One of the reasons I blog is to provide a platform for new authors to showcase their books and I’m delighted to welcome Carol Warham to Linda’s Book Bag. Carol’s novel Resolutions is published today 9th August 2017 and I’m so glad she agreed to come onto the blog to tell me a little about it.
Published by Tirgearr in e-book, Resolutions is available for purchase here.
A few days before the New Year, Carly Mitchell returns home to the small town on the Yorkshire moors. Her intention for the short visit is to make her apologies and offer an explanation for her action. A year earlier, she fled, leaving her bridegroom and friends bewildered.
She’s met with mixed reactions, ranging from curiosity to open hostility. However, when an emergency arises, Carly agrees to change her plans and stay a little longer. Falling in love with the new local doctor, Ben Thornton, was not part of her original plan either. Especially when it appears his past is shrouded in mystery.
Complications and tensions increase during the town’s New Year celebrations and she begins to doubt whether she has done the right thing by coming home.
Can she find the resolution she needs to overcome the challenges facing her, or will she run away again?
An Interview with Carol Warham
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Carol. Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions on my blog about your writing and Resolutions in particular.
Thank you for inviting me along Linda, it’s a pleasure to be here.
Congratulations on Resolutions which is published today. How does it feel to have a book out there with your name on it?
It still feels quite surreal. I know most authors hope to have a book published one day, but deep down I never really expected it to happen. Initially Resolutions will be published as an e-book. I very much hope, that one day, it will be in print. That’s when it will be special, when I can actually hold it in my hand.
As a new author, please could you tell me a little about yourself?
I’m actually a Lancashire lass (born in Manchester) who ‘emigrated’ to Yorkshire over thirty years ago via a few years on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland. As with most writers, writing is something I’ve always done. Originally I wanted to be a journalist and studied with the NCTJ (National Council for the Training of Journalists). However I soon decided that wasn’t the sort of writing I was interested in. Life, as it does, then got in the way, I married had two daughters and held down a number of different jobs, working for the taxman, book-keeping and running our own businesses. When I retired about seven years ago I returned to writing.
Why do you write?
That is a difficult question to answer! I think it’s because I love the feeling of creating a world, a life-style and characters and ‘jumping’ into the story to be with them. Once you start writing, more and more ideas keep filling your head, and you just have to get them down on paper or on the computer.
I know you used to make up comics for your toys as a child. Was this when you realised you were going to be a writer?
It was probably the start. Certainly from then on, I do remember writing a lot. In infant school we kept a daily diary which I remember gave delight and often embarrassment to my parents. Apparently I once wrote, in full detail, about seeing my mum sitting on my dad’s knee, which I thought hugely amusing.
Later, I enjoyed school compositions, as we called them then, even the ‘What I did in my school holidays,’ which came round every year.
In senior school, I had a wonderful English/Literature teacher, Sr Mary Anne (yes I went to a convent). She introduced me to the world of creative writing, and to wonderful writers like Jane Austen. My interest continued to flourish from there. At the time I thought Journalism was the way to go, writing a novel never entered my head.
Which aspects of your writing do you find easiest and most difficult?
The plot, and even the title, came easiest to me. After that it was all uphill! I’m not good at disciplining myself to sit down and ignore everything else around me – suddenly the ironing or even the dirty windows can look very inviting!
However, once I’ve actually settled down to write my main difficulty is expressing emotions. I’m a fairly reserved person myself, when it comes to showing them. I had to learn to ‘feel’ them through my character and then write it down – showing not telling – it wasn’t easy at all.
What are your writing routines and where do you do most of your writing?
I don’t have a routine. I squeeze writing in between family commitments. I also volunteer for various things around the village, which can take up quite a bit of time.
Without spoiling the plot, please could you tell us a bit about Resolutions?
Resolutions tells the story of Carly Mitchell who returns, at New Year, to her home in a small market town after a year away. She left in a hurry, leaving behind her fiancé Steve, and causing a lot of heartbreak and returning is not easy for her.
She intends to stay only for a few days at the Resolution Hotel, owned by Steve’s parents. However, her plans change when Steve’s father is taken ill, and she feels obliged to step in and help with running the hotel. This also means having to deal with Steve’s antagonism since he has never forgiven her for humiliating him.
A further complication comes in the form of Ben Thornton, the local doctor, to whom Carly feels an immediate attraction. They enjoy getting to know each other and falling in love, until a famous model from Ben’s past arrives in the town, and stays at the hotel.
Steve attempts to get his revenge on Carly by driving a wedge between her and Ben, and by threatening to reveal what he knows about Ben’s troubled past unless Carly leaves town.
The resolution lies in Carly’s hands as she struggles between wanting to flee from the town again and wanting to stay with the man she has grown to love.
Resolutions is set in locations close to where you live. How important is Yorkshire to you and your writing?
Yorkshire is very important. I love living here. It is after all ‘God’s Own County’. It has beautiful, scenery, a magnificent coast line and is packed with history at every turn. My next novel will be also based in Yorkshire. It starts in Scarborough but moves onto other wonderful places.
Resolutions has a cover that very clearly makes the reader think of New Year Resolutions. How did that image come about and what were you hoping to convey (without spoiling the plot please!)?
My publisher, Tirgearr, and their wonderful artist Elle J Rossi, came up with the cover. We tried all sorts of ideas, with moors, lakes and fireworks but none gave the message or ‘hint’ we wanted. Elle came up with this. I loved it as soon as I saw it. It gives an idea of the location and time of year, which are important to the story. It also, to me, has a peaceful look, which is the way I wanted the book to end after Carly’s emotional journey.
If Resolutions became a film, who would you like to play Carly and why would you choose them?
I have absolutely no idea. When I ‘saw’ Carly I envisage her to look like Karen Gillan (Amy Pond in Dr. Who). I think that’s one worry I’ll think about IF it actually did happen!
When you’re not writing, what do you like to read?
History! I love historical novels and I read all the authors. I also enjoy all the classics. I recently started re-reading John Buchan’s Richard Hannay novels – all good ripping yarns! I belong to a reading group which does take me out of my reading comfort zone.
At the moment I’m reading for the RNA’s RoNa awards, which I’ve done for the last few years, so I have a number of books awaiting my attention
If you had 15 words to persuade a reader that Resolutions should be their next read, what would you say?
It’s a story of guilt, resentment and a new love set amid the Yorkshire moors.
Thank you so much for your time in answering my questions and congratulations once again on today’s publication of Resolutions.
Thanks again for inviting me Linda. I’ve enjoyed myself being here.
About Carol Warham
Writing has been Carol’s love since childhood. She started by making small comics for her dolls, progressed to training as a journalist for a short while. Once the family had grown up she settled down to writing short stories, poems and holiday articles. Some of which are published.
In recent years she has become a judge in the short story section for the HysteriaUK competition and also for the RNA’s romance novel of the year.
Earlier this year, she represented her book group on BBC Radio Leeds, talking about books and the work on her novel.
Carol lives in Yorkshire, surrounded by some beautiful countryside, which is ideal for her other passion of walking, often with a dog called Sam.