Today I’m pleased to welcome Rachel Dove to the blog. Rachel is the author of Crossing Life Lines, The House of Sugar Blood and Mallow Girl and her latest novel The Chic Boutique on Baker Street was published on 21 April 2016 by Mills and Boon.
Rachel kindly answered some of my questions.
1. Tell us a little about The Chic Boutique on Baker Street.
The Chic Boutique is about Amanda, who jumps from an unhappy life gone wrong, to a chance at a life she really wants. She moves to a little village in Yorkshire, and meets a whole band of characters, one of which being a very hunky, but very stroppy vet called Ben.
2. What inspired the book?
I love the idea of village life, and I had the idea of a little row of shops, and thought of the owners within them. The story just grew from there.
3. Are you a plan, plan, plan writer or do you sit down and see where the words take you? How long does the process take you from first line to completed novel?
I am useless without a deadline! I do plan, but I like to sit and write and see where the story takes me really. I wrote The Chic Boutique’s first draft in 90 days, but the planning took longer. I am nearly finished writing another book now, and I started it at Christmas, so I am focusing on writing more over the next two years. I would like to finish two books in one year, but that requires a lot of time at my desk, away from my family, so we shall see.
4. What did you discover about the process of creating a novel that surprised you?
How lonely it is! I stopped teaching in January in order to write more and concentrate on my family, but I do miss going to work and seeing people. I have to drag myself outdoors from time to time to interact with humans other than the ones I live with!
5. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all?
I like to go to the gym, go on trips with my family, spend time at home reading and hanging out with my kids. I am a home bird really, so I like things chilled out. I do like to bake too, and stitch.
6. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?
First of all, my life would be short, because that would kill me! Secondly, I would chose my favourite book, Wuthering Heights. I read that book every year anyway, but I still take away something new from it each time.
7. I like to end my Q&A’s with the same question so here we go. During all the Q&As and interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?
As a romance writer, I get pigeon holed with labels like ‘mum author’ and have to defend my genre from silly articles and comments etc, so I would say that the question should be about women being put down for writing and indeed reading romance. My answer would be that we don’t do this for men. I have never heard James Patterson being pitched as a ‘dad author’ – they concentrate on his craft, and he has written romance, which was well received. I would never compare myself to Patterson of course, but I do think that the media need to shake up their assumptions. Romance is a multi million pound industry, so the people can’t all be wrong!
About the book:
“Winner of the Prima Flirty Fiction Competition
The perfect escape to the country…
Recently single and tired of the London rat race Amanda is determined to make her dreams of setting up an idyllic countryside boutique come true, and the picturesque village of West¬field is the perfect place to
make a fresh start.
Local vet Ben is the golden boy of West¬field, especially to resident gossip Agatha Mayweather, who is determined to help Ben get his life back together after his wife left.
When a chance encounter outside the ‘chic boutique’ sets sparks flying between Amanda and Ben, Agatha is itching to set them up. But are Amanda and Ben really ready for romance?
The Chic Boutique on Baker Street is the debut novel from Rachel Dove, winner of The Prima Flirty Fiction Competition. You won’t be able to resist this heart-warming romantic story set in an idyllic Yorkshire village, full of lovable characters and laugh-out-loud moments…as Amanda finds her way to a second chance at life and love. This is the reading escape you’ve been looking for!”
You can buy the book here.