Monday, 2 March 2020

The Write Stuff with... Rosie Travers

One of the things I enjoy about blogging is getting to know a little more about authors and their books and/or writing processes. Today is the first of a few author features this week and it's my absolute pleasure to welcome author Rosie Travers back to the blog.

Looking for Inspiration? 

Writers are often asked where they get their inspiration from. For me it’s very easy.  I don’t go looking for inspiration - it seems to find me. I’m naturally inquisitive and it doesn’t take much to trigger my imagination. What if, why are they doing that, when did that happen…are all questions that regularly pop into my head. I’m one of life’s great nosey parkers – and when there is no obvious answer, I’ll make something up. The perfect life skills for writing fiction!

My debut novel The Theatre of Dreams follows of the adventures of a devious octogenarian who is determined to save her family’s neglected seaside pavilion from a ruthless property developer and see it restored to its former glory. She recruits a young actress to play a part in an elaborate plot of deception and intrigue. There’s a love interest thrown in from a handsome building conservationist, and the mystery of a past family tragedy to solve.  So, where did the initial idea come from?

The answer is a building. While taking a stroll along the seafront at Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire,  I noticed a sign commemorating the site of  a vast art deco entertainment complex, the Lee Tower, which had stood on the esplanade for less than forty years before being demolished by the local council. I immediately wondered why the building hadn’t been saved, why hadn’t the community rallied round? Of course, I later looked it up and discovered the building had been a complete white elephant, far too ambitious a design to make money for its owners, but by then it was too late. I’d already come up with my own version of events, which was far more interesting and entertaining!  When I wrote the story I wanted to keep the plot surreal; my pavilion owner concocts a totally hairbrained scheme to save her building, which of course wouldn’t happen in real life, but that’s why we read (and why I write) to escape from our ordinary lives and into someone else’s!

The setting for my second novel, Your Secret’s Safe With Me, was also inspired by living on the coast. I’m not a sailor, but I did used to live in a sailing community,  and I often speculated who or what might be onboard some of those glamorous and expensive looking yachts moored in the local marina. I’d already come up with a theme of a changing relationship between a mother who announces her surprise engagement, and her adult daughter, but I wanted some added tension. So I uprooted Pearl and Becca from their native London and transplanted them to a village on the south coast. Becca’s organised life transcends into chaos at her mother’s abrupt change of plans, and her situation becomes even more complicated when a former lover re-enters her life and warns the family are in danger as secrets start to wash ashore with every turn of the tide.

I always put humour into my writing and am currently working on a light-hearted cosy mystery series, again inspired by something spotted while on a mini-break in the Isle of Wight, and the never-ending string of questions that subsequently popped into my head!

I keep a folder of ideas, a post-card, my family tree, an A4 page of bullet points for the next potential novel. The initial trigger might be something quite mundane – a boat, a beach, a building, and when I’m writing I continue to ask questions such as, what would character A do next, what’s the next stop on their journey? And characters in books don’t have to reply with a straightforward answer or take the most logical route. That’s the joy of being a writer.

Rosie grew up in Southampton on the south coast of England and loved escaping into a good book at a very early age. After several years juggling motherhood and a variety of jobs in local government, she moved to southern California when her husband took an overseas work assignment. With time on her hands she started a blog about ex-pat life which rekindled her teenage desire to become a writer. On her return to the UK she took a creative writing course and the rest, as they say, is history. Her debut novel The Theatre of Dreams was published in August 2018 and her second novel Your Secret’s Safe With Me in February 2019.  She is currently working on a series of cosy mysteries.

Twitter: @RosieTravers
Facebook: Rosie Travers author
Amazon Page:

Reviews for The Theatre of Dreams
“Refreshingly different, wonderful plot, kept me interested till the last page and hungry for more.”
“A cleverly crafted romantic mystery tale with well-rounded characters, telling of youth, old age, life, death and several murky ingredients in between. It kept me on tenterhooks right to the end, with its surprising and most satisfactory twist.” 

Reviews for Your Secret’s Safe With Me

“Your Secret's Safe With Me is ideal for fans of Penny Vincenzi, Marian Keyes and Sophie Kinsella with a fabulous cast of characters, witty dialogue and a bundle of secrets and twists that will keep the reader guessing.”

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely idea ~ a project for an octogenarian to save a special building! Since it is also in Lee on Solent, a place I used to know quite well, then this book is a must for me Rosie.