We are delighted to welcome Carol Thomas to the blog today to talk to us about her upcoming new release. Carol, could you tell us a little more about it?
Thank you, though due to the current situation, the paperback release of Maybe Baby I am supposed to be celebrating hasn’t happened, yet. My lovely publisher, Ruby Fiction, informs me they hope it will happen soon, but I don’t have an exact date at this time.
The good news is, however, Maybe Baby is already out in ebook and audio editions and so can still be enjoyed as a summer read!
It is is the sequel to The Purrfect Pet Sitter (Lisa Blake book #1), and while each book can be read as a standalone story, Maybe Baby revisits the characters readers have enjoyed in The Purrfect Pet Sitter as they move into the next phase of their lives.
It is the story of what happens after the happy ever after …
Lisa Blake is back with her first love, she’s reunited with her best friend Felicity, and life is looking good; even her pet sitting skills are improving – everybody knows you can’t believe all you read in the local Gazette, don’t they?
Felicity is on the cusp of achieving her perfect wife-mum-life balance; Her husband, Pete, is being wonderfully attentive, and her four children are getting older and wiser (sometimes too much wiser) by the day. But with secrets to be revealed and discoveries to be made, it seems life is full of surprises! I won’t say quite what they are, but I enjoyed putting my characters into new and challenging situations and considering how they might respond and move forward as a couple. Reviews suggest the result is a fun, feel-good read.
What kind of research did you do before beginning the book?
Research for the Lisa Blake series required chatting to a firefighter and two paramedics (I know, it was a tough job but someone had to do it!) I also got my Facebook followers involved, and I was overwhelmed by the wonderful response. The story centres around a pregnancy. I have four children, but I wanted to gauge a range of pregnancy and birth experiences. I put out a call to new mums asking if they would answer a list of questions. The responses came in through the night and continued to come over the following week. The women who responded were so wonderfully open and honest about their experiences. I felt privileged that they were willing to share their stories with me.
How long did the book take to write? How much re-writing do you normally do?
The book took just over a year from inception to being released by Ruby Fiction, as an ebook. I had a detailed plan to work from – as the story involves a pregnancy, it was essential all dates fitted accurately. I also went on a very productive writing retreat in Umbria led by Sue Moorcroft. Due to various unforeseen circumstances, I was the only attendee and so got Sue all to myself for a week! Sue has an amazing work ethic, and there was nowhere to hide; I got a good chunk of the book written in that time. I also drank quite a lot of wine and made some wonderful memories.
I tend to draft as I go along, which is a habit that I’m aware slows the process down, but it means when I get to the end, I have fewer re-writes to do, at least until my editor gets hold of it!
What is your writing day like?
There was a time when I would have answered about sitting in cafes and writing amidst the hubbub of people. Well, this has, of course, all changed. With three school-aged children, homeschooling became the priority and writing in cafes became a thing of the past. I had to adapt my time and get used to our three bedroomed home being busy with five of us home all day.
Working in our Caravelle enabled me to find some uninterrupted chunks of time and it was interesting to discover a new rhythm to the day. Where I had previously struggled in the mornings to get words down, I found I could write quite freely between the hours of three in the afternoon to about seven in the evening. It’s a time that is usually full of school pickups and getting to clubs, but it seems, also a time when my creativity is flowing.
Where did your research for the book take you?
Maybe Baby is largely based in my hometown of Littlehampton on the south coast of England. It opens on Littlehampton beach – somewhere I have spent many hours and often enjoy writing. But the action doesn’t stay local. The characters take a trip to the French Alps and the beautiful village of Samoëns. I have visited the area on family holidays and love the dramatic changes to the landscape across the seasons. I was able to incorporate many of my favourite landmarks into the story, including the Cascade du Rouget – an impressive waterfall I’ve visited in full flow in the summer and frozen mid-motion in winter. It’s stunning and provides the backdrop for an important moment in Maybe Baby.
Can you tell us what you are working on now?
I have just sent my latest contemporary romance manuscript off to my publisher, and so I am eagerly awaiting feedback while trying to start my next novel. It’s a Christmas book and so not the easiest thing to get my head around in a mid-August heatwave.
I also have a children’s book coming out next month that I wrote a while ago, but have finally had the time to illustrate during lockdown. It is a story involving Father Christmas and a puppy experiencing his first Christmas in his new home. Promoting that might get me in the Christmas mood and give me some inspiration for my novel. Wish me luck!
Thank you so much for talking us today. We wish you the very best of luck!
About the Author:
In the summer of 2017, Carol Thomas was delighted to gain a publishing contract with Ruby Fiction, an imprint of Choc Lit. She has subsequently gained best-seller badges for The Purrfect Pet Sitter and Maybe Baby, both books in the Lisa Blake series.
Carol writes for adults and children: Her contemporary romance novels, have relatable heroines whose stories are layered with emotion, sprinkled with laughter and topped with irresistible male leads; while her children’s books have irresistibly cute, generally furry characters young children can relate to.
Carol lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively Labrador. She has been a primary school teacher for twenty years and has a passion for reading, writing and people watching.
Where to keep up with Carol:
Ruby Fiction: https://www.rubyfiction.com/dd-product/maybe-baby/
About the Interviewer:
Ruby Moone lives in the wilds of Lancashire with her husband and writes historical and contemporary romance. At school, her teachers said that she lived with her head in the clouds and if she didn’t stop daydreaming she would never get anywhere. She never did stop daydreaming, and after years of happily living in the clouds, decided to write the stories down.