Meet The Family – Angela Britnell
Today, I have caught up with Angela Britnell to learn about how Cornwall has an influence on her work!
Hi Angela and welcome to my blog “A Story About A Girl” I was so excited to get to sit down and chat to another member of the Choc-Lit family and learn all about you and what you have in store for us.
What inspired you to write “A Summer to Remember in Herring Bay?”
This book, along with many of my others, is inspired by Cornwall where I was born and my own long, happy transatlantic marriage. Aspects of Mevagissey, a Cornish fishing village where my mother lived definitely sneaked into this story and there’s also an abandoned Methodist chapel in the book that’s similar to one in the village where I grew up.
What made you decide to submit with ChocLit?
Back in 2013 (I think!) Choc Lit held a Search for an American Star competition and I entered what turned out to be the winning manuscript. After a name change it became Sugar and Spice, my first Choc Lit novel and now A Summer to Remember in Herring Bay will be my twelfth.
If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself?
Find a local writers’ group and/or join an organisation like the Romantic Novelists’ Association or Romance Writers of America because the support and the amount you can learn from other writers is invaluable
If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?
I’m not sure at this stage, probably thinking about retirement!
How did you deal with rejections when you started out?
At first they were extremely hard to take but with time I’ve been able to view them less personally. I know that as a reader I enjoy some books and dislike others which means it’s the same way for an editor/publisher reading one of my manuscripts. Plus they are looking at whether my story fits with their business model and whether they believe it to be marketable
What would you say to someone who wants to write?
Write every day, the length of time isn’t important and it doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad but get the words down. Learn more about the craft through books, writing groups etc. but always keep in the back of your mind that what works for one writer might not for you. After listening to other writers talking about their methods I tried to plot my stories but it was an exercise in frustration where I was concerned. I concluded it wasn’t for me and that’s perfectly okay.
Do you have any writing routines or rituals if so what are they?
Before I start to write I do what I call the business side of things and check my email and social media. That can become a wander around Facebook, Twitter etc. if I don’t rein myself in! Next it depends what stage I’m at in a book. If I’m in hard core first draft mode I usually do a light edit of the previous days’ words before keeping going. I keep track of my daily words written and usually challenge myself to reach a certain number but don’t beat myself up if I miss it! It could also involve doing research or reading my manuscript on my Kindle to see how it is coming together. The most important ritual though involves tea and biscuits at frequent intervals.
Which authors inspired you to write?
It’s hard to say because I’ve always been a voracious reader so I suppose I’ve soaked up a lot from various authors without being aware of it. Anyone who can tell a good story that I don’t want to put down and am sorry when the book finishes is the best answer I can come up with!
Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?
No one who knows me will be surprised when I say Aidan Turner to play Ruan but he’s the perfect age plus it needs a man who can carry off fashionable clothes the right way. I’m sure he would need input from the author to help with his character too J As for Essy I think Reese Witherspoon could pull it off, she’s a southern girl so the accent wouldn’t be a problem.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I’ve just finished a Christmas novella titled Mistletoe and Moonshine and will soon go back to work on a spring book I started a while ago.
More About Angela
Angela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville, Tennessee to visit family and friends, drink tea and eat far too many Cornish pasties!
A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she’s visited or lived on her extensive travels. Thanks to over three decades of marriage to her wonderful American husband she’s a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after.
She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Romance Writers of America and the Music City Romance Writers. Her first novel ‘Truth and Consequence’ was published in 2006 and she’s now had over 30 novels published internationally and several short stories in women’s magazines.
Essy Havers is good at finding things. Her company specialises in helping clients track down anything, from missing china pieces to rare vintage clothing. But now Essy has something more important to find: herself.
Essy has always been curious about her mother’s secret past and her Cornish roots. So, when the opportunity arises, she hops on a plane in Tennessee and ends up in Herring Bay in Cornwall; the village where her mother grew up.
But once there, she’s mystified by the reactions of the villagers when they realise who she is. Was Essy’s decision to visit Cornwall a mistake, or will it lead to a summer she’ll never forget?
Check out Angela Britnell on the Choc-Lit website for more information on her books!