It has been a while since Evonne Wareham has published a book so I was SUPER keen to get to meet her and get to know the author behind the upcoming book “A Wedding on The Riviera”
Hi Evonne and welcome to my blog “A Story About A Girl” I can’t wait to learn more about your book “A Wedding on The Riviera.
What inspired you to write “A Wedding on The Riviera?”
The book is the second in an intended series of romantic suspense, set in Riviera locations, so I was waiting for an idea that would lend itself to that setting. By chance I’d read two ‘runaway bride’ stories back to back – ones where the bride leaves her groom standing at the altar.
I started to play the writer’s game ‘What if …’ which made me think about a runaway groom, rather than a bride. I decided that he had to be a villain, and that led to him being a con artist. And that led me to a group of friends who decide to take him on, connected to the detective agency that appears in the first book, Summer in San Remo.
A plan for a glamorous wedding in the South of France was the result. Two of the group are on the verge of a love affair, although naturally there are obstacles in the way, or there wouldn’t be a story, and that gave me my romantic thread. The wedding research was a lot of fun. The book is self contained, so it can be read as a stand-alone, but readers who have read the first one will get the chance to catch up with characters from that book.
What made you decide to submit with ChocLit?
I had a chance to pitch to them at a Romantic Novelists’ Association conference. I’d had some success in American competitions for unpublished authors so I had two books to pitch that had a bit of a track record. I was very attracted to the fact that Choc-Lit wanted their authors to write from both heroine and hero’s points of view, because I really enjoy writing the love affair from both sides.
If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself?
Keep trying. It took me a very long time to discover what it was I wanted to write, but in that time I was learning the craft, experimenting with a lot of different genres. Everything I wrote had an element of crime in it, and eventually I stumbled over American romantic suspense authors and everything clicked. I’ve never asked, but I suspect I may be one of the longest serving members in the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme. And we are talking decades here, not years. There were a lot of times when I nearly gave up, but I just couldn’t do it.
If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?
In the big picture, probably studying for something. The reason that this book took a while to complete is because I was finishing my studies for a PhD. One half my brain is a writer, the other half is an academic – an historian. I like the research involved. Let me loose in an archive, and I’m a happy bunny. In the smaller picture, I really should be decluttering the house, but we won’t talk about that.
How did you deal with rejections when you started out?
Badly. And I had lots. You do get used to it, but if you have tried your best with something, it always hurts to have it rejected. If agents and editors take the time to explain why you are getting a rejection letter, that can be very valuable, particularly if you are getting the same comments from more than one source. You have to learn to make the most of that kind of advice, but it isn’t easy.
What would you say to someone who wants to write?
That you need to try, and possibly keep trying. There are people who hit the jackpot straight away, but I’m not sure how often that happens. You need hard work, a bit of luck and perseverance. Take any opportunities you can to learn and to practice, enter competitions, especially ones that give feedback, write because you enjoy it, not because you think something will make money. You do have to please the reader, and there has to be a market for what you are producing, but if you enjoy what you are doing I think that comes through.
Do you have any writing routines or rituals if so what are they?
I’m fairly unusual these days in that the first draft is always done long hand. I think that’s years of note taking. My handwriting has now degenerated into a kind of shorthand. Sometimes I can’t decipher it myself. It has the advantage in that I can write anywhere. I particularly like writing on trains, although that hasn’t been happening recently. I’m hoping that it will happen again eventually.
Which authors inspired you to write?
As I’ve mentioned, it took me a long while to find out the genre that suited me, and that turned out to be one that is better known in the US than in the UK. With such a vast country, there is so much more room for all sorts of varieties of romance that are not so well known over here. I read a Nora Roberts – it was The Reef – and that made me think – ‘Maybe I can do that?’. And it finally worked!
Would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?
This is usually a tricky one for me, because unlike a lot of authors, I don’t use pictures of actors or models as inspiration. In this case I have to say that the Lancôme adverts for Tresor perfume with Penelope Cruz and Noah Mills, that were current when I was writing the first draft, captured my mental image of Nadine and Ryan. So that would be the image I would want to re-create.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
More Riviera books. I like writing them – glamour and sunshine! I have one already begun and am researching for the one after that. For some reason the hero has turned out to be an Egyptologist, and as I know very little about Egyptology, I’m having fun finding out. That’s the academic coming out again. If it all gets too complicated I might try to talk him into being an art historian instead. The Riviera series is on the lighter more glitzy side, but I also have some partial manuscripts for grittier stand-alones, that I would like to revisit.
More About Evonne
Evonne is an award winning Welsh author of romantic suspense – more crime and dead bodies than your average romance. She likes to set her book in her native Wales, or for a touch of glamorous escapism, in favourite holiday destinations in Europe. She is a Doctor of Philosophy and an historian, and a member of both the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Crime Writers’ Association.
A return to the Riviera on the trail of a runaway groom …
When out-of-work actor Ryan Calder attends a wedding as the plus-one of successful businesswoman, Nadine Wells, he doesn’t expect to get in a scuffle with the groom.
But Ryan has a good reason. He recognises the groom from another wedding where the same man made a quick getaway, taking the wedding money and leaving a heartbroken bride in his wake. It seems he’s struck again, and Nadine’s poor friend is the target.
Ryan and Nadine decide they can’t let it happen to another woman, so with a group of friends they hatch a plan that will take them to the French Riviera, hot on the heels of the crooked groom. But could their scheme to bring him to justice also succeed in bringing them closer together?
Check out Evonne Wareham on the Choc-Lit website for more information on her books!