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Today I’m on the ‘The Cottage in a Cornish Cove’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but b
About the Author :
An avid bookworm since childhood, Cass Grafton writes the sort of stories she loves to read – heart-warming, character driven and strong on location. Having moved around extensively and lived in three countries, she finds places inspiring and the setting of her novels often becomes as much a part of the story as her characters.
She leans heavily towards the upbeat and insists on a happy ever after. As one of her favourite authors, Jane Austen, once wrote, ‘let other pens dwell on guilt and misery’.
Cass loves travelling, words, cats and wine but never in the same glass. She has two grown up children and currently splits her time between Switzerland, where she lives with her husband and imaginary cats, and England, where she lives with her characters.
A heart-warming tale of discovering all you never wanted is exactly what you needed.
Orphaned as a baby and raised by indifferent relatives, much of Anna Redding’s happiness as a child came from the long summer holidays spent with an elderly family friend, Aunt Meg, in the quaint village of Polkerran.
With Aunt Meg’s passing, Anna is drawn back to the West Country, relocating to the Cornish cove where she was once so happy. Filled with memories, she hopes to perhaps open a B&B—and perhaps cross paths with Alex Tremayne again, a local boy she used to have a major crush on and who only had to walk past Anna to make her heart flutter.
Settling into her new life, and enjoying her work for the older, reclusive and—to be honest—often exasperating Oliver Seymour, Anna is delighted when Alex reappears in Polkerran and sweeps her off her feet.
The stars are finally aligned, but just as Anna thinks all she’s ever wished for is within reach, a shock discovery brings everything under threat, and she finds herself living a dream that isn’t hers.
Can Anna rescue the new life she has made for herself and, when the testing moment comes, who will be there to hold her hand?
The Cottage in a Cornish Cove is the first in an uplifting series of romances from Cass Grafton. Get to know the locals, wallow in the quaintness of Polkerran, and fall in love with romance all over again.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Yes of course! I’m a Brit currently living in Switzerland and, after my family and friends, my biggest passions are words, travelling, cats and wine. I’m a proud Hufflepuff, and I love watching TV antiques shows!
I spent years dreaming of being a writer, but with procrastination as my middle name, I never got around to finishing a story.
Eventually, I started co-writing fan fiction short stories with my friend, Ada (firstly, rooted in the fictitious world of the Harry Potter novels, then Jane Austen’s). It was a great writing apprenticeship, after which I felt ready to try my hand at full-length novels and went on to self-publish them.
When I moved to Switzerland, I was finally able to devote myself full-time to writing, and it’s been fantastic, including co-writing again with Ada. A publisher—Canelo Escape—picked up the first of our time-travel romances last year and also asked us to write a second. They took on my backlist of early titles and published them as well.
Since then, I’ve been finishing off The Cottage in a Cornish Cove and dabbling with a couple of other books I’m working on.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child I was mad about Enid Blyton’s stories, especially those set in boarding school—all those midnight feasts and lashings of ginger beer! In my teen years, I became obsessed with romance and was probably one of Mills & Boon’s biggest customers. I devoured their medical romances, which is odd, because you’ll never meet anyone more squeamish than me!
At the same time as this, I also read widely across the classics, mainly inspired by books set for English Lit at school.
Jilly Cooper was my next book addiction, before I moved onto a range of other rom-com authors, and then there was Harry Potter, a series that remains a firm favourite and frequent re-read.
When I discover an author I love, I binge read everything they’ve written. I went through a huge Agatha Christie phase a few years ago, but Jane Austen has always been my number one, and it’s hers novels I turn to for comfort, even now.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Oh, yes! Jilly Cooper, to improve the humour in my writing; Jane Austen (ditto) and also to learn the art of creating such rich and entertaining characters that somehow resonate across the centuries.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Ooh, so many to choose from. Possibly Dr Aiden Trevellyan, from the time-travel romance series? He’s an archaeologist, rather easy on the eye and a bit of a dark horse when it comes to romance. I suspect I might be trying to persuade him to stay for dinner too!
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Yes, definitely. If I’m creative writing, it has to happen in the morning, when my mind feels most focused. Then, I walk, because when I’m walking, I think through plot points or stumbling blocks. I also like to have a clear desk when I’m writing (which it normally isn’t), so I just lift everything off and stack it on the floor and pretend it isn’t there.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Haha! Perhaps! 😉 Mostly, it’s from personal experiences coupled with a weirdly over-active imagination.
For example, having the chance to stay in one of Jane Austen’s former homes in Bath inspired the first time-travel romance. I was so conscious of being in a place where she had once lived, I imagined she might still be there, present but intangible through the wisps of time, and wondered what might happen if she slipped through to the present day…
Sometimes it’s a line in a book, a scene in a film or simply a long-held desire for something I can’t achieve in my own life, so I live it out through my characters. Loving Cornwall and wishing I lived there, was one of the main inspirations behind writing The Cottage in a Cornish Cove.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m a hybrid! I have a general idea of the outline of the plot—sometimes as little as the opening and the ending—and then I fly by the seat of my pants. It’s not ideal, but I’ve tried planning meticulously and it just doesn’t work for my characters or me.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Don’t give up! Don’t make excuses as to why you can’t start writing a novel, like I did for years. Do keep reading. Do keep practising your writing in any form you can: letters, blog posts, poems, anything. If the idea of writing a novel daunts you, start with a short story. It’s easier to reach ‘The End’, and feeling you’ve achieved something will give you the impetus to try a longer piece.
What are your future plans as an author?
Definitely continue with the Cornish Cove series; I have plans for many of the lovely locals in Polkerran. Co-write a third time-travel romance with Ada Bright. I’m also working on a Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion crossover, which I hope to finish by the summer.
Last, but not least: Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Before Anna’s Aunt Meg passed away, she told her to ‘follow the shells’. What did she mean, and how come Anna’s taciturn and somewhat grumpy new boss has the same words scribbled on his desk pad?
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Cass Grafton.
Thank you so much for letting me visit your Blog. I really enjoyed this Q&A and feel tempted to give way to some procrastination and dig out some old favourites to read… I may be gone some time!
Win 3 x Paperback Copies of The Cottage in a Cornish Cove (Open INT)
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P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!