On my blog this week, I’m delighted to share with you an interview with author Rosie Travers who appeared in my Ideas Store column in the December issue of Writers’ Forum.
Ideas Store. Issue 206. December
In the current issue of Writers’ Forum, (Issue 206, December 2018) my column, Ideas Store features two authors whose books I have recently read and enjoyed. They are “Theatre of Dreams” by Rosie Travers and “The One That I Want” by Lynne Shelby
Because I’m always pushed for space in my column, I’m only able to use a small part of the interview I did with these writers. But here, on my blog I can bring you the interviews in full.
This week I’m focussing on romantic novelist, Rosie Travers and hope to bring you Lynne Shelby’s interview next week.
Hi Rosie, and welcome to my blog. So, where did you get the idea for your debut novel, Theatre of Dreams?
In my debut novel, The Theatre of Dreams, a devious octogenarian recruits a disgraced actress and a bankrupt architect to play a part in an elaborate plot to save a historic seaside pavilion from demolition. The idea was partly inspired by a building – the Lee Tower entertainment complex in Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire. The Lee Tower was built in 1935 and demolished just 40 years later by the local council. When I learned about the existence of this vast art deco pavilion in what is a small, sleepy coastal town my imagination was well and truly captured. I wondered why the complex hadn’t been preserved for future generations and decided to re-write history. I already had the character of a veteran performer with a somewhat chequered past in my head and now I’d found her a purpose – saving her family’s seaside theatre.
What is your genre? Is it a series or standalone?
I like to think of my writing as feel-good fiction. The Theatre of Dreams covers many themes – friendship, family loyalty, ambition, as well as containing a family tragedy, an unsolved mystery and a romance – it’s hard to put it into one box. It is a standalone story although I haven’t discounted the idea of a spin-off in the future!
Musical theatre actress Tara is down on her luck and in desperate need of a job. When terminally-ill octogenarian Kitty invites her to take over the running of her former dance academy in the old-fashioned resort of Hookes Bay, Tara thinks she’s found her guardian angel. But it soon becomes very clear Kitty is being far from benevolent. Too late, Tara realizes helping Kitty will signal the end of an already tarnished career, unless she can pull off the performance of a lifetime.
It’s a lovely book and I really enjoyed reading it. So tell me, what inspires you and how do you plan your book?
I tend to start with characters. I am a pantser not a plotter so once I have come up with a character I play around with various scenarios until I find one which works. The planning comes later and once the characters start telling their own stories, they don’t always stick to my plan at all. The Theatre of Dreams ‘evolved’ with plot twists and back stories way beyond my original idea but that’s how I like to write.
And how did you writing journey start?
I scribbled numerous stories as a teenager but didn’t start writing seriously until I was in my forties, when I gave up working to accompany my husband overseas. My first published piece was a short story in a local magazine.
Thanks, Rosie, That was great. So, finally, what are your future plans? I’d really love to read more from you.
My second book, Your Secret’s Safe With Me, a romantic suspense set on the south coast, will be published by Crooked Cat in 2019.
Author Bio and social media links
I grew up on the south coast of England and after initially training as a secretary I juggled a career in local government with raising my family. I moved to Southern California with my husband in 2009 and began a blog about life as an ex-pat wife which re-kindled a teenage desire to become a writer. On my return to the UK I took a part-time creative writing course and following some success in short story competitions, I joined the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers’ Scheme. My debut novel, The Theatre of Dreams, was published in August 2018 by Crooked Cat Books.
Buying link: https://mybook.to/theatreofdreams
Daily Prompts. December 1st to 15th
1. Write about a particularly evocative scent.
2. Broken promises
3. “If only I hadn’t….”
4. Write about something that makes you go hot with embarrassment.
5. Catch a falling star.
6. Opening line. It was at 6.45am on Monday 21st December that I decided to kill…. (You choose)
7. An invitation refused
8. It’s later than you think.
9. “A sad tale’s best for winter. I have one of sprites and goblins”. Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.
10. Write about a time you gave in to temptation and stole something. Truth or fiction!
11. At the other end of the street.
12. “The frost performs its secret ministry/Unhelped by any wind.” ST Coleridge, Frost at Midnight.
13. Passing time.
14. An overheard remark.
15. You’re in a supermarket and you realise someone is following your every move.