The Consequence of Love
I'm thrilled to be kicking off the Blog Tour for The Consequence of Love by Sandra Howard on it's publication day. I have a fabulous set of Q&As for you. Thank you to Richard at Simon & Schuster for his help in arranging this Blog Tour. Enjoy....
Blog Tour Author Questions
Hi. Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions on my blog about your writing.
And my thanks to you!
Firstly, please could you tell readers a little about yourself?
I had a travelling childhood, my father an RAF doctor who specialised in tropical medicine, so my education was patchy to say the least – which meant my writing career was a steep learning curve. I had a bit of a purple past, have been married before, but to my present husband for 43 years and have 3 adult children, 5 grandchildren and a very full life. Writing has given me a whole new, post-bus-pass career.
came to writing late in life, though
When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
In my teens, but I had no confidence, never thought I would possibly ever have a book published but I’d always wanted to write and managed to get into freelance journalism, luckily, which got me along the way.
What did you do as a job before becoming a writer?
I’d planned to try for university, but became a model, only because a friend needed someone to share a flat with her in London. I went on to have an amazing time as a photographic fashion model - all through the 60’s (experiences that I’ve borrowed from in my previous book Tell the Girl) As I got older I did a bit of PR, but wasn’t trained for anything and found it hard to keep working – until my first novel. That was a moment to remember!
How do you carry out the research for your novels?
I try to interview or talk to as many people as possible who have expertise in the relevant area. I go to the places I’m writing about, I use the internet a lot, (amazing what you can find out, even how a leaf in Peru becomes cocaine, but there’s nothing like having a book to refer to at your side. I read up about the period or backdrop as much as possible and try to remember to make notes.
Which aspects of your writing do you find easiest and most difficult?
The easiest bit of writing for me,is getting to know the characters, They develop in ways I haven’t necessarily expected and they’re full of surprises, but it’s so rewarding to begin to think and feel as they do. The hard bit is the opening paragraph or page of every new chapter. I hate to move on before I feel it’s quite right which is silly, because it’s much better to edit and re-edit and put in the layering at a later stage. The beginning of a chapter becomes so much more obvious then.
What are your writing routines and where do you do most of your writing?
I like to have a full morning at my desk, not always possible, but I try hard to do everything else in the afternoons. I sometimes get a second wind just around bedtime, which doesn’t please my husband, but he’s amazingly patient and supportive over my writing. I’m so lucky there. I have a little box-room study at the top of the house, but its too hot in summer and too cold in winter so I’m always shifting my laptop to the kitchen table. It travels everywhere with me everywhere I go.
When you're not writing, what do you like to read?
I belong to two book clubs so read other peoples’ choices as well as my own. It’s very good, introduces me to new writers and is broadening too. I like literary fiction, strong stories – more about relationships than crime and whoduits – and a good biography now and then.
How important do you think social media is to authors in today's society?
I think social media has a vital part to play in allowing an author a voice. It can be a hard task mistress, it’s time-consuming, keeping up, but it’s a wonderful way of making new friends and contacts and keeping you up to date. And it’s here to stay!
Could you tell the readers a bit about your latest book?
It is a story about the dilemmas of the human heart, the choices and sacrifices that sometimes have to be made, hard as that can be . Nattie, the girl in the story, is immensely fond of her husband whom she has helped through his drug addiction in the past; they have two small children, good jobs, a lovely home, but her heart has always truly belonged elsewhere. The man she loved saved a second ghastly situation after a terrible bomb had gone off in a cinema foyer (the story of a previous novel of mine, A Matter of Loyalty) but then had to leave the country for his own safety. Even seven years on, not knowing where he is or whether he’s even still alive, she still yearns and pines for him. And then one day he makes contact…
Which of your characters would you most like to be and why?
Hard as it would have been to see a way through I would choose Nattie – to have felt those powerful emotions that give her such dilemmas of the heart.
Is there anything else you would have liked to be asked?
Perhaps about whether I’m onto a next book…
I’m in the early stages of my next book – with a working title of The Distances of War, it is based on the true story of a wartime love affair, about a girl who chases after the man she has fallen in love with who has gone to East Africa for his work. Even when war breaks out she still manages to get there – eventually. It is a strong tale.
Thank you so much for your time in answering my questions.
It’s so good of you to have me on the blog, terrific. Thanks very much again.
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