This week I am delighted to welcome Caroline James to my blog. Caroline‘s new novel The Best Boomerville Hotel is her first novel for Ruby Fiction, an imprint of Choc Lit Publishing.
The book is about the boomer generation and not giving up, learning new things and making the most of life over 50 with a lot of fun thrown in. Boomerville is a newly refurbished hotel in the Lake District (a place Caroline loves) that runs whacky courses to encourage mid-lifers to run down the road to happiness and not stumble along on a Zimmer frame. (This book sounds great fun and is sitting waiting on my kindle for my next holiday break coincidentally in the Lake District! Mx)
Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever she can. An author, public speaker, consultant and food writer, Caroline is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, she writes articles and short stories and contributes to many publications.
In her spare time, Caroline can be found trekking up a mountain or relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.
I asked Caroline some questions.
Tell us a little about your journey to the publication of this book.
When I was a child I had dreams of writing books, but as I got older I never thought that I was good enough to realise this ambition. School, an all girl’s grammar, was a hellish experience and I couldn’t wait to leave.
My dreams of writing took a back burner and I entered the hospitality industry as a pot washer who progressed to waiting table, kitchen work and ultimately, management. I worked hard in my profession and in time, owned my own businesses. Catering is a melting pot of characters and ever changing situations and I still dreamed of writing and creating stories around my experiences.
Six years ago, I had an epiphany and knew that if I didn’t start to write I would die wondering, so I stole hours from what little free time I had and my debut novel Coffee, Tea the Gypsy & Me was born and after scores of rejections and dreams of traditional publication shattered, I decided to self-publish. The book went straight to #3 in women’s fiction on Amazon and was EBook of the Week in The Sun newspaper. I was gobsmacked! (Wow!)
This gave me the writing bug and three more books followed. My latest manuscript, The Best Boomerville Hotel, is the first book to roll off the press for Ruby Fiction, which is an imprint of multi-award winning Choc Lit Publishing and I am thrilled that Boomerville has been chosen to spearhead this exciting new venture.
Where did the idea for The Best Boomerville Hotel come from?
Hotel Boomerville had been in my head for a long time. I used to own a lovely country house hotel in Cumbria and if I still had it, I would turn it into a real Boomerville as my gut feeling tells me that the rooms would be fully booked.
The inspiration for the book came from listening to many friends discuss their worries and fears as they approach the middle years and beyond. Getting older can be isolating. Many people are single and live on their own and I felt inspired to write something uplifting about having joy in these years by stepping out of your comfort zone and taking on new experiences.
I have challenged myself many times by doing something I didn’t think I could do and this has made me stronger. I thought it would be fun to write about older protagonists taking centre stage and having a blast whilst doing so.
Are any of the characters like you and if so, in what way?
I used to think I was a bit like Jo, who is the owner of Hotel Boomerville but as her character has developed I find her doing the opposite of what I would do and I enjoy pushing Jo to her limits. Perhaps it is subconscious? We all need a push to find out what we are capable of. Jo and I are similar in that I strive for perfection and enjoy cossetting and taking care of people. Her family give her purpose which mirrors mine. My family are my rock.
If this book was turned into a film, who would play the lead roles?
I’d have to have the brilliant Billy Nighy in the cast. He would be Sir Henry Mulberry, the owner of a cider company and a naughty old boy who still has a twinkle in his eye. Celia Imrie would become Lucinda Brown, an eccentric artist, who enjoys getting stoned with the resident Shaman in his tepee. Hattie, the manager at Hotel Boomerville, might be played by Lisa Riley, a great character actress. Hattie is larger than life and enormous fun with a voracious appetite for food, booze and sex (sorry Lisa!).
What can we expect from you in the future?
I am currently writing a follow up to The Best Boomerville Hotel and a cosy detective series with Hattie (from Hotel Boomerville) in the lead role. The first in this series is entitled Hattie Goes to Hollywood and is set in beautiful Cumbria.
Morton, thank you so much for hosting me and The Best Boomerville Hotel on your lovely blog. Happy writing and reading to you and all your visitors.
Thank you. Well, I don’t know about my blog readers, but I am itching to read The Best Boomerville Hotel now and hoping that we meet in real life sometime soon, Caroline.
About The Best Boomerville Hotel
Let the shenanigans begin at the Boomerville hotel …
Jo Docherty and Hattie Contaldo have a vision – a holiday retreat in the heart of the Lake District exclusively for guests of ‘a certain age’ wishing to stimulate both mind and body with new creative experiences. One hotel refurbishment later and the Best Boomerville Hotel is open for business!
Perhaps not surprisingly Boomerville attracts more than it’s fair share of eccentric clientele: there’s fun loving Sir Henry Mulberry and his brother Hugo; Lucinda Brown, an impoverished artist with more ego than talent; Andy Mack, a charming Porsche-driving James Bond lookalike, as well as Kate Simmons, a woman who made her fortune from an internet dating agency but still hasn’t found ‘the One’ herself.
With such an array of colourful individuals there’s bound to be laughs aplenty, but could there be tears and heartbreak too and will the residents get more than they bargained for at Boomerville?
To buy The Best Boomerville Hotel follow the following links:-
To get in touch with Caroline James use the following links:-
Twitter: @CarolineJames12 https://twitter.com/CarolineJames12
Facebook: Caroline James Author https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolineJames/
Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. My novel The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available from all eBook platforms – Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play. The Girl on the Beach will be available as a paperback from 10 April 2018 – to pre-order now click Amazon. My new novel The Truth Lies Buried is published as an eBook on 1 May 2018 and can be pre-ordered here.
I loved finding out more about Caroline and looking forward to reading her book very soon!
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Thank you, Angela – yes it’s on my tbr v soon pile! 💐
Morton – a massive thanks for hosting me on your blog today. I loved your questions and do hope that you enjoy The Best Boomerville Hotel when you have your Cumbria holiday. Warmest wishes, Caroline xx
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Thank you for coming on my blog x I hope you sell lots of books! 💐💐💐
Sounds a great idea for a novel and lots of fun to read.
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I don’t know about a novel! I think Caroline should open the real hotel! Lol
It has been suggested Morton and is under consideration … 🙂
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