Welcome to Mur-y-Castell!
I am 43 – but frequently I catch my children (Felix 10, Georgia 8) giving me a look that says “Oh Mummy, do grow up!”. I am a single mother and I live on a small farm with the children and our dog, Twig (an English Pointer) in a county just outside London. We have fields and woods and a stream and 15 horses graze the land (just the one is mine – Nathan!). I’ve ridden horses since I was a child and am passionate about Parelli Natural Horsemanship. I am 5’2″, I take pottery classes each week. I’m a chatterbox… I make a knock-em-dead lemon drizzle cake.
Pillow Talk won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 2007. It’s about giving first love a second chance – and the hero and heroine, who loved each other from afar when they were school kids, come across each other by chance years later. The novel is set partly in the jewellery quarter in London (Petra is a jeweller) and partly in a boys boarding school in the North Yorkshire countryside (Arlo is the music teacher). It’s also about feeling safe enough to finally share your fears – and to ultimately bury any skeletons you have lurking in your closet. All in all, it’s an unashamedly romantic love story – and raunchy too!
3. I read that you love research. What kind did you do for this book?
I asked my facebook fans this very question – as the characters are so distinct in my mind’s eye I just couldn’t ascribe actors to them! Ultimately, Rufus Sewell was to be Arlo – and Emily Mortimer was to be Petra.
I’m afraid that as there are 11 of them and as I’m busy writing my 12th I’ll have to direct you to my website www.freyanorth.com where each and every book is featured! My first, SALLY was about a primary school teacher who wants to reinvent herself as a femme fatal, CHLOE featured a young woman who travels the four countries of the UK during the four seasons of one year and meets a different chap in each place, POLLY does a teachers’ exchange with a school in Vermont – and swaps more than just her job. CAT is trying to heal from a broken heart and further her career as a sports journalist so she follows the Tour de France, FEN has to decide between two men: one rich, one poor, one her age, one 20 years older, one living in the town, one in the country. PIP is a clown doctor who thinks she can get by just fine without men or money. LOVE RULES looked at whether you listen to your head, your heart or your best friend when it comes to love and lust, HOME TRUTHS was about mothers, daughters, lovers, liars. Then came PILLOW TALK. Then SECRETS (which Source books will be publishing next). CHANCES has just been published to great acclaim in the UK and RUMOURS is underway for next Spring. Phew! Can I take a sabbatical?!
Currently, I am writing my 12th novel Rumours – it is set in a small village in the county in which I live. It centres around the sale of a wonderful mansion – and how this affects so many people in the village. So I’ve been nosing around some magnificent country houses all in the name of research! On the whole, though, my work is driven by the characters themselves. I believe you can have the most intimate plot – but if the characters aren’t fleshed out, then the reader won’t really care what happens! Therefore, Rumours has a cast list of eccentric, entertaining characters – each of them could have their own novel! The heroine is called Stella, the hero is called Xander and the book will be published in the UK next Spring.
Write because you have a tale you NEED to tell, not because you fancy ‘being a writer’. It can be a lonely, frustrating and isolating job. Don’t give up – it can be very demoralizing when the rejections come in. Have a look on my website – there’s a whole section on advice – practical steps to have your work notices as well as hints for writing too. http://www.freyanorth.com