I’m delighted to be taking part in the launch celebrations of What Happens at the Beach by TA Williams with KEPR Tours. What Happens at the Beach is the latest stand alone What Happens in… book from Trevor and you can enter to win an e-copy of the book at the bottom of this blog post. Released on July 11th 2016 by Carina UK, an imprint of Harper Collins, What Happens at the Beach is available for purchase on Amazon UK and Amazon US.
I’m delighted to have a guest post from Trevor all about why he writes books for women (seeing as he’s a man!)
What Happens at the Beach
For the perfect summer romance…
It’s finally time for Natalie Dryden to decide what she really wants! After ditching her sparkling engagement ring, and her ghastly fiancé, she jets off for the sun-kissed shores of Southern France – the only place that has ever truly felt like home. For the first time ever, Natalie is determined to forget all about men and follow her dreams!
…head to the French coast!
Only, avoiding the male population isn’t quite so easy, especially when she meets smooth-talking Philippe and gorgeous fisherman, Remy! But then Natalie, quite literally, bumps into brooding millionaire Mark whilst swimming in the glittering azure-blue bay – and her life is turned upside-down.
Love might be off the cards for Natalie, yet suddenly she finds herself in her dream job and working with her dream man! But is it all too good to be true…?
How come I write books for women?
(seeing as I’m a man)
A Guest Post from TA Williams
There are a number of reasons why my books, particularly the What Happens… series, are aimed at a female audience. The first is because I was told to do so. One of the things about working for a big publisher like Harper Collins is that you get an editor. My editors, Clio and Charlotte, have been wonderful. They read my books and then make all kinds of suggestions as to how to improve them. Time and time again they have proved to be bang on the money and I know my books have got better as a result. It was Clio who “suggested” I should try writing from a female point of view and aim at the female reader. A “suggestion” like that is one you ignore at your peril. If Harper Collins says jump, you jump. At least I do.
The second reason why I write books aimed at women is that you lot read more than men. Although we all know that 84% (or is that 73%?) of all statistics are made up on the spot, it appears incontestable that something like two thirds of all books bought in the UK are bought by women. This may be a terrible indictment of the male of the species (too much football and beer, perhaps?), or it may simply be because the female of the species, justly renowned for her multitasking skills, manages to fit books into her crowded day better than her opposite number. I don’t know the answer, but it seems sensible to appeal to the bigger market. Business is business, after all.
The third reason is that I enjoy writing the sort of books I write. Call them chicklit, call them romantic comedy (my preferred designation), they are a lot of fun to write. One thing I know without a shadow of a doubt is that any author should write what he or she enjoys writing. I can’t imagine anything worse than trying to get the creative juices going when attempting to write something that doesn’t appeal. My very first book, Dirty Minds, was about a man trying to write an erotic novel and failing. That was me. It took me less than 24 hours to realise that I didn’t have the experience, the talent or the desire to write smut, so I turned it on its head and made the book about somebody trying to write a dirty book. It charts the ensuing complications as he engages the services of a bunch of female authors to help him. The result was a romantic comedy that I thoroughly enjoyed writing.
My new book, What Happens at the Beach… was also a lot of fun to write. I wrote it last winter while it was cold and damp outside, dusk falling some days at four o’clock in the afternoon and a general air of gloom around the place. Writing about a sunny beach in the beautiful south of France did a great job of cheering me up. There’s the lovely scenery, the smell of the pine trees in the air, the gentle lapping of the waves against the sand and, of course, the world-renowned food and drink. Needless to say, there’s a big black Labrador in there as well just so my readers and I can get our regular canine fix. It saw me through the grim grey days of winter and I hope it will do the same for the readers, female or male.
I’m a lucky man. I enjoy my job.
About TA Williams
Firstly, my name isn’t T A. It’s Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, Dirty Minds one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…
I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.
I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.
I’ve been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she’s right.
An extract from What Happens at the Beach
Just then, their conversation was interrupted by the arrival of a visitor.
‘Ah, here he is, Natalie. This is my special friend. I forgot to tell you about him. He comes to visit me every day.’ She sounded very animated. Natalie looked up and saw that the object of her attention was a handsome black Labrador with a red collar who had appeared round the side of the house and was heading straight for the table. He was wagging his tail enthusiastically and he came across and nuzzled Colette with his nose. He sat down beside her and put a paw on her thigh.
‘What a beaut.’ Natalie had always loved dogs and her grandmother had always had a dog in the house until the last few years. ‘Where does he come from?’
Hearing her voice, the dog relinquished Colette and trotted round to Natalie’s side. He looked up at her with big brown eyes and Natalie fell instantly in love with him. The feeling was obviously mutual as the dog reared up on his hind legs and did his best to climb onto her lap. Kindly, she pushed him back onto the ground and took the big black head in both hands. ‘Who needs a stupid fiancé when there’s a handsome chap like you around? And where’ve you come from?’
‘I think he’s from the chateau. You know it was sold last autumn?’ Natalie vaguely recalled her grandmother telling her something to that effect, but she had been here so rarely over the past few years. ‘It’s been bought by some rich people, most probably for a holiday home. At least, that’s what I hear from Marie who got the news from Maître Delatour. They’re foreign, maybe even English.’ A note of regret entered Colette’s voice. ‘No surprise there. All the most beautiful places are being bought up by foreigners and turned into holiday homes. The local people can’t afford to buy houses down here any longer. It’s a real problem.’
By this time the dog had collapsed onto his back on the flagstones and was grunting happily to himself as Natalie scratched his tummy. ‘So does he have a name?’ She spotted a medallion hanging from the dog’s bright red collar. Squinting down at it, she saw that it only bore a telephone number, no name.
‘I call him Charlie and he doesn’t seem to mind.’ No surprise there. All the dogs her grandparents had ever had had been called Charlie. Up till now they had all been cocker spaniels, but the name seemed to suit the big black dog just as well. Natalie looked down at him again.
‘So, Charlie, would you like a biscuit?’ The dog clearly understood what was on offer. He rolled to one side and leapt to his feet, tail wagging. Natalie glanced across at her grandmother. ‘Have you been giving him bad habits?’
Enter to win an e-copy of What Happens at the Beach here.