I came across Rosanna Ley when I picked up Last Dance in Havana and as the name suggests the story is set in Cuba…. which has for a long while been on the The Grey Traveller’s bucket list…….. so for me a great read and a little travel lust all under the same cover!
Thank you very much to Rosanna for agreeing to feature on the Author’s Chats strand of my blog. I put a few questions to this popular author and here is what she kindly shared with me.
What was your favourite childhood book and why?
Probably When We Were Very Young by A A Milne. I learned a lot of the poems by heart and can even remember some of them now – all these years later! I’ve always loved poetry and from a young age I enjoyed word-play and the rhythm of these wonderful and imaginative verses.
Which current authors inspire you and why?
There are so many and in different genres too. I love Maggie O’Farrell for her poetic and delicate touch and Anita Shreve for the way she explores relationships. Lisa Jewell comes up with one excellent novel after another; she is so readable. Tracy Chevalier’s books are both clever and deceptively simple and Joanne Harris is the queen of description. And to bring a man into the equation, Anthony Capella has written some very unusual and intriguing novels that I have enjoyed tremendously such as The Various Flavours of Coffee (what an excellently weird title) and Food of Love. Thank you Rosanna for introducing me to Anthony Capella!
Where do you usually write and do you have a ‘usual timetable’?
I like to write ‘in situ’ when I am on a research trip. For example I have just come back from Vernazza in the Cinque Terre and I did a lot of initial writing while actually there. But my main office is in my house at West Bay, Dorset where I am lucky enough to have a view of the sea. I love to write outside when I possibly can and the first draft is usually written in a notebook which I prefer to writing straight on to my computer. I work full-time but a lot of it is admin. Then there is publicity, editing and all the other things that go with it. If I am in full writing mode (generally between October and April) I will aim to write between 7,000 and 10,000 words a week. But I will also aim to get a walk in – which is also good thinking time!
Can you sum up the recently published book in just a few words?
Little Theatre by the Sea is a story of unmasking and transformation. Interior designer Faye sets out to restore a little theatre in Sardinia and finds herself entangled in a mystery of the past where nothing is quite as it seems… Looking forward to reading this and also finding out about Sardinia.
Hope you had a fantastic time researching in Cinque Terre … are you able to give away what your next novel might be about?
I did! (Though I now have to write it and so that one won’t be out until 2019!). The next novel is called ‘Her Mother’s Secret’ and is set in Belle-Ile-en-Mer, Southern Brittany. It centres around a secret from the past as the title suggests and it explores relationships between mothers and daughters – among other things. It will be published next year.
Do you use social media to promote and interact with readers?
I do. It is hard though to get a balance in the amount of time one spends on social media.
And finally……….any tips for aspiring writers?
Write what you want to explore. Write every day. Read a lot. Take time to daydream – it is work. Become your own critic, be aware of your flaws, work on them. Listen to people. Don’t listen to people. Never give up.
Thank you Rosanna.