We Chat (a little!) about Chantelle Rose, Running and Life in Spain…
Welcome, Cristina Hodgson!
Please tell us a little about your latest book, “A Little of Chantelle Rose” – what inspired you to write it?
Hi Isabella! Thanks for having me on your blog today. I’m just flattered to be sitting in such lovely company and surrounded by so much scrumptious cake! My debut novel, which was released just recently, was actually written thirteen years ago. After graduating from Loughborough University with a degree in PE and Sports Science, I travelled and worked in various jobs. One of which was as an extra in a British produced gangster film which was filmed in Nerja, Spain. It goes without saying that my sport mechanics and kinetic energy knowledge wasn’t put to maximum potential in this part-time job. But it was certainly a fun and unique experience, but most importantly it gave me an idea.
A year later I sat down and within three months I had written my 90 K novel. A little of Chantelle Rose was born. The novel tells an urban fairy tale. It’s about a young London girl who through a series of hilarious, if bizarre, circumstances is propelled to Hollywood glamour, lovers, confusion, menace and a truly startling conclusion. Its twists and turns will grip the reader – and make them laugh, too! At least that’s what I hope!! ?
How much of a cross-over is there between your career as an athlete and your career as a writer? I would imagine bags of discipline come into play with both…
Exactly, there is a huge cross-over. I’ve always compared my writing with long distance running. Both are solitary activities, where, to achieve the end results you have to spend hours perfecting the activity. You have to be consistent with the work, structured and very disciplined. With running, to achieve any level of success, you need to train, even when you’re feeling unmotivated. You have to get out in the rain, in the cold, in the heat. You have to push yourself to get the work done even when you feel like giving up, when you doubt yourself and believe you’re not talented enough. But if you can fight the internal and external factors, and learn to believe in yourself, you can achieve great things. This is exactly the same with writing. You need a sprinkling of talent to excel in either activity, but more important perhaps, you need discipline. You need to believe in yourself, you have to learn to work hard and never give up. And believe me, the end result will make all the hard work worth it.
It’s such a small world that we have both of us live in the province of Andalusia (large though that particular area is!) What do you love most about your life in Spain, and how does that feed into your writing?
I know, it’s lovely that we both live quite close to each other. It’s hard to choose what it is I love most about my life in Spain because there are several things. I guess if I had to summarise in one word, that word would be “Quality.” By this I mean I have everything I need, the shops, doctors, kids’ school, supermarket, sports centre, my day job all in a radius of about five minutes from my house. This makes daily life so convenient. It’s very hard to get stuck in a traffic jam where I live. Saying that it’s also hard to come up with a convincing reason if I’m late for work!
This commodity of having everything so close at hand makes it easier to organise my time and consequently gives me more time to dedicate to writing. So that can’t be a bad thing, can it?
Can you give us any clues as to what you are working on next?
As you have just finished reading my debut novel, you’ll understand me when I say that my current WIP is a bit of a secret. For those who feel intrigued I would suggest reading A little of Chantelle Rose and then you’ll all know what I mean! ; )
I’m going to be really boring here and say fruit cake. I’ve only recently been told I’m lactose intolerant, but even before, I’ve could never eat cake with loads of whipped cream and rich toppings or fillings. I don’t even think it was the runner in me staying away from all those extra calories, it’s just I actually prefer savoury foods. Just call me “Sporty Spice” I guess. But I do have to say the cover art of your debut novel “Oh! What a Pavlova” looks good enough to eat!
Favourite place you have ever visited anywhere in the world – other than sunny Spain?
I’ve been to the Maldives islands which was AMAZING!!! I also lived for a while in Boston, a really beautiful place, such great architecture and lovely people. But if I have to choose one place I’ve been to where I just fell in love with everything it had to offer and felt like home, I’d have to go with Sydney. An exciting and vibrant city and a sport’s person’s paradise…
Your one piece of advice for anybody writing in your genre?
Just one piece of advice? If it has to be structured advice, I’d say build up your fan base. Which is actually much easier said than done. If it can be therapeutic advice, just make sure you love what you do.
You can grab my free short story “Simply Anna” She was simply furious, but he was simply divine here: FREE short story Simply Anna
BUY LINK: myBook.to/chantellerose
(From Monday 28th August – for a limited time – you can purchase A Little of Chantelle Rose for just 99c/99p across Amazon! Just type in ‘CROOKED CAT BOOKS’ to your Amazon search for this book and many other Crooked Cat titles.)
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