Tonight, I am delighted to welcome to the blog for Friday Night Drinks, author …..Rosemary Smith.
Rosemary, thank you for joining me for drinks this evening. First things first, what are you drinking?
Hi Julie, thanks for inviting me. I would like a peach schnapps & lemonade please, no ice. Thank you.
My pleasure. 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?
If I return the compliment, and I hope I can, I would like to take you to our cosy little pub in the village where we live, The Walter Raleigh. The pub is named after Sir Walter Raleigh, who was born in our village. Very quaint and full of atmosphere, the pub boasts a cosy little bar, and a small restaurant area where delicious meals & sweets are served. I have no doubt you would enjoy a relaxing evening here with me Julie!
Look idyllic. 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 would also like to invite author Emily Bronte, and poet laureate John Betjeman to join us for a drink. Emily, because I love her writings, and truly believe that since visiting her home at Haworth, she has been my guide with my own writing. I love Victorian times, and set my novellas in that period of time. And Emily lived in those times, and understood love and all its frailties. I feel we would both enjoy her company.
Like John Betjeman, I love Churches, and in 1966 I was lucky enough to hold a conversation with him at Alturnun Church in Cornwall, on a grey November day. I also love poetry, and so did Emily, and feel they would be worthy, interesting people for us to chat too.
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?
Apart from writing, I have for 17 years been searching for my husband Mike’s sister. The family were all split up in 1950 when their Mother died. Mike was adopted, and found out about his sib!ings when he applied to the Courts for his adoption papers. We found his brothers, but his sister Mary has eluded us thus far. I search on a daily basis along with others, and my hope is, that one day soon we will find her.
Wow, that’s an amazing story, I hope it has a happy ending eventually. What has been your proudest moment since you started writing and what has been your biggest challenge?
My proudest moment since I started writing, was when my first novella The Amethyst Brooch was published. Sadly my dear Dad who always believed in me, died a few days before the story’s release date. But it was my proudest moment.
My biggest challenge has been trying to get back to writing since my dear eldest daughter, Paula, passed away after a battle with jaw cancer. I am at last back to writing, and at last I have the inspiration, but it has been a challenge!
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!
The one big thing I would like to achieve, is to see my seven Victorian Romantic Suspense novellas put into two-hourly dramas on television!! A wild thing to hope for, but many of my readers have said how much they would like to see my stories acted out on television! There are big houses on Cornish cliffs, beautiful dresses, weddings, secrets & mystery. I can but dream!!
Having dreams is very important! What are you currently working on that you are really excited about?
At the moment I am working on, hopefully, my eighth novella! For the first time I had a story rejected, and will submit it elsewhere, but in the meantime have started a new story! Set in Scotland, about a young woman who wakes up in a castle, and has no idea who she is. I have titled the story The Key of Love, and while that could possibly change, I am very excited about this project. This time I have stuck to my usual format of love, mystery & romance, which has always worked for me! A key does hold the answer to the mystery, hence the title. I am enjoying writing this novella, and do feel very hopeful for it!
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?
The favourite place I have visited, has to be the Isles of Scilly. I adore the peace and tranquility of each island I have visited, it reminds me of how life was in the 1950s. The only traffic is on the Island of St Mary’s, and that is very sparse. It is without doubt a writer’s paradise, and I love it there.
Top of my bucket list to visit, is the artist Monet’s home Giverney outside of Paris. Monet is my favourite artist, and I would dearly love to see where he lived & worked. Everything crossed that I visit there one day.
The Scilly Isles are high on my bucket list. Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.
One surprising fact about myself! I never mention it much to anyone, but in the very early 1960s when living in Bristol, I did photographic modelling, for travel brochures and advertising. The beautiful photos I had, were sadly stolen, by someone who broke into my bedsit while I was afraid home in Devon for Christmas! I can never replace them, which is very sad!
That sounds like a fascinating career. 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’?
There are so many wonderful books which I have read, which I could recommend to you! But the one which springs to mind, is, The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron. This book totally captivated me with its 3 timelines. It is one of those books which I couldn’t wait to get back too. Beautifully written, it really drew me in, and I was very sad when it finished! I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to escape into another world & another time.
Broken-down walls and crumbling stones seemed to possess a secret language all their own.
What stories would they tell, if she finally listened?
Ellie Carver arrives at her grandmother’s bedside expecting to find her silently slipping away. Instead, the beloved woman begins speaking. Of a secret past and castle ruins forgotten by time. Of a hidden chapel that served as a rendezvous for the French Resistance in World War II. Of lost love and deep regret . . .
Each piece that unlocks the story seems to unlock part of Ellie too—where she came from and who she is becoming. But her grandmother is quickly disappearing into the shadows of Alzheimer’s and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history. Drawn by the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty—a castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale—Ellie embarks on a journey to France’s Loire Valley in hopes that she can unearth its secrets before time silences them forever.
Bridging the past to the present in three time periods—the French Revolution, World War II, and present day—The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged in the hearts of men, and of an enchanted castle that stood witness to it all, inspiring a legacy of faith through the generations.
That sounds great, I will add it to the TBR. 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?
My failsafe plan to avoid a hangover, is to not drink too much! But if I end up with one, my cure is a good breakfast, and to drink plenty of water!
After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?
After our wonderful night out, my ideal way to spend a weekend is to watch beautiful movies, eat chocolate & drink lemonade!
Thank you Julie for a wonderful evening.
It has been my pleasure, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me and I wish you great success with all your projects.
Rosemary Smith is the Devon-based author of seven Victorian suspense novels, Where Love Takes You, The Lady and the Lake, Darkwood, A Stranger’s Kiss, A Strange Affair, Gypsy Heart and Matters of the Heart. They are available as ebooks via Amazon by following the preceding links or borrowed from your local library.
Find out more about Rosemary by visiting her Facebook author page.
Next week I will be joined on the blog by my friend and fellow blogger, Yvonne Bastian of Me and My Books so don’t miss that.