Today I’m in the historic market town of Arundel in West Sussex, having a chat with author Carol Thomas. Arundel provided the inspiration for Carol’s novel, A Summer of Second Chances, and I can see why she was inspired to write with this view from her office! Not only can you glimpse the town’s medieval castle across the rooftops, but it also looks like someone has kidnapped my cat Ed….
Thank you for having me on your blog.
You’re very welcome Carol. Tell me about your latest WIP.
My current WIP is far from finished but has the working title New Beginnings (or Christmas) at The Mistletoe Tearoom. It is about a single mother of two who starts over and finds love at Christmas after an unexpected encounter.
What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy it when the ideas and words flow. It is the best feeling when your fingers can’t type quickly enough to get your ideas down. I enjoy it when I know where my story is going, and I am excitedly writing towards a certain point.
How many unfinished novels have you got on your laptop/in your notebooks?
A quick count suggests nine. It is a bit of an estimate as some merge into others as I take threads and weave them into new stories as my ideas develop.
That’s exactly what I do too! How do you come up with names for your characters?
First, I look at pictures of people, celebrities typically, who fit the description of my character. Then, I try names out to see if they suit them. Once I have a name, I do a few checks to ensure it is appropriate: was it around in the year of the character’s birth? Do people with the same name have similar attributes to my character? And, are there any famous or infamous people with the same name?
If you could pick one character from your books to meet in real life, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Flo, a secondary character in my novel A Summer of Second Chances, who volunteers in the charity shop at the heart of the story. She is a lot of fun and a little bit mischievous. I’d enjoy spending time with her. Having worked in a charity shop myself, I know we would have a good chat about some of the more obscure donations received – such as those Flo accidentally displays that she shouldn’t.
Charity shops are Aladdin Caves – I can see that working in one could provide no end of inspiration!
Now, just imagine Hollywood comes calling, and you’re offered big bucks for film rights to one of your books, but you have absolutely NO SAY in how it’s adapted. Would you sign on the dotted line?
Oh, that’s a good question. I think I probably would for two reasons:
Practically, the money would be fabulous. My second eldest daughter is off to university soon, and I have two younger children yet to follow. Also, my husband talks about the cost-of-living crisis daily; it would be wonderful not to hear that for a bit.
I love to watch films at the cinema, and I think I’d like to trust the process and see how that goes. Being published, I know how hard it can be to accept titles, covers and edits that aren’t what you originally had in mind, but I have also seen that they can improve and add to the story. Trusting someone with the right cinematic vision may be beneficial.
In a dystopian future, you’re only allowed to keep one book from all the books on the shelves in your house. Which one would you choose?
I wish I had a book called How to Survive in a Dystopian Future, but I don’t. So, I’d choose my Ladybird Book of Five Little Kittens because my mum, who sadly passed away in 2021, read it to me as a child. I wasn’t a big book lover when I was young – so different to how I am now – but I remember the enjoyment of my mum reading it to me and my love of that story.
That’s a lovely memory to share. Thank you Carol.
Here’s a little more about A Summer of Second Chances
A heart-warming romance full of love, friendship and four legged friends!
Does first love deserve a second chance?
Ava Flynn sometimes feels like the clothes donated to her charity shop have seen more life than her, but ‘maximum dedication for a minimal wage’ is what it takes to keep her mother’s beloved wildlife charity, All Critters Great and Small, running especially in the village of Dapplebury, where business is certainly not booming.
But when Ava’s first love, Henry Bramlington, returns to the village, suddenly life becomes a little too eventful. Henry escaped Dapplebury many years before, but now he has the power to make or break the village he left behind All Critters Great and Small included. Can Ava trust the boy who ran away to give both her and her charity a second chance?
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Published by: Choc Lit
Other books by Carol Thomas
Maybe Baby: http://getbook.at/MBAmazon
The Purrfect Pet Sitter: http://getbook.at/TPPSAmazon
Crazy Over You: http://getbook.at/COYAmazon
Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband and four children. She has been a primary school teacher for over twenty years and has a passion for reading, writing and people watching. Whenever the opportunity arises, Carol can be found loitering in local cafes drinking too much tea and working on her next book.
Carol writes contemporary romance novels, with relatable heroines whose stories are layered with emotion, sprinkled with laughter and topped with irresistible male leads.
Website and Social Media Links:
For anyone who is worried about Ed, I’m happy to report that he’s safely home in the garden!