Sincere thanks to Carol for taking the time to write this and wishing you all the best for the upcoming paperback release of The Purrfect Pet Sitter on August 6th.
After the success of The Purrfect Pet Sitter, you must be excited to see it’s sequel Maybe Baby finally on sale. What inspired you to write the stories and how long did they take you to write?
I like the quote, “sometimes all you need is a second chance because maybe time wasn’t ready for the first one.” In my story, I wanted to explore the idea of second chances in friendship and love. Add to that, my daughter is a pet sitter, it’s an excellent job for meeting people, and pets who, like children, add a certain amount of unpredictability – giving rise to great opportunities when writing romantic comedy.
After writing The Purrfect Pet Sitter, I knew I wanted to take the characters’ stories further and so wrote the sequel, Maybe Baby. While each is a standalone story, Maybe Baby follows the characters from The Purrfect Pet Sitter as they enter the next phase of their lives.
It takes such a passion for your characters for a novelist to stick with a piece of writing long enough to complete a book. Can you tell me what it is you like most about your character Lisa Blake, and why? Would she be someone you’d like to be friends with in real life?
I would like to be friends with Lisa in real life. I often write about strong female friendships and bonds and greatly enjoyed writing Lisa’s story. I love the relationship she has with her best friend, Felicity, and the history they share. I think it is important to like your lead characters as you and your readers are going to be spending a lot of time with them.
As The Purrfect Pet Sitter releases as a paperback on August 6th, tell me how you felt to finally hold a completed book in your hands for the first time?
I had already self-published my first book, Crazy Over You, and so this isn’t my first book baby. But it is my first book baby to be traditionally published, and so it is very special. To receive my author copies in the post of both the paperback and audio editions has been wonderful. I have of course had it on show in my living room ever since and can’t help but stroke the cover as I pass by (authors are an odd lot!).
What would you say to your friends about your books that would encourage them to read them?
See if you can spot which character you are! Haha, not really, but I bet it would work.
I would say my books are guaranteed to leave you with a smile. I write about relatable heroines whose stories are mixed with emotion, sprinkled with laughter and topped with irresistible male leads. Ideal for when you want a bit of escapism.
Have any of your scenes ever been inspired by a real-life romantic moment, with or without your pets?
The Christmas scenes in The Purrfect Pet Sitter were inspired by a very lovely, snowy research trip to France with my husband. And for those who have read the sequel, Maybe Baby, currently available in ebook and audio editions, Lisa’s bracelet is inspired by a similar bracelet I have. My husband is quite a romantic and so he is good at providing inspiration. J
What do you love most about writing?
I love it when I have time to write and immerse myself in the story and the lives of my characters. When the writing is flowing, and ideas are coming so fast, it is hard to keep up; it is the best feeling.
Where is the strangest place you’ve ever sat down to write?
The good thing about writing is you can do it anywhere. I often find myself writing outside my children’s school as I wait for home time, and in odd places, while they attend clubs – poolside, on a gym floor, at the stables and so forth. But a particularly memorable moment involved writing while sitting at the top of a waterfall in France, while my children played.
If you were to meet your lead male character in real life, what would you want to say to him?
I would tell Nathan Baker from The Purrfect Pet Sitter and Maybe Baby, that everything comes to those who wait. As he is quite lovely, I might also try slipping him my number, but I know he only has eyes for Lisa Blake!
Many romance genres have varying levels of spice, conflict and attraction. What sort of romance reader would you say would enjoy your books the most?
Yes, and I read the whole range! For me, it’s what makes the genre fun and fulfilling, no matter what your mood. The romance and drive towards achieving a happy ending (whatever that might be for the heroine) is paramount in my books. Romance readers who are looking for relatable heroines, heroes they can fall in love with, laughter, the odd tear, and a happy ending, will enjoy my books. I don’t shy away from writing and including spicy scenes, but my books are not explicit.
Which other authors do you read the most, and what do you love about their books? Would their novels appeal to the same readership as yours?
I read mainly within the romance genre. I enjoy Tracy Bloom’s books for a light-hearted laugh, with down to earth characters. Sarah Morgan can be relied upon for beautiful settings and swoon worthy heroes. Lucy Diamond is a favourite as she places her characters in situations that challenge their status quo. And finally, Mhairi McFarlane, whose books I love, is wonderful at summing up a situation in a single and perfectly apt sentence that will resonate with her readers. I could go on.
I believe their readership would enjoy my books, as I hope I have learnt from these writers and applied some of what they do to my work.
If you're interested in finding out more about Carol's books, here are some more details.
The Purrfect Pet Sitter:
Introducing Lisa Blake, the purrfect pet sitter!
When Lisa Blake’s life in London falls apart, she returns to her hometown, rebranding herself as ‘the purrfect pet sitter’ – which may or may not be false advertising!
But being back where she grew up, Lisa can’t escape her past. There’s her estranged best friend Flick who she bumps into in an embarrassing encounter in a local supermarket. And her first love, Nathan Baker, which, considering their history, is sure to be even more surprised by her drunken Facebook friend request than Lisa is.
As she becomes involved in the lives of her old friends, Lisa must confront the hurt she has caused, discover the truth about her mysterious leather-clad admirer, and learn how to move forward when the things she wants most are affected by the decisions of her past.
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Publisher: Ruby Fiction, an imprint of Choc Lit
Ruby Fiction: http://www.rubyfiction.com/dd-product/the-purrfect-pet-sitter/
View the book trailer: http://tinyurl.com/TPPS-booktrailer
About the author:
Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively young Labrador. She has been a playgroup supervisor and taught in primary schools for over fifteen years, before dedicating more of her time to writing. Carol is a regular volunteer at her local Cancer Research UK shop. She has a passion for reading, writing and people watching and can often be found loitering in local cafes working on her next book.
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