Monday, 24 March 2014

Brook Cottage Books is thrilled and honoured to have one of the most famous names in the world of literature on the blog. Please welcome Barbara Taylor Bradford, OBE, who kindly took the time to answer some interview questions. After the interview you can find my review for her new book Cavendon Hall.

JB: You have written an amazing number of books. Do you have a strict writing schedule? E.g Do you write every day for a set period of time or do you write only when inspiration strikes?

BTB: When I am writing a novel I work every day, approximately ten hours a day, seven days a week. I’m not actually writing for ten hours. I am thinking, researching, and editing as well. I take it very seriously and certainly I don’t wait for inspiration to strike. I’m a brand name and the book has to go in on time!

JB: Some of your books have been made into movies / mini-series. How much creative input do you have during this process?

BTB: None! My husband is the producer, and I know that he is very careful and gets as much of the book on the screen as he can.

JB: You sold your first short story to a magazine when you were 10 years old. Can you remember what it was about?

BTB: I started writing when I was seven. When I was ten, and had had some practice by then, my mother sent a story to a children’s magazine. It was about a little girl who wanted a pony, and how she went about getting it. Nobody was more amazed than me when they not only accepted it, but paid me ten shillings and sixpence! My destiny was sealed when I received that postal order.

JB: Out of all the books you have written, do you have a personal favourite, and if so, why?

BTB: I believe that an author always loves the first novel they have published. So I LOVE A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE, but another favourite is THE WOMEN IN HIS LIFE. However, one of my most loved books is one I’ve really enjoyed writing, and have just published. It’s called CAVENDON HALL, and I think because the characters became so alive for me, they truly live on paper.

JB: A Woman of Substance is ranked in the top 10 best-selling works of Fiction. How does that feel?

BTB: It makes me feel good, and it’s very gratifying to know that a story I told about a strong woman became such a big bestseller in 40 languages, and 90 countries.

JB: Your new book Cavendon Hall was released on 30th January. How long did it take to write?

BTB: It took me approximately seven months to write, but I worked seven days a week and ten hours a day. However, the book was bubbling in my brain for a long time. I first wrote the original outline six years ago, and realised I’d written an outline for three books, not one. I put it away in a drawer. I took it out two years ago and rewrote the outline which became one book, the one which has now published.

JB: Did any of the characters or indeed the plot, develop in a completely different way than you had originally planned?

BTB: No! I sit down and write an outline, and to think everything out.

JB: I love books that have storylines that span generations of families. Family saga blockbusters at their best. What inspires you to write such books?

BTB: Someone once suggested that I write novels about large families because I am an only child, and because my husband is an only child. But I don’t think this is really the reason. I love writing about large families because of the relationships, and the most terrible things happen in families. So I have plenty of drama, emotions, and intrigue to carry me through.

JB: How much research did you need to do for Cavendon Hall?

BTB: I know the Edwardian period very well, but nonetheless I did go back to my research book to check dates and facts, especially to do with the First World War.

JB: Do you have any more exciting projects for 2014?

BTB: Yes, I am writing a new book. It is the sequel to CAVENDON HALL and is called THE CAVENDON WOMEN.

Thank you so much to Barbara Taylor Bradford for this fab interview. Read on for my review of Cavendon Hall.


The year is 1913 and the location is Cavendon Hall, a large estate in the Yorkshire Dales. For many generations, the aristrocratic Ingham family have resided here. The Swann family have been in their service all that time and the bond between the two families is unbreakable. The Swann family have sworn an oath to protect the Inghams and keep whatever secrets hide within the family -  and there are many! For one of the Earl's daughters, the Summer of 1913 brings an event that will have devastating implications for her and her family. With the shadow of a war too, the Ingham family's idylic existence is soon threatened further.

Cavendon Hall is one of those books that has you hooked from page one. It is a big sweeping drama that I foresee being made into a mini series. Whilst the Ingham family are very priviledged and very wealthy, they are quite forward thinking and view the Swann's as almost extended members of their family. A mutual respect for each other is what makes this partnership so successful. 

There are a multitude of characters in this book and thankfully the author has provided a Who's Who list at the beginning of the book. This is an exciting read and the reader is instantly transported back to a time of wealth and the 'upstairs/downstairs' relationships that went on during that period of history. The two families are equally committed to one another and their actions are honourable and done with love. Poor Daphne falls foul of a horrible act and the compassion the Swann family show her is breathtaking. Fans of Downton Abbey will love this book. I am a huge fan of family sagas and I'm waiting with bated breath for the next book in this series. I couldn't put the book down! I highly recommend Cavendon Hall.


 Published by Harper Fiction.

3 Responses so far.

  1. So thrilled to have Barbara Taylor Bradford as the featured author on the blog today.

  2. Glynis says:

    I am a fan, and am thrilled to see you host Barbara. A Woman of Substance will always be a favourite of mine,I love strong female characters.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Outstanding interview and he tell us how to ask question front of cameras and how to explains topics thanks for share it cover letter editing service .

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