I am very happy to be today’s stop on Karen Clarke’s The Beachside Sweet Shop blog tour! 🙂
I have a lovely Q&A with the lady herself for you to enjoy…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
I was born and raised in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, but have lived in Buckinghamshire for years, with my husband and three grown up children. I write romantic comedies, as I like the idea of making people smile – although I do have a dark side, and a couple of psychological thrillers stashed on my hard drive.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
I find ideas everywhere: gossip columns, reality television, news articles, and snippets of overheard conversation, but sometimes I’ll start with a first line and take it from there. It’s got me a surprisingly long way! The idea for The Beachside Sweet Shop came from wanting to write a series set in a particular place, with some of the characters popping up in subsequent books.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
They may have characteristics of people I know, but basing them on actual people doesn’t work because I know on some level they wouldn’t behave the way I wanted them to, and that would get in the way.
How do you pick your characters’ names?
I’ve been known to go on Facebook, particularly if I’m stuck for a surname – it’s a great resource! I can’t start writing until I’ve got my main character’s name, which gives me a feel for her character, and I can spend ages choosing the right one. Female names that work well in romantic comedy tend to end in ‘y’ or ‘ie’. I’ve always liked Marnie, after seeing the Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name, and knew I’d use it one day.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
I don’t have a routine as such, and am not very disciplined. I tend to work better first thing, but once I’m up I get distracted by other things, so I’ll often go to a café to write. I often write for a couple of hours after dinner, but a deadline is what really motivates me. Fear of failure forces me to get on with it, and when that happens, not much else gets done.
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
This is so hard as I read an awful lot, have wide-ranging tastes, and there are loads of great writers out there. Off the top of my head, new books by Marian Keyes, Liane Moriarty, Belinda Bauer, Margaret Atwood, or Sophie Kinsella, always get me excited.
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Marian Keyes. She’s naturally funny, so it would be great to hang out with her, and I’d ask her to be my friend
Were you a big reader as a child?
Massive. Our family didn’t have a television when I was growing up, so reading was my passion. I’d get three books from the library every Saturday, and had usually read them by Monday. My mum once said I couldn’t possibly have taken in any of the stories, but I had! I can’t imagine a day without reading.
When did you start to write?
I was always conscious of an urge to write, probably stemming from my love of reading. There was a story about a lonely fox at a young age, and I had a poem published in Judy comic aged 11. In my teens, a couple of friends and I would sit at the back of the class in biology, writing a novella called Pigs in Pink Plastic Macs, which was still doing the rounds after we’d left school.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
I’d change the ending of Me before You by JoJo Moyes, so I wouldn’t be left a sobbing, snotty wreck.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
Harry Potter, for obvious reasons!
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
Mr Darcy (the Colin Firth version) into my bedroom, where we’d discuss modern politics (obviously) over a cup of decaf.
What are you working on right now?
Book three in my Beachside series, which is set at Christmas time. I’m getting in the mood by playing carols while I write, and as luck would have it, we’ve had some snow this February, so it looks quite festive outside.
Do you have a new release due?
The Beachside Sweet is released on March 2nd and The Beachside Flower Stall will follow in April.
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
Post about it on Facebook, mostly, and smile a lot. I don’t really celebrate as such, though I may eat more cake than usual.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
Readers can get in touch via my website, or on Facebook or Twitter. I love feedback – if it’s nice
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
I love baking and eating cake but am always on the lookout for healthier recipes, so if you have one, let me know!
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Karen 🙂
Buy your copy HERE
Chocolate fudge, butterscotch and raspberry bonbons… treat yourself to some sugary treats, a big slice of friendship and a sprinkling of romance at The Beachside Sweet Shop.
When Marnie Appleton inherited a sweet shop from her grandfather she was determined to do his legacy proud. The shop has been a much-loved feature of the little seaside town of Shipley for years, but now Marnie needs to bring it up to date, and she’s recruited gorgeous new assistant Josh to help.
Marnie gets busy redecorating the shop and choosing delicious new sweets to stock, but things are never that simple: new neighbour Isobel, a fame-hungry blogger, is on a crusade against sugar, and she’ll go to any lengths to secure bad publicity for Marnie’s shop.
Marnie fights back with homemade sugar-free treats, but with her best friend Beth heavily pregnant, her grandmother Celia recovering from an operation, and her very recently ex-boyfriend Alex returning to Shipley with a new love, Marnie has a lot on her plate.
And then there’s Josh, with whom Marnie is struggling to keep her relationship strictly professional…Will both the sweet shop and love flourish?
A deliciously heartwarming read about family, friends and handmade coconut ice. Perfect for fans of Cressida McLaughlin, Debbie Johnson, and Tilly Tennant.
After giving up her job as a library assistant, Karen now writes full-time. She’s had over 300 stories published in women’s magazines in the UK and abroad, and has written three paranormal romantic comedies, published by Little, Brown/Corsair. When she’s not writing she reads avidly, walks dogs at her local rescue centre, and is eagerly awaiting the next season of The Walking Dead. She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children.
Don’t forget to catch up with, and follow, the rest of the blog tour…..