I am delighted to welcome to Friday Night Drinks tonight, fellow RNA member and author….Rosie Travers.
Hi Rosie. Thank you for joining me for drinks this evening. First things first, what are you drinking?
A glass of white wine. A fresh, crisp Sauvignon Blanc is my favourite tipple.
If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?
Anywhere beside water. I grew up on the coast and I tend to get a bit panicky if I’m away from the water for too long. When I was writing my second novel, Your Secret’s Safe With Me, I was lucky enough to have a very quaint old waterside pub within walking distance of my house – I’ll admit the location did provide a lot of inspiration for the story.
Sounds lovely. I also find water, particularly the sea, inspirational. If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?
I think it would have to be William Shakespeare – although I imagine he might be a bit full of himself – would we get a word in edgeways? And JK Rowling – for writing tips!
That would be an interesting evening. I’d love it if Shakespeare actually was like David Mitchell in Upstart Crow! So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. What have you got going on? How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?
I am currently working on a new romantic comedy. I’m a complete pantser, so at the moment it’s very organic and fluid as the characters develop. Originally a search for a missing family heirloom was at the crux of the story, but now another subplot has developed which might take precedence. I write escapism – the world is grim enough without me adding to it – although I do like my stories to have deeper undercurrents and unpredictable twists and turns. Ultimately, I want my readers to feel uplifted and entertained by my books, even if they have to shed a tear or hold their breath along the way.
What has been your proudest moment since you started writing and what has been your biggest challenge?
Obviously the publication of my first novel, The Theatre of Dreams, was my big ‘moment’. That book was so close to my heart – I actually turned down a publishing contract for the first book I’d written because I didn’t want to have to dilute the grittier aspects of The Theatre of Dreams to fit into a required series. I took a huge leap of faith and put the first book to one side to concentrate on finding a publisher who would let me keep the Theatre of Dreams intact – which I did with Crooked Cat. Having said that, it has been a challenge promoting books which don’t fit into a specific genre! Your Secret’s Safe With Me is more of a traditional romantic suspense, but it still has its quirkier moments. Crooked Cat are a small indie publishing house and marketing has been very much to up to me. I think it would be fair to say writing is what I do best, and social media/self-promotion what I do worse!
That was a brave thing to do, to stay true to your book. What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!
I would love one of my books to suddenly take off and subsequently be picked up by one of the big publishing houses. Obviously there would be a film, or a TV series – although personally I think the Theatre of Dreams would make a great stage musical – it’s got all the aspects, OTT characters, tragedy, drama, dance, comedy and of course, music! I live in hope.
What are you currently working on that you are really excited about?
My current WIP, despite being in a somewhat chaotic state is coming along nicely. It’s a dual time-line which is something I’ve never done before but I wanted to set myself a challenge. It’s had to take a bit of a backseat while I move house but once I’ve unpacked all my boxes I’m looking forward to picking it up again – my characters keep nagging me to get back to the keyboard!
Sounds exciting! I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?
I am so lucky to have had opportunities to travel and also to live abroad. I spent three years in California and three living in the Netherlands due to my husband’s job. The Netherlands was great – I gave up my car and rode my bike everywhere – I’ve never been so fit. Definitely one of my favourite places! I don’t have a bucket list as such, I’m not a great one for setting goals and I have spent an awful lot of time in airport lounges in recent years. Now I’d actually like to see more of the UK. I’ve been all the way to the Middle East, China, Australia and New Zealand but I’m ashamed to say as an English southerner, I’ve rarely ventured north of Watford.
Well, staycations are very in these days! Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.
Actually a lot of people – friends and former work colleagues – were very surprised when they’d heard I’d written a book! Seriously, I’m quite a creative person and very much into re-cycling and up-cycling. I’ve turned my hand to a few furniture projects and would like to do more, I just need a bigger workspace, or a barn.
Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?
I always recommend Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon because it is my favourite book of all time, but a close second is Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald. Everyone raves about The Great Gatsby but I think Tender is the Night has much more depth to it and it often gets overlooked.
So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?
I always hope a large glass of water before I go to bed will do the trick, but failing that fresh air is the answer. A long walk by the sea usually blows the cobwebs away.
After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?
A perfect weekend would be catching up with family – my husband and two daughters. Family time is precious as we have spent time living overseas so having chances to be together is actually quite rare. I am super excited my oldest daughter is moving back to the UK from Hungary this summer and for the first time in nearly 10 years we will all be living in the same country. I’d probably be in my garden, as gardening is my second love after writing – and I find it very therapeutic! Inspiration for writers block can often occur while tugging up the root of big weed!
Well, you are welcome to come round and dig around in my garden any time, I can provide plenty of big weeds to inspire you as I hate gardening! Rosie, thank you for joining me on the blog tonight, it has been a real pleasure.
Rosie’s new novel, Your Secret’s Safe With Me is out now, and you can buy a copy here.
Romantic Novelist Pearl makes a surprise announcement and sends daughter Becca’s organised life reeling into chaos. The pair quit their London home and move to a tight-knit waterside community on the south coast. As Pearl embraces her new life amongst local sailing fraternity, Becca receives a grim warning that 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?
Rosie Travers grew up in Southampton and began scribbling stories at a very early age. After juggling a career in local government with raising her family, she moved to Southern California with her husband in 2009. She began a blog about her life as an ex-pat wife which re-kindled a teenage desire to become a writer. Her first novel The Theatre of Dreams was published by Crooked Cat Books in August 2018 and her second Your Secret’s Safe With Me in February 2019. Rosie takes inspiration from her local surroundings for her writing and both books are set in fictional locations along the south coast. She is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association and endeavours to entertain her readers with quirky stories populated by colourful characters, intrigue, romance and good dose of humour. You can connect with Rosie via her website, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Next week I will be joined on the blog for Friday Night Drinks by author, Jane Cable.