Guest Author Rosemary Goodacre on ‘A Fortnight is Not Enough’ and Provence.

Today we welcome author Rosemary Goodacre, who tells us about her debut novella, A Fortnight is not Enough, set in beautiful Provence, and her connection with the area.

Portrait Rosemary GoodacreWelcome to the Write Minds blog, Rosemary. This must have been an exciting time for you with the publication of your first novella. Did you do anything to celebrate?

I’m really thrilled with the news but haven’t done anything special yet to celebrate. I’m busy with social media publicity and current writing projects.

You describe the Provençal town of Pont-César in some detail, its narrow streets, market, cafes, Roman arena and so on. Is it based on any particular town or towns?

When we visited the south of France in 2016 we stayed in Arles, on the Rhône, the main inspiration for Pont-César. In the arena there you can take part in ‘gladiator training!’

Did you visit anywhere else in Provence?

We visited the Carmargue, a marshy coastal area where flamingos live wild, and Avignon, where you can see the famous bridge (no longer quite complete) and the palace, occupied in the Middle Ages by certain Popes.


‘Gladiator training’ in Arles

Imogen’s French in the book is described as being good. Are we right in thinking you also speak French

My father’s family came from the continent and my grandparents spoke French at home. I’m not fluent but I can keep up a conversation. My cousin comes from Liège in Belgium, where they speak French. She now lives in France, in the Gers, not far from the Pyrenees, and we went on to visit her in 2016.

The two main characters, Imogen and Jules, are both artists. Have you ever dabbled with painting yourself?

I’m afraid it was only dabbling. I knew what I wanted to paint but didn’t have the skill to execute it well. I have friends and relatives who paint and it’s a lovely career or pastime.

Several Impressionists are mentioned in your story as being on display in the gallery. Do you have a favourite Impressionist artist?

I haven’t got a favourite but I love their images of sunshine and sparkling rivers. Their lives were probably more challenging than the idyllic pictures suggest.

Jules’ maman cooks some tasty dishes for Imogen. What French food do you particularly enjoy?

There’s a very wide variety of French food, including, thriftily, creatures and parts of creatures we don’t normally eat. In Toulouse I resisted trying the popular dish of Gizzards. Most French food is delicious, though. I love the healthy Mediterranean diet of fruit, vegetables and fish.

What are you working on next?

I’ve recently completed a romance entitled The Day of the Dolly Bird, set in London in the Swinging Sixties. It has been critiqued by a professional novelist through the New Writers’ scheme of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and received a largely favourable report. At present I’m writing a historical novel set in World War I.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Rosemary. All the best with A Fortnight is not Enough.

Many thanks for inviting me to your blog, Francesca and Elaine.

Find Rosemary on Facebook and Twitter

A Fortnight is not Enough

A Fortnight is not Enough-cover-miniHave you ever enjoyed a holiday so much you could not bear to go home?

When 18 year old Imogen from London meets Jules in the south of France she is painting a view of the river and finds he is an artist too. As a student he earns a little by restoring paintings at the nearby gallery. She extends her three day stay to a fortnight. She loves the warm sunshine and the old town with its Roman remains.

As she becomes increasingly attracted to Jules she is unwilling to return home, where her older boyfriend Luke employs her in his photography gallery, obsessed with furthering his own ambitions. She travels to the airport but then impulsively misses her flight.

Will she need to return to London or can she and Jules find a way to allow her to stay? When the gallery is threatened, fate takes a hand…

Published by US publisher, Books to Go Now and available from Kobo Amazon UK and Amazon US



Welcome back to author Karen Aldous

We welcome back author Karen Aldous, whose new novel, One Moment at Sunrise was released on Monday.

Karen Aldous AuthorThank you for inviting me on to Write Minds blog Francesca and Elaine – I love these questions but I’ve had to think long and hard.

Q: Evie Grant is the main protagonist in your new novel. How do you come up with characters, and are any of them based on real people?

A really interesting question. Most of my characters come to me instinctively from a location, or sense of place. Evie, the main character in One Moment at Sunrise for example walked into the room at a villa I stayed at near the Canal du Midi. It was heart-breaking because she lived in this beautiful house but was tragically lonely. Over the days I was there, I asked her why, and her story soon took shape. In my novel, The Chateau, Agnes-Francesia came via a dream. Intuitively, I knew where she was and found her in the Chateau de Chillon near Montreux in Switzerland and explored more of the history of the high incidents of witch hunts in the area centuries ago. It was as though she wanted her story told. In The Vineyard and The Riviera, as soon as I arrived in Provence, one beautiful November day, Lizzie was there in a Luberon village dreaming of owning her own vineyard, but she was still young and longed to live somewhere vibrant and cosmopolitan but still able to access the beautiful landscape of Provence. Spending an afternoon in Cannes inspired her spirit further, so a few years later, I returned and found her apartment and the beauty salon and the story really began to take on a life of its own. I also had her parent’s farm setting in my mind from a local valley I walk in.

Q: Your latest novel refers to the place of the peasant women in the building of the Canal du Midi. How much of this story is true history, and how did you come by it and research it?

I gathered some material about the Canal du Midi after seeing the statue of Paul-Pierre Riquet; the visionary who is credited with building it and I could never take that away from him. However, from all the info and books I had about the canal, I read a snippet about peasant women being involved in the building of the canal and that immediately sparked my imagination. I just kept searching for more information on the internet, posing different questions until I came up with an amazing academic book which had much of the supporting evidence I needed about these women to make it work. So it’s very likely the peasant women did have a major input into the hydraulic methods Riquet needed and, again, I thought their story needed to be told.

Q: What do you think Evie would put into Room 101 and why, and what would you put in?

I have to giggle because, Evie in One Moment at Sunrise would unquestionably put Seb Wilde in there. He is such a horrid character and really shouldn’t have been put on this earth in the first place.

What would I put in? Lots. Diseases, wrinkles, spots and scars. Nobody wants them and they create so much distress among us.

Q: If you could be any other author, who would you choose, and why?

This is a really difficult question but I’m going to say Elena Ferrante. Her writing is immaculate. So honest, uninhibited, perfectly paced and beautiful. Every scene swoons you, leaving you dribbling for more. Who wouldn’t wish to achieve that.

Thank you for taking the time out for this interview, Karen. Good luck with the book.

SunriseEvie Grant has spent two years hidden away in a quiet French village, longing to escape her beautiful villa with its blue-shuttered windows. Maybe this summer, the father of her child will keep his broken promises and return to whisk her away to another life. One way or another, Evie’s determined to stop feeling like his dirty little secret…

Yet when a mysterious stranger almost knocks Evie off her bicycle early one morning, her world begins to change in ways she never expected. Embarking on a painful journey of self-discovery, Evie begins to face her darkest fears and rebuild her fragile dreams. But can she ever truly break free from her gilded cage and learn to love again?

Karen’s books published by CarinaUK/Harper Collins are available on Amazon:

One Moment at Sunrise

The Chateau

The Vineyard

The Riviera

You can also follow Karen:

Twitter: KarenAldous_

Facebook: KarenAldousAuthor

Pinterest: KarenAldousPinterest

Website: KarenAldousAuthorWebsite


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