'The Next Big Thing' as tagged!

My fellow Choc Liteer, Christina Courtenay tagged me in her post ‘The Next Big Thing’ and kindly handed the baton to me… there’s only one problem, which is that I don’t actually discuss my work in progress and I’m far too worried about jinxing anything I do to describe it as a 'big thing'! That said, this post does give me the opportunity to talk about some different aspects of my current book, Move Over Darling, so that’s what I’ve chosen to do instead. 

What is the title of your book?
… the tricky ones first, eh.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Initially it was moving to west Wales and discovering that the population of the county I’d moved to was roughly equal to the small Surrey borough I’d just left. The legacy of working in various research posts in the past has left me (someone who loathed maths at school) with a bit of an appetite for statistics. Looking more closely at the figures, I noticed that increases in the population here are mainly due to middle-aged incomers, masking out the migration of young people in search of better-paid jobs away from a county reliant on the hard-hit sectors of farming and tourism.

And that, dear reader, must surely count as one of the least romantic premises ever for a romantic novel.

What genre does your book fall under?
I write relationship stories about love in many different guises; new lovers find each other, established couples reassess their love, families forge new bonds and the odd pet becomes the object of affection along the way too.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a film version?
Chance would be a fine thing. 

However… I have had a wonderful email discussion with the lovely narrator Charlotte Strevens who will be reading the audio book of Move Over Darling. Charlotte contacted me to ask if the Penmorfa in my novel was the Penmorfa in north Wales… at which point I had to take the email equivalent of a deep breath! Both Little Spitmarsh in Turning the Tide and Penmorfa in Move Over Darling are entirely the products of my imagination, as indeed, are their inhabitants (though strangely, I now live next to a hamlet called Penmorfa which rather threw me!).

More to the point, as anyone who lives in Wales will realise, there’s quite a difference in the language and accent of north Wales compared to the rest of the country with both sides convinced they speak Proper Welsh. I couldn’t possibly comment  except to say that I was relieved that Charlotte got in touch before Gethin Lewis, the hero of Move Over Darling ended up with a North Walian accent especially as I’d been thinking far more along the lines of Richard Burton reading Under Milk Wood!

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Girl who’s escaped to the country meets boy who’s escaped from the country. 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It’s published by Choc Lit. 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Too long. 

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
That’s up to the reader. 

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The image of my hero, Gethin Lewis, returning to the village where he was born. 

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
My heroine, Coralie, is adopted by a stray cat she names Rock. I’ve written a short story about how the two met for the December issue of Your Cat magazine. 

I’m now passing the baton to new Choc Lit author, Sarah Tranter, who's become a good writing buddy giving me encouragement and helping me along when I’ve been flagging. Over to you, Sarah!

In other news – and if you’re not completely fed up with listening to me, I’m in Best magazine this week (issue 43) making the case for romance. Writer Karen Clark’s clever short story’s in there too.


Great answers, Chris! Am so looking forward to reading MOD!
DOT said…
Glad to see you gave away nothing in that interview :)

If you're ever stuck for a choice of career there will be an opening for the position of the Director General of the Beeb going soon as a replacement for George 'Jimmy who?' Entwhistle. With your discretion you would be a natural first choice.

Oh! and many congrats on your books!
Pondside said…
In your next life you should come back as a Top Secret intelligence officer somewhere - you stick-handled the questions beautifully!
Great answers Chris. I can't wait to start reading Move Over Darling.
Frances said…
Chris, I so enjoyed reading this post, supplying my guesses at a back story, enjoying your replies to the interview.

You've a marvelous way with words!

Gilli Allan said…
Great post. I love your answer to where do your ideas come from. It's amazing isn't it? The smallest seed can grow and grow.

Good luck.

Chris Stovell said…
Thanks, Christina.. well I've certainly kept you waiting!

DOT, Pondside - sorry, I do hope you don't feel short-changed, I think it just stems from feeling a bit awkward about talking about what I do!

Debs, thank you!

Frances, I think you know more than most about the background to this story!

Gilli - that's it exactly! Some ideas just take root and won't go away!
Sarah Tranter said…
Thank you for passing the baton on to me Chris! As you know I LOVE Move over Darling.It's very very scary writing for Choc Lit with writers of your quality within the ranks. Let's hope I don't let the side down:)
Chris Stovell said…
Sarah - you are so NOT going to let the side down! And thanks for running with this. Cx
Flowerpot said…
I thought I'd left you a comment via Facebook but it doesnt seem to have emerged! Mine is my fear of not being able to write another novel - I know we all have it, but it's been sitting on me like a huge mountain. Recently, though, it's beginning to shift. Hooray!

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