Sunday, 24 January 2016

Debut Spotlight: Katy Colins

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind for Katy Colins as the story behind her debut novel, The Lovely Hearts Travel Club, caught the media's attention which has seen her story published in the national and international press, and even a live TV interview via Facetime from the Phillipines on This Morning.  The first book in the series, Destination Thailand, was published as an eBook on Thursday and will now also be published as a paperback next month.  
Katy Colins completed her first novel 'A Dogs Tale' at the age of 11 which received rave reviews ... from her Grandad and English teacher. This was just the encouragement she needed to carry on writing.

As a qualified journalist with articles published in Company Magazine and The Daily Star she crossed sides to work in Public Relations before selling all she owned to backpack solo around South East Asia and finally put her thoughts into words, writing as she travelled.

Katy currently lives by the sea in France where she is on a one woman mission to educate the French about the necessity and technicalities of making a good cup of tea. When she is not writing about romance, travel and adventure, she loves travelling, catching up with family and friends and convincing herself that her croissant addiction isn't out of control - just yet.

You can find out more about Katy, her writing and her travels on her blog or via twitter @notwedordead

What if you had a second chance… to find yourself?

Instead of slipping on her something borrowed and tripping up the aisle to wedded bliss, Georgia spends her big day crying into a warm Sex-on-the-Beach, wondering where it all went wrong.

Forced to make a bucket list of her new life goals by best friend Marie, it’s not long before travel-virgin Georgia’s packing her bags for a long-haul adventure to Thailand.

Yet, Georgia’s big adventure doesn’t seem to be going to plan. From strange sights, smells and falling for every rookie traveller scam in the book Georgia has never felt more alone.

But the good thing about falling apart is that you can put yourself back together any way you please. And new Georgia might just be someone she can finally be proud of…

I had read and enjoyed Katy's blog posts in the past so I knew the story behind how her travelling adventures and her blog began.  It's amazing to see how she has turned something so devastating into a positive and she's an inspirational role model for everyone to prove that you can do anything that you want to if you put your mind to it.  I've never been an adventurous traveller myself so the idea of packing everything in and go travelling around the world, especially alone, absolutely terrifies me so I have to console myself with reading books set in exotic locations instead.  Which is why when I heard that Katy had used some of her experiences to write The Lonely Hearts Travel Club series I immediately pre-ordered all 3 books, Destination Thailand, Destination India and Destination Chilealthough I was lucky enough to have also been sent an advance copy to review as part of this debut spotlight feature.

From the opening chapter when everything in Georgia's life was falling apart around her, you couldn't help but warm to her as a character.  I'm sure most of us have been in a situation in the past, either an end of a relationship, losing a job or other situations which force us to re-evaluate what we want from life, but how many of us actually do something drastic to make changes?  So when Georgia decided to go travelling solo, much to the surprise of her close friends and family, I was rooting for her and wishing her well on her adventures.  Of course it wasn't all plain sailing for her as she seemed to attract more than her fair share of dodgy characters, and found herself in a few awkward situations whilst trying to please others, but with each challenge that she had to overcome she was finding that she could cope and adapt to anything that comes her way.

I'm sure some readers would prefer more detailed descriptions of the sights and sounds that Georgia encounters but for me it was the right balance, I didn't want or need lots of flowery descriptions as I was able to use what I was reading to paint a picture in my mind.  One particular scene that did make me chuckle involved Georgia on a Thai fishing boat which provided just enough description to enable you to picture exactly what she had to endure to get to her end result...

Having enjoyed getting to know Georgia and seeing how things turned out in this first book, I'm intrigued to find out what happens next for her.  What other hurdles will she have to overcome in the future?  I guess we'll find out over time and the good news is that we don't have to wait too long as Destination India is due out in March and Destination Chile in May.

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