This week I’m joined by fellow Choc Lit author Evonne Wareham. Welcome, Evonne.
Evonne writes romantic thrillers – known in the States as romantic suspense – and her books have won and been nominated for awards on both sides of the Atlantic. Most notably, her first published novel, Never Coming Home, won the Joan Hessayon award for the best debut novel of the year, presented by the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
As a change of pace from writing thrillers, she’s currently completing a novella which mixes romance with mystery. It starts in Bath, but somehow manages to move quite swiftly to the Riviera! She is hoping that this may kick off a series, loosely based around a Bath detective agency, but all ending up somewhere sunny and glamorous. Sunshine and glamour are characteristics of the thrillers too, although in those something much darker lurks in the sunshine.
Evonne likes to travel, and call it research. She’s currently a mature student, studying for her doctorate, which takes up a lot of her time, and is known as ‘the day job’. After a blameless career in local government in London, she is now back home, living on the coast of South Wales, so big cities and beaches have been known to creep into her books too. Also food, art, architecture, pretty clothes, shoes, very nasty villains, heroes with dark pasts and independent heroines who find themselves in dangerous situations.
I asked Evonne some questions:-
When and where do you write?
Wherever and whenever I can!
After years of work and academic note taking I prefer to write longhand and then type it up later, so I can write just about anywhere. I love train journeys, for the journey and also for the work that gets done. Trips to London for events held by the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Crime Writers’ Association (I’m a member of both, as I combine genres) are a special treat – 4 hours of writing time. I work in the house anywhere there is a comfortable chair. And outside it, anywhere there is a comfortable chair. As to when – that’s not always easy. I’ve just been through one of those periods when life throws ‘stuff’ at you, in huge bucket loads, which is why I haven’t had a book out since 2013. I’m really hoping that 2017 will change that.
Where do you get your inspiration?
It can come from all kinds of places. Sometimes it’s a matter of two ideas coming together which may have been knocking around in my head for a while and then something clicks and they gel. Other times it’s just one thing. I had a long lunch with some writer friends before Christmas and we got to discussing kidnapping. As you do. (Well you do if you have friends like mine.) By the time I had reached home I had the idea for a story which refused to leave, so I wrote it over Christmas and I very much hope it might be a romantic suspense Christmas novella for 2017. That one will have snow, not sunshine, which is unusual for me.
Can you give us a list of your favourite books and why they are your favourites?
Not so much favourite books as favourite authors. I think my writing tastes may have been formed by Enid Blyton’s Adventure series. (Lol. Mine too! Mx) My Mum liked to read me those, and if we got a new one one from the library that was a big day.
After that Mary Stewart, the classic British romantic suspense author. Now, I read a lot of American romantic suspense – Karen Rose, Jayne Ann Krentz, Nora Roberts, Erica Spindler and Linda Howard, to name a few.
I like Golden Age crime too, and am slowly gnawing my way through the wonderful re-issues that the British Library is putting out. The covers alone are fabulous and the stories are usually crime of the puzzle type, from authors who have been largely forgotten but still have good tales to tell.
What are you working on at the moment?
I have three novellas that I hope might see the light of day in 2017 and 2018.
One, the romantic mystery, is in the final stages of editing. I have a sequel written to that, and also the Christmas romantic suspense. With the latter two, they have not been submitted yet – they are still in hand writing – so it all depends if the publisher likes them.
After that, I am intending to go back to a full length romantic suspense that has been partially written, but which was abandoned when life got in the way. It’s a dark story with a pair of second chance lovers and I’m looking forward to completing it. After that … I have what I call my treasure hunt book, which has been quietly smouldering on the back burner for some time. It’s a story that goes back to events in the Second World War and includes a character who was a soldier in France, North Africa and Italy. I’m going to have to get to it soon, or he is going to be 100 years old! I need to do some research in Italy for it. That’s my story, anyway.
And somewhere in all that is an 80,000 word PhD thesis.
Thank you, Evonne. That sounds a very busy writing time and I hope life gives you the space to complete your books this year.
You can find Evonne at
Her blog http://evonneonwednesday.blogspot.com where she talks about writing and books and history and life and interesting places and research and anything else that comes into her head, every Wednesday.
On Twitter @evonnewareham
On Facebook as Evonne Wareham
Or you can contact her through her website www.evonnewareham.com