Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Series: [Series Name] #[Number]
Release Date:12th March 2015
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Genres: Historical Romance, Romance
Brook Cottage Books is thrilled to welcome Lorna Gray to the blog with a super author interview. Firstly, lets find out about Lorna's latest book -
About the Book
‘Absorbing and chilling, yet tempered with echoes of a lost romance…this story is one of the best I've read this year for its imagery and originality.’ – Jane Hunt Reviews
Set in the bleak winter of 1947, this compelling drama is a must read for fans of the poignant and nostalgic storytelling of Leah Fleming & Lucinda Riley.
The Cotswolds, 1947 -
A relentless winter holds post-war Britain in its deadly grip, and Eleanor Phillips rides out from her beleaguered Cotswold farm to rescue a stranger lost in the storm. But the near-dead man is no stranger and when she recognises Matthew Croft, the old ties of a failed romance tug deeply. Her sweetheart has returned from the war.
Suspicion, the police and the panicked flight of a desperate man beat a path to her door. With a wanted man hidden in her home and stealing back into her heart, Eleanor must be on her guard – for the net is closing in on them both and enemies are all around…
Do you write under your real name or is this a pen name you use?
Lorna Gray is my real name. I'm lucky enough to share my name with a 1940s/ 50s film star, Lorna Gray, which is entirely by chance and is brilliantly appropriate given my fascination with all things post-war.
Where are you from?
I am from all sorts of corners of England - my parents are northern folk, I grew up in Bedfordshire and now I have a wonderful home in the Cotswolds. I've moved about quite a lot and I can honestly say that I hope the Cotswolds is the home that sticks. I love it here, and it's even more important now because it has been the source of the inspiration to write post-war mystery romance In the Shadow of Winter.
Did you write as a child?
Absolutely. Like most authors, I loved reading and writing stories as a child, which is funny because I was terrible at school and absolutely appalling at spelling. I wrote adventure stories, usually involving a dashing rescue from a suitably worthy male. Now I write historical mysteries and notably my heroines tend to take a rather more active part in their own destiny! Eleanor, the heroine of In the Shadow of Winter, is definitely not the sort to sit about in a garret waiting for a rescue. In fact, she begins her story by rescuing former sweetheart from the snow, only to discover that a police manhunt is set to follow him to her door...
What was the first thing you ever had published?
In the Shadow of Winter is my debut novel if we're talking written work. If we're talking publishing in general, I've had many archaeological drawings published in journals up and down the country. These are usually drawings of artefacts such as Roman brooches or prehistoric flint.
Do you have a writing routine?
My routine is quite straight forward. When starting a novel, I rough out the plot, adding points of action and the links between sections, then I start adding notes about the mystery and personal details. Next I add suggestions of romance and finally I go back to the beginning and start to write in full sentences. It saves that terrible sense of impending failure (writer's block) because I already know what is going to come next, even if by the time I get there the characters have changed their minds and decide to do something else entirely. (Which they do with annoying regularity).
Do you have any writing rituals?
Rather than writing rituals, I have daily rituals. These begin with walking the goats out to the field and end with bringing them in again. The time in between is just a chaos of cramming everything in!
Do you have a current work in progress?
I do! My current effort is a follow-on to In the Shadow of Winter. Different characters take the fore but the mystery unfolds within the same area and it involves the same principle of a post-war era adventure with a healthy touch of romance. It's in the early stages so I'm spending quite a lot of time looking at historic maps getting the geography right in my mind.
Where did the idea for your book come from?
The Cotswolds are fundamental to both my inspiration and the writing of In the Shadow of Winter itself. I've lived in a scenic corner of Gloucestershire for the past twelve years and I've never been anywhere that resonates such character. The history of the area is still laid out in the buildings and dry stone walls for all to see and by talking to elderly neighbours and doing a bit of additional research, it has become an absolute joy to weave a sense of the place into a post-war mystery.
Who was the first person you gave the book to to read?
My partner. He's very fair and very opinionated at the same time. I don't always agree with him but he's very good at giving an honest point of view (which can be more than a bit fearsome when you're sharing your pride and joy for the first time!). I absolutely hate that first moment of sharing a work but it's got to be done.
Do you have any advice for budding authors?
My first and only bit of advice is that any new author really must finish their book - I mean, really finish it. So many would-be authors have a first draft on their computer, but it takes a different degree of commitment to see it through to a finished work that is truly ready to be sent off to an agent or publisher or be self-published. When the time came I submitted my manuscript to Harper Impulse and you can guess how it felt to hear that they loved reading In the Shadow of Winter as much as I loved writing it. They've got a real passion for discovering new authors.
Thanks to Lorna for this great interview. The book is definitely on my TBR pile!