15 Jan 2014

Romantic fiction author Emma Bennet is here today

I'd like to give Emma a very warm welcome to Fiction Dreams today. Come and meet her...
When did you first start writing? And when were you first published?
I started writing soon after the birth of my first son, almost ten years ago. My first novel was published in June this year.

What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres? If so, which?
I was introduced to the romantic fiction by my mother-in-law, and immediately adored the way that these books can sweep you away and immerse you in a relationship so completely. When I began writing it seemed obvious to me that this would be the sort of novel I’d write because I just love the idea of my happy ever afters bringing smiles to my readers’ faces.
I read many other genres including history, historical fiction and fantasy, I also love cookery books!

What's the title of your latest book? Can you tell us about it?
My book is called 'The Green Hills of Home' - it's a very traditional love story about a young Welsh writer called Gwen Jones. Gwen is desperate to save the family farmhouse from being sold from under her critically ill mother and herself. When she lands a lucrative three-book deal with an eminent publisher, she thinks her problems are all over. However, Gwen's need to be near her sick mother means she’s unable to travel to London to work with her devilishly desirable editor, John Thatcher, and he must come and stay with her in Wales. Handsome and eminently capable, cosmopolitan John is used to getting his own way and has plans for the future which certainly don’t include being distracted by pretty Welsh girls; nevertheless when he journeys into the country to work with Gwen it’s not long before he finds himself falling in love with her, as well as the house she’s so anxious to save. But is John capable of loving anyone as much as his job? And when he has to decide between his goals and Gwen, which will he choose?

What inspired you to write it?
I live in a market town in the Brecon Beacons – it’s an absolutely beautiful part of the World. I’ve only been here a few years, but can’t imagine ever leaving, so I tried to imagine what it would be like for someone who’s lived amongst this beauty all their lives, but is now being forced to leave. Before long I had my heroine, Gwen, and her beloved Welsh farmhouse firmly in my head!

Is it part of a series?
No, it's a standalone novel.

Have you ever spotted anyone reading your books anywhere?
Yes, and it's a very bizarre experience!

Who designs your covers?
My extremely talented husband - who knew a physicist would be so good at designing covers for romantic fiction?

If your latest book was made into a film, who would you cast?
Emily Blunt would make an amazing Gwen, if she could get the accent right! Oh, and could I have Daniel Craig as John Thatcher please?!

What's your favourite Chick Lit book that made it to the big screen?
'The Devil Wears Prada' is an excellent book, and Meryl Strep is just brilliant as Miranda in the film.

What were the last two books you read?
'The White Princess' by Philippa Gregory an d 'A Bear Called Paddington' by Michael Bond (which I'm enjoying with my children) - both very good in very different ways!

Name one female author who you think deserves to be better known.
The wonderful Stella Stafford, author of 'The Little Wychwell Mysteries'. Her novels are cosy, very British mysteries, set in Oxfordshire. They're very clever and extremely funny. Just perfect for curling up in an armchair with on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Where do you write?
Anywhere I can, but usually in my office at the top of our house.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Anne from Enid Blyton's 'The Famous Five' - and I don't mean just LIKE her, that's who I wanted to be!

In the movie of your life, who would play you?
Image courtesy: Georges Biard
Isla Fisher please, but she'd have to dye her hair for the role. I'm sure she'd be terribly highly paid for the part though, so wouldn't mind going brunette for a while.

Speed Round...
Top drink to make you tipsy?
Champagne bellinis - just can't resist!
Shopaholic or shopadon't? Shopaholic I'm afraid...
Sky high heels or closer to the ground? Closer to the ground - I have to have a quick turn of speed to catch my youngest!
E.L. James or Jilly Cooper? Probably Jilly Cooper, her books sound jolly good fun!
Cry baby or tough cookie? Oh cry baby most definitely!

Emma grew up and lived in London, before falling in love and moving to Wales to be with her own hero. Emma now lives with her husband, children, and many animals in a small Welsh market town.The beautiful landscape around her home gave her the inspiration for 'The Green Hills of Home'.
Her second novel, 'The Spaniard's Secret Daughter', is now available.
Emma likes (in no particular order): cake, books, Cary Grant films, prosecco, chocolate, guinea pigs, knitting, quilting and happily ever afters!

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