– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘You’ve Got My Number’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but b
About the Author :
Angela Barton lives in Nottingham and is a member of Nottingham Writers’ Studio and the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She has written three novels, all of which have passed through the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme and are now published.
Her first novel was published in 2018. Its genre is historical fiction set in France, telling the story of how a farming family survive through WW2. Angela’s second and third books are contemporary women’s fiction.
Now busy writing her fourth book, also set in France during wartime, Angela’s new passion is to research real life happenings and create fictional characters that live through these extraordinary events.
Along with other authors, Angela has helped to create two Facebook groups for book lovers. Apricot Plots and Love Forties Fiction.
Three isn’t always a magic number …
There are three reasons Tess Fenton should be happy. One, her job at the Blue Olive deli may be dull, but at least she gets to work with her best friend. Two, she lives in a cosy cottage in the pretty village of Halston. Three, she’s in love with her boyfriend, Blake.
Because, despite their history, Blake continues to be the puzzle piece in Tess’s life that doesn’t quite fit. And when she meets intriguing local artist Daniel Cavanagh, it soon becomes apparent that, for Tess, love isn’t as easy as one, two, three …
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Hello, I’m delighted to be here and thank you so much for your support.
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’ve always loved the written word, be it reading or writing. When my three children grew up and left home, I was left with more time on my hands despite working part time. I woke up one day with a story in my head. Actually, the story was, You’ve Got My Number, so although it’s my third published novel, it was the first book I wrote.
Having woken up that morning, I spent the next five years learning how to write: the structure, character arcs, story arcs, plot, point of view, style etc. I finished my first novel and started my second, both contemporary women’s fiction. I attended workshops, listened to published authors speak, joined a writing club, read books, travelled to literary fairs and finished my second novel. I interacted on social media, made a website and blog, wrote every day – no matter how much or how little, entered competitions and finished my third novel, having changed genre to historical fiction, a story set in France during WW2. I submitted my books one at a time to the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme. (Which is an amazing support for debut writers. I thank them by ‘paying back’ and now I’m a reader for the NWS, myself.)
After the NWS helped to polish my manuscripts, I submitted to Choc Lit Publishing’s new imprint, called Ruby Fiction. I signed a contract for my three books and I still have to pinch myself that I can call myself a published author.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I loved The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Mary Lennox changes from a spoilt, disagreeable child into a thoughtful, caring girl, helped by new friends and the beauty of nature inside a secret garden.
By contrast, another favourite was, The Five Children And It. Five children are playing in a gravel pit when they discover a grumpy, ugly and occasionally malevolent, Psammead, a sand fairy who can grant wishes.
Now, I’m drawn to strong characters and a storyline that resonates and makes me think. As my fourth book’s genre is historical fiction, I’m enjoying reading lots of novels set during World War Two, my favourites being, All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure and Fair Stood The Wind For France, by H. E. Bates.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Yes, it would be Ernest Hemingway. He experienced war first hand, writing dispatches from innumerable frontlines and used war as a backdrop for many of his most memorable works. He witnessed key moments in World War Two, including the D-day landings. What a remarkable source of information he would have been to talk to.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
What a great question. It would have to be Daniel Cavanagh from You’ve Got My Number. He was the first hero I created, so I made him into my perfect man: handsome, witty, tall, creative, kind-hearted and family oriented. It’s a strange feeling to fall in love with a fictional character, but when I finished my book I actually felt very sad to have left him. It felt similar to a break-up. It was wonderful to meet him again during my edits, so I’d love to invite Daniel to tea.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Not really, but it has to be quiet. I can’t concentrate if someone puts the television on, or a conversation is going on nearby or if music is playing. I need silence so I can live inside my story.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I’ve only based one character on a real person – Joy Snipes, in You’ve Got My Number. But I’m not saying any more!
I don’t know where my ideas come from. As I type, it’s as if I’m watching a film in my head, with each character playing their part. I just type as fast as I can, recording what I’m watching. I honestly believe my characters are in charge and I’m just the typist.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow as a pantser?
Neither, I’m a plotster! I have an idea about the storyline and the ending, but my characters often have their own ideas and surprise me with a change in direction.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I don’t like to give do’s and don’ts, but a little advice would be to read widely and write every day without worrying if it’s only a few sentences or how good it is. You can always polish it later. Another helpful idea is to join a writing group, where supportive, like-minded people share a common passion, and as writing can be quite isolating it’s good to make friends, give/receive support and share ideas. Importantly, when you’ve written your book and edited it several times yourself, send it to be professionally critiqued or read by a published author-friend. We grow blind to our errors, having worked on our books for so long.
What are your future plans as an author?
I’m currently working on my fourth novel, set in Paris during World War Two. It has guest appearances by Pablo Picasso and Irène Némirovsky, which was great fun to write. I’ve visited Paris to research the catacombs beneath the city, because that’s where my heroine hides something invaluable. It was an incredibly moving and interesting experience to be deep below Paris walking along narrow corridors hewn from rock and surrounded by visible skeletons.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
It’s said that eavesdroppers seldom hear any good about themselves, but this is just what Blake Snipes did. What did he hear that made such an impact on him that his response set about a chain of disastrous events?
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Angela Barton.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!