What Is Romantic?
I have a question for all you romance junkies out there – what is that makes a location or a moment romantic? For some people their idea of the perfect romantic getaway might be a five star hotel in a glamorous city. A weekend with your man spent shopping, sightseeing, coffee and croissants outside a chic café, elegant dinners, trips to the theatre and collapsing into a four poster bed with luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets. Perhaps a log cabin in the woods on the shores of a lake is more your idea of a perfect romantic escape? Relaxing on the deck with your significant other and a glass of wine, watching the setting sun shimmer across the water before retreating indoors to cuddle up in front of a roaring log fire and later snuggling into bed by candlelight.
Now, I have another question for you. Which season do you find to be the most romantic? The scorching heat of summer and lazing decadently on a sun lounger on the beach sipping iced lemonade. Daylight stretching long into the night with dusk only slowly encroaching as midnight approaches. Days when you can throw open all the doors and windows and spend your time in just shorts, T-shirts and sandals. Maybe you prefer the cosiness of winter instead. Enveloping yourself in soft wool knitwear and fleece lined boots. Getting all warm and comfy on the sofa with a blanket and the love of your life as the snow falls outside. What about autumn? All those long country walks hand in hand, kicking up the red, yellow and orange leaves as you stroll through the woodlands together. Maybe you think Christmas is the most romantic time of year. Attending the local ceremony when the lights are switched on the village/town/city Christmas tree, singing carols, drinking mulled wine, ice skating in the park.
There are people who pour scorn on the whole log cabin in the snowy woods, paddling in the edge of the sea on a sun kissed beach, candlelight and log fire scenarios– saying they’re a cliché. Well, everyone has a right to their opinions, but I can’t help thinking that maybe these things have reached cliché status for one reason – they work and they actually are romantic.
Long live romance, in all its guises!
Please let us know your favourite romantic seasons and getaways – we’d love to hear from you!
My latest novel, published by Astraea Press, is called The Love Programme, here’s more details:
Thanks to an embarrassing incident involving a wedding and her ex-boyfriend Marcus, Lucy has to leave her home town in a hurry and needs a place to escape to for a while.
Best friend Fiona is convinced now would be a good time for Lucy to get herself a new life with some potential for romance thrown in. Fate seems to agree when Lucy is given the once-in-a-lifetime chance to star in a TV show and be a contestant on The Love Programme – two weeks of luxury living on a grand Highland estate coupled with, she hopes, fun and romance in wildest Scotland.
When Lucy meets Paul – the young, handsome owner of the Highland estate – she thinks she may have found the love of her life but who is the mysterious Hannah and what part does she play in his life? When she discovers that Marcus is planning to follow her to Scotland to win her back Lucy has some serious soul searching to do. Does she have a future with Paul, with Marcus or is she yet to find the man of her dreams?
The book can be purchased at:
I am so glad you could join us here at RomanceJunkies.
To start, will you please tell us a little bit about your current projects?
I have a novella and 3 full novels currently in the work in progress /editing folder. One of the novels, a romantic comedy about what happens when a woman discovers her ex-boyfriend and current boyfriend are business partners, has just been accepted by my publishers Crooked Cat and is due out in Feb/March 2014. Another novel, part written, looks at the downside of fame and its effect on relationships and the most recently started book is a summery seaside novel in which the ‘one that got away’ comes back to town causing all sorts of problems.
When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?
I’ve wanted to do something with writing since I was a child; it’s been a gradual journey to novelist. As a child I made my own holiday brochures, cutting photos from magazines, sticking them into a ‘book’ of folded paper and writing little articles. In high school I wanted to be a journalist but realised I wasn’t pushy enough for that job so I opted for my second choice career – travel agency work. I moved into researching and writing tourism brochures for local councils from there and then wrote articles for magazines. I moved across to fiction with writing short stories for magazines then I was tempted to try writing a full novel.
Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?
I’m not sure I can pin it to any one person but in general other authors have said you need to be persistent, don’t give up and write what you’d want to read yourself. All very valuable advice.
Describe the “perfect” hero. What about the “perfect” hero for you?
Some people frown on the old ‘tall, dark and handsome’ description but I think those 4 words perfectly conjure up a hero. For me, it’s someone who is kind, thoughtful, has a great sense of humour, makes you smile. A man who is also your best friend and if he’s keen on the great outdoors and country walks then even better!
What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections?
Gardening – growing fruit, veg and flowers. I love collecting seeds from flowers and sowing them the following year and taking cuttings from plants too. Also, walking the dogs, we have 4 Labradors, and of course I love reading.
What has been your biggest adventure to date?
Becoming a published author probably! It was quite a steep learning curve, not just the working with editors and publishers but also all of the social media and promotional stuff you need to get your head round. It’s been a wonderful adventure though!
If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why?
Somewhere in Scandinavia in the middle of winter so I could (hopefully) get to see the Northern Lights.
When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes?
Mainly tried and tested with the occasional venture into something new.
How do you describe yourself? How would your family and friends describe you?
Ohh, tricky one! I admit I can be prone to mood swings (Ahem! Husband nods) and lacking in confidence, quite shy too but on the plus side I hope people think I’m loyal, honest and hardworking.
What is your favorite comfort food?
Mature Cheddar cheese and cracker biscuits with a big bag of plain crisps. Delicious!
What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?
It used to be autumn, I love to see all those autumn colours on the trees but for some reason I think I’ve now swapped to the Spring when I can get out in the garden more and start growing veg and flowers again and the daylight hours are getting longer with the promise of summer ahead. For me, summer is usually a bit too hot and winter is too dark and gloomy.
What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without?
The Internet for shopping so I can easily restock my to-be-read book shelves.
What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”?
I’m not one for getting dressed up and going to fancy restaurants so I’d say an evening at home, cuddled up on the sofa with my husband in front of a real fire.
What project are you working on next?
I keep swapping and changing with projects at the moment to be honest. I’m trying to finish a Valentine themed novella so I really should focus on that rather than get distracted by my other projects…
Any place we can find you in person or on the net this month or next?
I don’t have much scheduled in the diary for blog visits as yet but I’m a guest on a couple of blogs by fellow Astraea Press authors Christi Corbett’s (Oct 17) and Heather Gray (Nov 7). I’m also due to be on the Coffee Time Romance website at some point in November.
Thanks again for blogging with us!