Archive | February 2018

Chatting to Marie Laval about her new Choc Lit Book, Little Pink Taxi…!

Thank you very much, Lynda, for your kind invitation to feature on your blog and talk about the release of LITTLE PINK TAXI, my contemporary romantic suspense published by Choc Lit. I have been so looking forward to this day. It is lovely to celebrate it with you and your readers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. What was your inspiration for Little Pink Taxi?

I had two main sources of inspiration. The first one was the setting – the magnificent Cairngorms in Scotland. A few years ago I used to watch a television series called ‘Monarch of the Glen’ which featured a beautiful castle facing a loch and surrounded by a forest. It was called Glenbogle Castle, and I loved it so much that I knew I would just have to set a story in a very similar kind of castle one day. In my mind, Raventhorn – the fictitious castle in Little Pink Taxi – is almost identical to Glenbogle castle. There is a loch and a forest, and of course, the dramatic backdrop of Cairngorms.

 

 

My other source of inspiration was a pink taxi I saw a few years ago in Manchester city centre. I know that they are quite common these days, but at the time, it was the first I had ever seen, and I thought it would be fun to have my heroine drive one of them. The story developed from there.

  1. How and when do you find time to write?

There is nothing I would love more than be a full-time writer and write all day, but I have a day job, like most of us, so my writing has to take place in the evenings or early morning at weekends. I do have the school holidays though, and I always make the most of them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Which character is your favourite?

Rosalie is my absolute favourite, although I loved writing about all her friends in Irlwick, as well as stuck-up hero Marc Petersen whose cold heart she manages to thaw. Rosalie is a kind, warm, bubbly young woman who is very loyal to her friends and family and set up Love Taxis as a testimonial to her late mother. She is completely at odds with Marc. Even their tastes in music clash since she loves to sing to pop music, and he only appreciate jazz or classical music. Another favourite couple of mine are friendly Fergus, who operates the switchboard at Love Taxis, and his outspoken wife Marion, who works as a cleaner at Raventhorn.

  1. Are any characters based on anyone you know?

I made them all up, even if by sheer coincidence my eldest son’s lovely girlfriend is called Alice, is a vegetarian and loves baking, just like Rosalie’s best friend. She even has dark brown hair too!

 

  1. 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 on to the next project?

I always grow attached to my characters, but I suppose it’s only natural, having spent months, if not years in their company. It takes me a long time to complete a novel, and I am not even talking about the editing phase… In that time, I usually have been spending more time with my characters than with many of my friends! However, I will keep in touch with Marc and Rosalie since my next two novels which feature Marc’s childhood friends, journalist Cédric Castel, and secret agent turned wine-grower Luc Peyrac.

 

  1. Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?

I can honestly say that all three are linked, although being a pantser, the story only really develops as I go along. For LITTLE PINK TAXI, I knew that I wanted to write about Scotland again (I had just finished a historical romance set near Cape Wrath in the Far North of Scotland). I wanted my heroine to live in a castle based on the one in ‘Monarch of the Glen’ TV series, and drive a pink taxi. And the plot developed from that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. How long does it take you to write a book and what sort of research do you do?

Being a full-time teacher and a mum of three (even though my two elder sons are now quite grown up), I don’t have much time to write during the week or in term-time. Therefore I would say that it takes me about a year to complete the first draft of a novel. Then of course, there is the re-writing, and the editing!

I spend a long time researching background information to make sure my facts are as accurate as possible, although I will confess that I sometimes use what we writers call ‘poetic licence’. Researching is one of my biggest pleasures, but it often leads me astray, and I can waste quite a lot of time experimenting with new ideas and subplots, before reverting to my original ideas. That’s the prob

  1. What part of writing do you find most challenging?

It depends, Lynda. Every story, and almost every day is different. There are times of intense happiness when the words flow, the story works well and the characters talk to me. Then there are times of frustration, despair and gloom, when I feel like giving up.

 

  1. Can you describe the moment when you realised you were a real ‘author’?

I am still not sure I am, Lynda!

 

 

 

 

  1. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

To write what you love, and persevere. I often say that I could have easily given up submitting work after receiving my first rejection letters. I am so glad I didn’t.

 

Author Bio

Originally from Lyon in France, Marie has lived in the beautiful Rossendale Valley in Lancashire for a number of years. A member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors, she writes contemporary and historical romance. Her native France very much influences her writing, and all her novels have what she likes to call ‘a French twist’!

LITTLE PINK TAXI is Marie’s second contemporary romance and is published by Choc Lit. It is available here.

You can get in touch with Marie on Facebook and Twitter, and why not check the beautiful photos of Scotland and Denmark on the special Little Pink Taxi Page on Pinterest?

Blurb

Take a ride with Love Taxis, the cab company with a Heart … 
Rosalie Heart is a well-known face in Irlwick – well, if you drive a bright pink taxi and your signature style is a pink anorak, you’re going to draw a bit of attention! But Rosalie’s company Love Taxis is more than just a gimmick – for many people in the remote Scottish village, it’s a lifeline.

Which is something that Marc Petersen will never understand. Marc’s ruthless approach to business doesn’t extend to pink taxi companies running at a loss. When he arrives in Irlwick to see to a new acquisition – Raventhorn, a rundown castle – it’s apparent he poses a threat to Rosalie’s entire existence; not just her business, but her childhood home too.

On the face of it Marc and Rosalie should loathe each other, but what they didn’t count on was somebody playing cupid …

 

A fabulous interview with Jane Lovering where she talks about the launch of her new timeslip novel..!

Living in the Past (Choc Lit) by [Lovering, Jane]

Release date: 14th February 2018..!

 

Hello Jane and thank you so much for joining me….

Before we start, might I congratulate you for your shortlistings for this years Romantic Novel of the Year (RONA’s) where two of your books have been listed in 2 different categories.

First, we have:

Christmas at the Little Village School (Choc Lit)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Little-Village-School-Choc-ebook/dp/B077DC92KG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1518599335&sr=8-3&keywords=jane+lovering

and Secondly… we have….

Little Teashop of Horrors: A wonderful funny, uplifting romantic read, perfect to escape with by [Lovering, Jane]

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Teashop-Horrors-wonderful-uplifting-ebook/dp/B06XWFJVK7/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1518537512&sr=1-3&keywords=jane+lovering

I must say, I’ve read them both and they are both amazing reads… So, seeing as we are celebrating and wishing you the very best of luck…. I brought the scones because everyone knows we love our afternoon tea..!

 

 

 

 

 

Now… we’re sorted, we’ll begin our chat about your new novel, Living in the Past….

Living in the Past (Choc Lit) by [Lovering, Jane]

 

 

  1. I know you’ve wanted to write this book for a long time, so… what was your inspiration for Living in the Past?

 

It was a combination of things – my foundation degree in archaeology, the local landscape (always been fascinated with the pre-history of North Yorkshire), and my deep and abiding love for Tony Robinson. I also wanted to write a book that showed the sheer hard graft of archaeology, that it’s not all really exciting artifacts turning up every ten minutes, most of it is mud and rain and arguing.

 

 

  1. How and when do you find time to write?

 

I work really random shifts, where I might be at work any time from 6.30am to 10.30pm. But this means I am often at home and awake during the day, so I will write then. Not so much in the evenings, my brain doesn’t really work after dark.

 

  1. Which character in Living in the Past is your favourite?

 

My main character, Grace, is probably my favourite, because the story is mostly told through her POV, but I am also very fond of her best friend Tabitha. She’s outspoken and a bit random, not unlike myself.

 

  1. Are any of the characters based on anyone you know?

 

No! I never write about people I know. I’ve got a head full of imaginary people already, I don’t need real ones in there cluttering things up any further.

 

  1. 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 don’t really have trouble letting go. I get very involved in their lives whilst writing the books, but I always feel that I’ve done as much with them as I can in the book, so am happy to release them into the wild at the end.

 

  1. Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?

 

I get a vague image of a place, with some people wandering around in it. When I concentrate, I can see them doing things. So it’s probably a combination. Often, oddly, it’s a title, which suggests the story, and the story suggests the people. And then we change the title…

 

 

  1. How long does it take you to write a book and what sort of research do you do?

 

It depends on the book. I once wrote a book in six weeks, but mostly it’s around six to nine months, with lots of that time spent just noodling around and staring out of windows. I write quite fast once I get my head down and the ideas start coming, but as soon as my concentration is broken (by the need to go to work, for example), I find it hard to pick it back up again. Research also depends on the book. Living in the Past was quite research heavy because I wanted to get the Bronze Age details right but most of my books are contemporaries, so, apart from the odd Google, I don’t need to do too much. And I read a lot, so absorb quite a bit of research without realising I’m doing it.

 

  1. What part of writing a novel do you find most challenging?

 

The keeping going. The beginning is always great, because the idea is crystal clear and you can see where it’s going and it’s all shiny and new. Then, round about the 20,000 word mark, it morphs into the worst idea ever. All the characters are bland, the story is stupid and you’d rather sandpaper your own eyeballs than finish writing it. You literally cannot understand why you ever thought it was a good idea to write that book.  At that point, keeping going is the most important thing in the world, and incredibly hard to do.

 

PS, it nearly always works out in the end.

 

 

  1. Can you described the moment when you realised you were a ‘real’ author?

 

Probably winning the 2012 Romantic Novel of the Year. It made me feel that it wasn’t just me, other people really liked my book! Mostly though, I’m just pretending to be an author because I get to walk about talking to myself and everyone thinks it’s normal.

 

  1. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

 

Read. Read everything you can, not just things you ‘like’. Try some books you don’t immediately enjoy, and outside your usual genre. And write. Write lots. Diaries, blogs, practice first chapters. Practice might not make perfect, but it makes it a lot easier to keep going when you feel that every word is complete pants (see question 8).

Buying links for Living in the Past…  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Living-Past-Choc-Jane-Lovering-ebook/dp/B078GRHXT1/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1518538195&sr=1-1&keywords=jane+lovering

Jane Lovering's profile photo, Image may contain: 1 person, standing and outdoor

 

Author Bio

Jane was, presumably, born, although everyone concerned denies all knowledge. However there is evidence that her early years were spent in Devon (she can still talk like a pirate under the right conditions) and of her subsequent removal to Yorkshire under a sack and sedation.

She now lives in North Yorkshire, where she writes romantic comedies and labours under the tragic misapprehension that Johnny Depp is coming for her any day now. Owing to a terrible outbreak of insanity she is now the minder of five cats (three intentional and two accidental) and a pair of insane terriers – just as the five kids showed signs of leaving home, and she has to spend considerable amounts of time in a darkened room as a result (of the animals, not the kids leaving home).
Jane’s likes include marshmallows, the smell of cucumbers and the understairs cupboard, words beginning with B, and Doctor Who. She writes with her laptop balanced on her knees whilst lying on her bed, and her children have been brought up to believe that real food has a high carbon content. And a kind of amorphous shape.

Not unlike Jane herself, come to think of it.

She had some hobbies once, but she can’t remember what they were. Ask her to show you how many marshmallows she can fit in her mouth at once, though, that might give you a clue. Go on, I dare you.