An interview with Ruby Fiction’s Caroline James…
Where she talks about her new release… The BEST Boomerville Hotel..!
- What was your inspiration for The Best Boomerville Hotel
I used to own a country house hotel in Cumbria, it was a wonderful place and the setting of Boomerville is based on reality. The hotel was set in three acres of gardens on the edge of the Lake District and steeped in history. I always knew that I would base a story there. As I’ve got older I am aware that middle age and beyond scares a great many people. One in three over the age of 50 in the UK now live on their own. In my imaginary world Boomerville is a retreat that offers whacky and conventional courses to stimulate and encourage mid-lifers to embrace their years and have a blast as they get older. I inspired myself as I wrote the book and vowed to go out of my own comfort zone in the years to come and make the most of life, like all the boomers in Boomerville.
- How and when do you find time to write?
Early mornings are the best for me but if I am on a deadline or a roll I can write all day and late into the evening on the days when other work commitments allow.
- Which character in The Best Boomerville Hotel is your favourite?
It must be Hattie. She is a larger than life character who has developed in other books and although I long to kill her off, she just won’t go away. Hattie has a heart of gold, an appetite of a horse and loves a livener any time of the day. Middle aged and mischievous she is fun to be around. Life is never dull if Hattie rocks up to your party.
- Are any of the characters based on anyone you know?
Yes. Absolutely. An amalgamation of a zillion people I have met over the years. My life has been spent in the hospitality industry and I’ve met some fascinating folk. I take little bits of character traits or certain sayings, give them a twist and write on.
- Do you ever become attached to your characters and have a hard time letting go of them. Or, are you happy to let them go and move onto the next project?
I am completely relieved when I write THE END and hope that I’ll never have the characters talking in my head ever again. This lasts for about a day. After which, I start to wonder how they are getting on and begin to create new stories.
- Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?
The story. The rest weaves around it.
- How long does it take you to write a book and what sort of research do you do?
It varies. Six months? A year? All dependant on what is happening in my life. I only started writing six years ago, after dreaming of penning a novel from childhood and finally glued my bum to a chair, grabbed every spare hour and got on with it. I research my memories for incidents that happened in my life and when that runs out go hard on the internet. Travel is a wonderful way to research too and being totally in love with many different places, travel enables my ideas to soon cement onto the page.
- What part of writing a novel do you find most challenging?
All of it.
- Can you described the moment when you realised you were a ‘real’ author?
Initially, seeing my debut book, Coffee Tea The Gypsy & Me, go to number three in women’s fiction on Amazon and a week later being E-book of the Week in the Sun newspaper. I never quite believe it and only recently replied, ‘Author’ when asked what I did for a living. Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me was featured as a Top Read in the Thomson Holiday Inflight Magazine in 2017 and I was constantly contacted by readers to say they had seen it when flying off on holiday – that was a wonderful feeling.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
It’s never too late to start writing. Stop daydreaming and just get on with it.
Caroline James Bio: Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever she can. A public speaker, consultant and food writer, Caroline is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association and writes articles and short stories and contributes to many publications. In her spare time, Caroline can be found trekking up a mountain or relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.
Caroline’s new book: The Best Boomerville Hotel
‘Britain’s answer to the Best Marigold Hotel’
Let the shenanigans begin at Boomerville …
Jo Docherty and Hattie Contaldo have a vision – a holiday retreat in the heart of the Lake District exclusively for guests of ‘a certain age’ wishing to stimulate both mind and body with new creative experiences. One hotel refurbishment later and the Best Boomerville Hotel is open for business!
Perhaps not surprisingly Boomerville attracts more than its fair share of eccentric clientele: there’s fun loving Sir Henry Mulberry and his brother Hugo; Lucinda Brown, an impoverished artist with more ego than talent; Andy Mack, a charming Porsche-driving James Bond lookalike, as well as Kate Simmons, a woman who made her fortune from an internet dating agency but still hasn’t found ‘the One’ herself.
With such an array of colourful individuals there’s bound to be laughs aplenty, but could there be tears and heartbreak too and will the residents get more than they bargained for at Boomerville?
PUB DATE: 13 March 2018
CATEGORY: Contemporary/Romantic Comedy
PUBLISHER: Ruby Fiction – a new imprint of ChocLit Publishing