RONA Awards 2022 Celebration Drinks with… Suzanne Ewart

RONAS

Tonight’s guest is another nominee in the Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award category in this year’s Romantic Novel Awards. With her book, One Month of You, please welcome to the blog, author… Suzanne Ewart.

Suzanne Ewart, Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel, Romantic Novel Awards 2022

Thank you for joining me for drinks this evening. First things first, what are you drinking?

Hello! Thank you so much for having me. I’m drinking a very cold glass of white wine. 

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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?

I would be taking you for a night out in Manchester. We’d start with a cocktail in Cloud 23, a hotel bar with the best views over the city and then we’d head into nearby Spinningfields, which is packed with great bars and restaurants if we get hungry. 

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?

If we’re on a night out, I’d want to invite people who seem like great fun, so I’d choose Marian Keyes, who I love and think is hilarious and so warm. I’d also choose Graham Norton so we can spend the night chatting about books, but also celebrity gossip! 

So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?

I’m in the middle of writing a first draft of my latest romance novel. Unlike my last two romances, where I had come up with the plot first, in this case, the main character appeared in my head fully-formed one day, and I knew I had to write about her. It’s been really good fun writing, and I hope readers love her and her flawed ways as much as I do.

What has been your proudest moment since you started writing/blogging and what has been your biggest challenge?

Without doubt, my proudest moment was when my debut novel, One Month of You was nominated for the Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award for the RNA Awards. I’ve followed these awards for years, and I was over the moon to be selected among other brilliant writers. I’m also a huge Katie Fforde fan, so it was particularly special to be in this category. 

I think my biggest challenge is one that many writers face, and that is the challenge of keeping going! Writing a novel takes a lot of time and perseverance and often the hardest thing is continuing with a book when you can’t imagine ever finishing it. I have to constantly remind myself that I’ve done this before and that it will be worth all the hard work in the end. 

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!

Honestly, I would love one of my books to be adapted to the screen, and I’d love to be part of an adaptation. My teenage ambition was (still is, really) to be a script writer for Coronation Street, and I would love to work on a script for one of my own stories. It must be the best feeling making your characters come to life on a screen.  

What are have planned that you are really excited about?

I’m super excited about the book I’m currently writing. The main character is more flawed than characters I’ve written before, she makes a lot of decisions that hold her life back, but at the same time she’s so romantic and optimistic, it’s been lovely to spend time with her. I’m excited to share her story once it’s finished and hear what people think. 

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?

My favourite place is Rome. I love the history and the food and the shops. I can’t wait to go back. Top of my list is California. I’ve always been fascinated by the glamour and the lifestyle there, and would love to spend time driving down the coastline.

Oh, I love Rome, one of my absolute favourite cities in the world. Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself.

I’m an identical twin. Not the exciting, psychic kind I’m afraid, but we do look exactly the same and have this thing were we have no idea which of our earlier memories actually belong to us. They’ve all kind of mixed to together into a joint pot. I love reading books about twins and would love to write about them one day. 

I have identical  twin step-daughters. 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’?

Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason. It’s a beautiful book about love and family and identity and it is also absolutely hilarious. I love it. 

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Everyone tells Martha Friel she is clever and beautiful, a brilliant writer who has been loved every day of her adult life by one man, her husband Patrick. A gift, her mother once said, not everybody gets.

So why is everything broken? Why is Martha – on the edge of 40 – friendless, practically jobless and so often sad? And why did Patrick decide to leave?

Maybe she is just too sensitive, someone who finds it harder to be alive than most people. Or maybe – as she has long believed – there is something wrong with her. Something that broke when a little bomb went off in her brain, at 17, and left her changed in a way that no doctor or therapist has ever been able to explain.

Forced to return to her childhood home to live with her dysfunctional, bohemian parents (but without the help of her devoted, foul-mouthed sister Ingrid), Martha has one last chance to find out whether a life is ever too broken to fix – or whether, maybe, by starting over, she will get to write a better ending for herself.

I really must read this, I’ve heard so many people rave about it. 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?

See, in my youth, I’d have gone for a fry up and many, many cups of coffee, but experience has taught me there’s nothing better than a home-made banana milkshake to get going the morning after. It works a treat!

After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?

I’d spend the rest of the weekend going on long walks with my kids (who magically wouldn’t moan about this!), and there would definitely be a trip to a country pub for some lovely food. I’d also make time to do some cooking, which I love, and to read.

Sounds great, hope you get one of those perfect weekends soon!

Suzanne’s RONA-shortlisted novel, One Month of You, is out now in all formats and you can buy a copy here.

Suzanne Ewart, Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel, Romantic Novel Awards 2022, One Month of You BOOK COVER

When Alec asks Jess out, she knows it won’t work. He may be charming and handsome, but Jess has rules. And the first? Don’t fall in love.

Jess has inherited Huntington’s disease from the mother that she cares for. Falling in love would mean condemning someone to the heartbreak that she feels every day. Jess has learnt to keep everyone and everything at arm’s length, but Alec is determined to break down her barriers. When she finally tells him why they have no future together, he proposes that they forget the future and live for the moment – for just one month.

Before writing her first novel, Suzanne Ewart taught English to secondary school children in Greater Manchester. In 2019 she won the eHarmony / Trapeze books Write Your Own Love Story competition. Her debut novel, One Month of You, was published in 2021. She now lives in Warrington with her husband and children.

Connect with Suzanne:

Twitter: @SuzanneEwart1

Instagram: suzanneewart_author

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