We Talk Cornwall and Corfu, Orange Marmalade Cupcakes, and Michael Palin for Dinner!
Welcome Daisy James! Please tell us a little about your most recent Book…
Thanks ever so much for having me as a guest on your blog, Isabella. It’s great to be here.
My most recent book is Sunshine After the Rain. The story is set in glorious Corfu and I hope I’ve managed to capture not only the beautiful scenery and the friendliness of the people, but also that wonderful aroma of crushed pine needles mingled with the saltiness of the warm sea. The weather hasn’t been brilliant in my part of the UK this summer so I think we all deserve a little bit of Sunshine After the Rain, don’t you?
We are introduced to Evie who is a frazzled workaholic in desperate need of a break from the daily struggle to six o’clock. There is a disaster at the art gallery where she works and she has to take a sabbatical. Spending time on the sandy beaches of Corfu helps her to understand what her priorities are – with a little help of hunky Sam Bradbury. I really hope readers find it a heart-warming summer read, perfect for the beach.
What inspired you to write it?
Corfu is one of my favourite holiday destinations. I love all things Greek; the people, the food, the music, the scenery, the warm water to swim in, the golden sunshine, the ouzo! I wanted to write something that would chase the rainclouds away, hence the title.
Your novels appear to be themed around travel (one of my very favourite things). With so many fabulous destinations to write about, how do you choose the backdrop for your next title?
You are right! I love travel. My first novel – The Runaway Bridesmaid – was set partly in New York and I loved doing the research! I was lucky enough to take a trip there for a milestone birthday so I was able to bring in details of my experience to the story. However, I think the setting of There’s Something About Cornwall becomes almost another character in the story. It features a grouchy celebrity chef – The Devil Wears an Apron – as she tours round the county sampling all the gorgeous artisan food and drink the county produces.
As far as my next book is concerned, it’s true there are so many wonderful destinations to choose from! However, I’ve decided that the stories (it’s a trilogy) will be set in the Caribbean. Mmm, rum punch, jerk chicken, pineapple and coconut ice cream….
As anyone who has read my books will know, I love baking. It’s so difficult to choose just one favourite cake, but if I had to, then it would be lemon drizzle cake. I’ve actually just taken twenty-four orange marmalade cupcakes out of the oven and the smell is delicious! I intend to decorate them with orange buttercream, but often the cakes disappear before I have chance!
What’s the loveliest thing a reader has said about your writing?
I’m immensely lucky to have such wonderful readers who tell me how much they enjoy my stories and that they’ll be looking out for the next one. I’ve been especially delighted with comments from people who live in Cornwall who have said how much they enjoyed the virtual trip around their home county via the pages of my novel.
And the not-so-loveliest?
Of course, no matter how hard they try, or how talented an author is, they can’t please every reader, every time. Some books or stories just don’t resonate. It is difficult to read unfavourable reviews, but if you put your writing out there you have to accept that there’s a risk that some people won’t like it.
Favourite place to holiday (apart from Cornwall or Corfu)?
I love Yorkshire – although I’m bound to say that, aren’t I, being a Yorkshire lass? But it is a really diverse county. I’ve just been for a long weekend to Whitby which was fun, but I also hope to sneak in a trip to Halifax in the next month or so to see the newly-renovated Cloth Hall. If I was going to take a flight to the sun, then my first choice would be a Greek island, but maybe one that I haven’t visited – I really fancy trying Evia as I’ve just read a book that was set there.
If you could choose three authors to invite over for a dinner party (and these have to be authors you haven’t yet met!), who would that trio comprise of?
One of my favourite genres is travel autobiographies so I would choose Chris Stewart who wrote Driving Over Lemons – what a fabulous title! Then I would invite Anne Mustoe who cycled, alone, around the world- 12,000 miles! What an amazing thing to do? I bet she has some amazing tales to tell. I’d love to ask her what she had in her rucksack. The last guest would be Michael Palin – another intrepid traveller. I can just hear the conversation now. I don’t think there will be much eating going on!
In a very competitive book world, what single piece of advice would you give to those starting out in your genre?
The best piece of advice I was given when I started out was just one word – persevere. There is inevitably rejection along the path to publication and you just have to accept that and move on.
What can we expect to see from you next?
I’m so excited about my next book. It’s my very first Christmas book and I loved writing it. It’s called Christmas at the Dancing Duck – which is a local village pub. Here’s a peek at the cover.
And of course there’s my Caribbean trilogy coming next year.
A summer that changes everything…
Frazzled workaholic Evie Johnson has finally had enough! When she’s blamed for a publicity disaster at the art gallery she loves, she decides to flee the bright lights of London for the sun-drenched shores of Corfu and turn her life upside-down.
Under the shade of the olive trees, she picks up her dusty paintbrushes and begins to chase the dreams she had put aside for so long. But she never expected to bump into drop-dead-gorgeous Sam Bradbury – and certainly not whilst wrapped only in a towel!
A summer fling is the last thing Evie wanted but a few stolen kisses under the stars might just begin to change her mind…
Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.
Daisy would love to hear from readers via her Facebook page or you can follow her on Twitter @daisyjamesbooks or on Instagram @booksdaisyjames.