The Flower Shop on Foxley Street
I'm delighted to welcome Rachel Dove to Boon's Bookcase today as part of the Blog Tour for The Flower Shop on Foxley Street. I have an extract for you and also a Q&A with the author herself. Sit back, grab a cuppa and enjoy!
Hi. Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions on my blog about your writing.
Firstly, please could you tell readers a little about yourself?
My name is Rachel Dove, I am married to a lovely electrician called Peter, and together we have two boys called Jayden and Nathan, who are 9 and 8. I write and teach from home full time, so I am pretty busy and I am also undertaking an MA with Teesside University. I read every day, and my house is full of books. It drives my husband mad, but he loves me anyway.
When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
When I was a tiny little girl and learned that actual people sat and made up the characters my parents read to me. Once I knew what an author was, I wanted to be one. I wanted someone to read the characters I wrote about, and buy my books. To me, books are everything. They make me so happy, just like when I was a girl. To be able to write them now, is amazing.
What did you do as a job before becoming a writer?
I was a Post 16 teacher working in Family Learning, SEN and autism. I took a 2 year career break to be home more from my children, who both have sensory issues and anxiety and to write, and now I work part time teaching distance learning students, which I love. I have my two dream jobs, and I am thankful every day.
How do you carry out the research for your novels?
I have inspiration at home in the form of my lovely hubby, who is the best man in the world, and I plan family trips to check out locations and research elements. I use the internet, I read books - for The Long Walk Back I got information from Help for Heroes and a hospital physiotherapist very kindly answered my questions too, and fixed my back!
Which aspects of your writing do you find easiest and most difficult?
The muddy middle. Halfway through the book, the word count never seems to go up and things are tricky. That's when I want to give up, but of course I don't. The easiest part, and one of the best bits is getting a new idea for a book and letting the pieces fit together in your head. I like to let my ideas percolate.
What are your writing routines and where do you do most of your writing?
I have a desk in my bedroom that I work at, or I work in bed or on the sofa. I take a notebook everywhere and have written in the car waiting for my kids at school, at clubs etc. I have written at the side of a cold football pitch while my son trained too! I try to
do the school run and then get straight home and write with the dog at my feet. I try to work for 4 hours a day, but often work more when the children are asleep too, and on weekends.
When you're not writing, what do you like to read?
Anything! I love romance, but I tend to avoid them once I am writing a romance book, so my voice and story stays clear and true to myself. I love crime, domestic noir, horror, textbooks on autism and childcare, YA, NA, and children's books.
How important do you think social media is to authors in today's society?
I think it's very important, to advertise yourself, get your work out there, see what's doing well in the markets, what readers are enjoying, what makes them happy. It's also important when you spend a lot of time on your own writing about imaginary people to interact, even if it is just on social media. It's lovely to engage with readers too, they are amazing vibrant people, and it's nice to hear how stories and books make them happy. In today's troubled times, we all need a bit of happiness.
Could you tell the readers a bit about your latest book?
The Flower Shop on Foxley Street is set in Westfield, Yorkshire and is about Lily Rose Baxter, a woman who owns her own flower shop, called Love Blooms and is engaged to a golfer. She is a little bit stuck in her life, and one day a customer walks in and she realises that perhaps she is not the only one who is a bit lost. It's a romantic comedy with heart.
Which of your characters would you most like to be and why?
I love Agatha Mayweather, I am so proud of her. I feel like she wrote herself. When I am a retiree I hope to be just like her.
Is there anything else you would have liked to be asked?
No, thanks for having me!
Thank you so much for your time in answering my questions.
Series: Westfield series – Can be read as a standalone.
Genre: romantic fiction
Release Date: 26th July 2017
Publisher: HQ Digital/Harper Collins
A new love could be about to bloom for Lily in this bright, warm women’s fiction title that fans of Holly Hepburn and Cathy Bramley will love.
Lily Rose Baxter loves her little flower shop on Foxley Street and the freedom and independence from her family that it represents.
Lily can't help but feel that something is missing from her life…, but when mysterious stranger Will Singer comes into her shop looking for the perfect bouquet of roses, all that could be about to change.
Will Singer looked every inch the thirty-two-year-old man he was. The bathroom mirror rarely did anyone any favours, but this particular winter morning it appeared to be magically channelling the mirror from Snow White in terms of stark clarity and downright truth. Who’s the hottest man of them all? Certainly not you, dude.
He had badly needed a shave. People were starting to comment on it, but the clean-shaven Will was not a great improvement. At least his dark stubble had detracted from the huge Kardashian-sized luggage wedged under his eyes. Without his hairy mask, Will felt naked, unable to hide.
Even worse was the fact that the lack of hair on his face left people free to roam over his other features, in particular the mop of hair sprouting from his head. He looked like Lionel Messi mixed with Mufasa the lion. It did well for them, but Will wasn’t sure it was such a great style for him. Any longer and he would have to buy an Alice band like Beckham. Start sporting a man bun. He was pretty sure the villagers had never seen a man bun. It might scare them enough to dust off the pitchforks and torches. He had a sudden vision of his uncle Archie dressed like Braveheart, rallying the twin set and mohair-clad villagers into action from atop a horse. ‘People of Westfield, we shall not lie down and die. The man bun must be destroyed!’
He chuckled to himself at his own humour. He would have to tell Lily that joke later.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I am a wife, mother of two boys, perpetual student, avid reader and writer of words. I sometimes sleep, always have eye bags and dream of retiring to a big white house in Cornwall, with 2 shaggy dogs, drinking wine on my seafront balcony whilst creating works of romantic fiction. All done with immaculate make up and floaty dresses. In the meantime I nearly always remember to brush my hair, seldom have time to look in a mirror and write many, many to-do lists. My first solo novel, Crossing Life Lines is out now in Kindle and paperback format. Look out for my horror shorts, published through Bayou Brew Publishing: The House of Sugar Blood, August 2013 and Uni Assassin, out now, and my short story, Mallow Girl, out now. In July 2015, I won the Prima magazine and Mills & Boon Flirty Fiction Competition, with my entry, The Chic Boutique on Baker Street, out now in ebook and paperback, and the follow up novel in the series, The Flower Shop on Foxley Street.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelDoveauthor/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterDove
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831003.Rachel_Dove Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writerdove/ Blog: https://racheldoveauthor.wordpress.com/
1st Prize : Signed paperback copy of The Flower Shop on Foxley St. (open internationally)
2nd Prize: A Signed paperback copy of The Chic Boutique on Baker St. (open internationally)
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