Coffee Break - with Sophie Claire
It's very exciting to have Sophie Claire with us this week!
You can follow Sophie Claire on twitter @SClaireWriter or on her website sophieclaire.com which is full of pictures, latest news and is just a treasure trove, I must admit I lost track of time reading all the wonderful posts!
Sophie’s recent book A Forget-Me-Not Summer has just come out on paperback and she is also the author of The Christmas Holiday.
catch up with Sophie!
Hello Sophie, thank you so much for joining us, it is lovely to have you!
Thank you for having me, Katie. It’s my pleasure to be here.
Can you tell us about your new book A Forget-Me-Not-Summer? (Congratulations on its recent paperback publication by the way!)
Thank you so much. A Forget-Me-Not Summer is Natasha’s story. She runs a florist’s in the quaint village of Willowbrook and has finally got her life on track after her short-lived marriage to Luc Duval. That is, until he unexpectedly walks through her shop door three years after their divorce. Luc reveals that he never told his family about their split, and now his father is desperately ill and demanding to meet Natasha. He needs her to come to France and pretend they're still happily married. Natasha is horrified, but when Luc makes her an offer she can't refuse, she reluctantly packs her bags. The deal is two weeks on a vineyard with his family, but will Luc and Natasha be able to play the perfect couple after years apart? And in the glorious Provence sun, will the old spark between them be impossible to ignore?
A Forget-Me-Not-Summer is set in France, Provence what is the inspiration for this?
I loved writing about their time in France! It took me right back to my childhood and the summers I spent in Provence at my grandparents’ house. My mum is French and every year at the end of July we used to pack up the car and make the two-day journey from Manchester (UK) to the South of France. Air travel was expensive back then so we only saw my grandparents once a year and I loved those long summers at their house.
I have wonderful memories of sunshine and trips to the beach and delicious meals that stretched for hours with my extended family all gathered around the table. My grandmother was an excellent cook, and there’d be wine flowing, lots of laughter, stories and jokes – it was a wonderful, happy, relaxed time.
In A Forget-Me-Not Summer I drew on these memories when I wrote about Luc's large and noisy family, and it wasn't difficult to make Natasha wish she belonged at Chateau Duval. Natasha doesn’t have any family of her own, so she’s particularly envious and sees a whole new side to Luc when he’s with his family. But the deal is that after two weeks she’ll leave. I'll leave it for you to find out what happens when she faces that dilemma...
If you had to describe Natasha in 3 words, what would they be?
Fiercely independent & proud. (That’s not very flattering, but she’s been so affected by the events of her past and they’ve really shaped the woman she’s become. Also she has a heart of gold and loves nail art. Oops, now I’ve really gone over three words!).
Is there a part of the publishing journey that you enjoy the most?
Being published! I worked for years to get to this point and I’m so grateful that now I get to work with experienced editors to make my books the best they can be, and to share my stories with readers! I hope the excitement I feel now never fades.
How would you describe your writing space?
It’s so messy (This picture was taken years ago after a big tidy-up. I don’t think it’s looked like this since!) but I know where everything is (kind of) and I love hiding in here. I’m so lucky to have my own room which looks out onto our back garden, so the only distractions are squirrels and foxes. It’s perfect.
Share a photo of one of your favourite things
It has to be Provence of course! Here’s a picture from my research trip last year. It’s a hilltop village called Lourmarin and it features in my next book, A WINTER’S DREAM.