emma’s story at the end of book two as she, Seth and Fleur emigrate to Canada, I knew that Emma’s emotional journey was far from over. And so book three came into being.

What can we expect next from you next? 
I have a signed contract with Choc Lit for a full length contemporary novel, ALL THE BLUE SAPPHIRES, so I’m waiting on edits for that. After that … well, there are one or two ideas running around in my head! A character in book three, Stella Martin, could carry a novel all by herself, I think – but we shall see.

How did your writing journey start?
I lost my hearing gradually and when it became all but non-existent in the late 1990s I began to read more – short stories mostly – and then to think, hey! I could write while the family watched TV or listened to music or whatever. And so my writing career began … rather late in my 50s but better late than never.

Do you prefer to write in the mornings, afternoon or evening?
Mornings always, and the earlier the better for anything creative, like the first draft. But I can edit and do all the admin that goes with writing any time.

Do you set yourself a daily/weekly writing target?
I do my very best to write something every day, but sometimes life can get in the way. I used to fret if I wasn’t writing something new but the more I’m published the more admin or networking there is to do to promote it so these days I consider all that ‘writing work’ too.

Do you get much spare time for reading?  And if so, does being a writer affect the way you see books as a reader? 
I don’t get as much time to read as I would like. You should see my tbr pile! And to answer the second question, yes, being a writer most definitely affects how I see books. I’ve had six novels go through a professional edit now and I tend to nitpick – that’s been said in an early chapter and isn’t needed here; that needs qualifying; that’s an inaccurate piece of information. And I am conscious of trying not to make the same mistakes myself.  I would say that having been through the editing process is making me a better writer – and I’m still learning.

If you could write another style of genre, what would it be and why?
Comedy romance – but I would be rubbish!

What is the best writing advice that you have ever received? 
Never throw anything away! I have just sold a story I wrote six years ago and which was rejected then but bought the same day it was submitted last week – and to the same magazine!

If you could invite any three authors, alive or dead, to a dinner party who would you choose and why?
Being deaf means dinner parties are difficult … I miss too much of the conversation.

When you’ve finished writing a book, do you treat yourself to a reward?
Not when I’ve finished, only when it is in print!  But nothing I’ve got to dust or insure, so my husband and I go to our favourite restaurant and have the most expensive things off the menu.

Where would be your idyllic location for a writing retreat? 
My friend Jennie Bohnet’s house in Brittany. Peace, beautiful location, a very decent wine cellar and she’s a fabulous cook to boot! 

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