There are certain moments in life when you have to act professional and suave, but inside you are jumping up and down like a lunatic because you’re so damn excited. I experienced one of those moments when I met today’s guest in the flesh at an event in Birmingham. If author, Samantha Tonge had any inkling about my fangirling moment she was very gracious about it – I waffled on for ages (sorry, Sam).
I’m even more delighted that she agreed to join me on my blog for a chat about her new release, Breakfast under a Cornish Sun, out TODAY!
Over to Samantha…
The Fun Stuff:
What part of the world do you come from?
Manchester, northern England. The rainiest part of England, apparently, although when I first moved up here a taxi driver said that was a rumour to keep southerners out!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Um… probably a teacher. I used to practise marking work and signing my name. Ironically that autograph experience came in useful when I became an author!
List three words to describe yourself.
Loyal. Sensitve. Bonkers.
Who would play you in a film about your life?
Isla Fisher as I am a little crazy. Lots of people could tell mad stories about me, that’s why it’s important to keep your friends closer than your enemies! I’m not joking!
What’s your favourite snack food when writing?
Ooh. Chocolate, it has to be. I went through a phase of donuts but the keyboard got very sticky
If you had a super power, what would it be?
To heal the anxious and depressed. There is too much stress in the modern world.
The Sensible Side:
Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?)
I started writing, ooh, about eleven years ago. It took me a long time to snag an agent and I signed my first novel publishing deal in 2013. In other words, I don’t give up. I grew up, in Hertfordshire and was blessed with a wonderful mother who always told me I could achieve anything I put my mind to. When I’m not writing or spending time with the family, I begrudgingly go cycling and joyously bake!
Where did the inspiration for Breakfast Under a Cornish Sun come from?
Well, the thrust of the story is that disenchanted Kate Golightly heads to Cornwall to find her very own Poldark look-alike, so yes, the Poldark series did hugely inspire this book! I am always inspired by anything that grabs the public’s imagination (hence my debut novel Doubting Abbey, inspired by Downton). I think we would all, in our dreams, like to run away to the rugged coast and be seduced by a brooding Aidan Turner double – Kate acts on this fantasy and tries to make it a reality, with very unexpected results!
If your book was made into a film, who would you love to play the lead characters?
Kate is a little quirky, so I think Emilia Clarke of Me Before You and Game of Thrones fame. Poldark look-alike Lucas? I think there is only one option for that! As for Tremain, the grumpy holiday resort manager… an older, more moody version of Zac Efron would do just fine!
Your books are full of interesting characters, humour, and heart-warming storylines (plus fabulous food!). Which of your books was the most fun to write and why?
Thank you! I think Game of Scones was. I adored the Greek island setting and fell in love myself with the two heroes, gorgeous six foot four Dutch Henrik and exotic Greek fisherman Niko. It was huge fun creating the warm village community of Taxos as well – some real quirky characters live there! I was #TeamNiko all the way 🙂
Do you plot your novels or do you prefer to go with the flow?
I do an outline but don’t plan each chapter in detail until the day before I write it, as timelines and ideas can change. I let the characters take me where they want to.
What is your research process when working on a novel?
The internet is a wonderful resource for finding chat rooms where people discuss problems your characters might share, for watching youtube videos to do with your setting… I often wonder how writers used to manage pre the World Wide Web. It must have been a much slower process.
Can you give us a brief excerpt from Breakfast Under a Cornish Sun?
This gives a taste of lovely Kate’s character. She is a singer and has just performed.
“When I stopped everyone gave me a quiet round of applause. I smiled. This was the one area of my life where I wasn’t the slightest bit embarrassed. Compliment my outfit or make-up and my ears would probably glow scarlet but clap my singing and I’d just bow my head or give you the thumbs-up. It wasn’t because I considered my voice amazing—it was because the approval meant less. Of course positive reviews lit up my world for a while but bad ones would never stop me singing. It was what I did. It was me.
Music ran through my bones. It gave my purpose. Singing was my past, present, future and any afterlife.
I closed my eyes again. How good it felt to be performing. A few days away from a mike made me feel like an addict reaching the point of needing a detox—singing again was the ultimate, feel-good rehab.”
What can we expect from you in the future?
I am currently working on a book that is quite different from any of my others – a little more serious and there is ACTUAL FULL SEX in it. Just don’t tell my kids 🙂
How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
At my website
Or on Amazon
I am also on Twitter
Thank you SO much for joining me today, Samantha.
If you want to check out Samantha’s novels then pop over to her Amazon page. She also writes hugely insightful blog posts on her website.