I’ve just finished reading Your Secret’s Safe With Me, a book I’d thoroughly recommend if you’re looking for a great holiday read full of intrigue, humour and romantic suspense, so it’s a real pleasure to be joined in the coffee shop today by author Rosie Travers.
Hi Rosie, what can I get you?
Hi Katy, please could I have a cup of English Breakfast Tea? I’m a non-coffee drinker but I’ll have a slice of coffee and walnut cake, if you have it.
Ah my favourite – I’m never out of coffee and walnut cake! Meanwhile, I’d love to ask a few questions about your writing. Firstly, how does where you live inspire what you write?
Both my two published books have been set on the south coast of England. I was inspired to write my debut novel The Theatre of Dreams after a walk along the seafront in the town of Lee-on-the-Solent near my home in Hampshire.
I stopped to read a sign commemorating the site of a former art deco entertainment complex that had once stood on the esplanade – and that was it. My imagination was captured, and the story of an elaborate plot to save an iconic seaside pavilion was born.
My second novel, Your Secret’s Safe With Me is set in a fictional waterside community. When I wrote it, I was living very close to the River Hamble in Southampton, which is a major yachting centre. Seeing all those fancy yachts gliding up and down the river sparked my imagination yet again – where were they going, who and what was on board?
What was your favourite childhood book?
My favourite childhood book would have to be The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C S Lewis. I’ve read the entire Narnia series many times over. The idea of disappearing into a wardrobe to discover an entire new world – wow, every child’s dream.
During one of my many house moves in later years we actually bought a house that had a walk-in wardrobe with a concealed door at the back. Sadly it only led to a huge void under the eaves, but I think I was far more excited than my children at the discovery!
I know what you mean – that book really captured my imagination too. What genre do you describe your books as belonging to, and why did you pick that genre?
There are romantic elements to both my novels, but the romance is not the main focus of either story. I always find it very hard defining the genre of my writing because my novels cross so many themes including mystery, suspense and humour. I write the books I want to read – and I think it’s a shame the publishing industry is so geared towards “labels.” I just want to write – and read – a good story.
If your story was made into a film or television series who would you cast as the main character?
The Theatre of Dreams has all the elements to make a wonderfully whacky musical – I live in hope. I would cast Julie Walters as my devious octogenarian Kitty. I know Julie isn’t 80 yet but she would be excellent in the role – Kitty is full of comic pathos.
I’d love to see that production! Where do you do your writing?
I’m lucky enough to have a room of my own. I’ve recently moved house and my study isn’t quite how I want it yet. It needs a coat of paint, and I also need a new PC, as my desk-top sadly crashed on me just before the house move – a valuable and expensive lesson learned in the importance of backing up. I hadn’t.
Ouch – it’s such a horrible feeling when that happens. What would your dream writing room look like?
My dream writing room would involve a view of the sea – although whether I’d spent too much time gazing out of the window to actually write I’m on not sure!
Mine too. And how do you write your books? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am a pantser. My books always start with the characters and a very vague plotline. I’m one of those cardinal sinners who edits as I go – and sometimes I will go back and revisit the earlier chapters, without having written the end of the first draft. I would like to be more of a plotter as I do tend to spend an awful lot of time hopping backwards and forwards as the plot develops, but once my characters start talking to me they tell their own stories.
Thanks so much for visiting the coffee shop today, Rosie and best of luck with your writing.
About Rosie Travers
Rosie grew up in Southampton and loved escaping into a good book at a very early age. After several years juggling motherhood and a variety of jobs in local government, she moved to southern California when her husband took an overseas work assignment. With time on her hands she started a blog about ex-pat life which rekindled her teenage desire to become a writer. On her return to the UK she took a creative writing course and the rest, as they say, is history.
Rosie takes inspiration from the towns and landscapes of her native south coast and enjoys writing heart-warming stories sprinkled with mystery and a dash of romance.
Rosie’s debut novel The Theatre of Dreams was published by Crooked Cat Books in August 2018 and is a contender for this year’s Romantic Novelists Association Joan Hessayon Award. Her second novel Your Secret’s Safe With Me was published in February 2019.
Musical theatre actress Tara is down on her luck and in desperate need of a job. When terminally-ill octogenarian Kitty invites her to revive her former dance school in the old fashioned resort of Hookes Bay, Tara thinks she’s found her guardian angel. However, it soon becomes clear Kitty is being far from benevolent as Tara finds herself caught up in the old lady’s elaborate plot to save her family’s historic seaside pavilion. Too late Tara realises helping Kitty will signal the end of an already tarnished career, unless she can pull off the performance of a life-time.
You can order a copy of The Theatre of Dreams here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Theatre-Dreams-Rosie-Travers-ebook/dp/B07CTMS9WS
Career girl Becca Gates’ organised life is thrown into chaos when her mother, romantic novelist Pearl, announces her surprise engagement to Jack, a man she has only just met.
Worse news follows when Pearl tells Becca she intends to leave London, quit writing, and retire to her new fiancé’s idyllic waterside home on the south coast. Becca is determined to prevent Pearl from making a disastrous mistake, but when she at arrives at Rivermede, more shocks await when she stumbles upon a familiar yet unwelcome face from her past.
As Pearl embraces her new life amongst the local sailing fraternity, Becca receives a grim warning that all is not as calm as it seems at picturesque Rivermede, and if she wants to keep her family safe, she should keep them away.
But why should Becca trust the man who has betrayed her before, the man who broke her heart, the man who thinks he knows all her secrets?
You can order a copy of Your Secret’s Safe With Me here