TUESDAY TALK CHATS TO AUTHOR SARA GETHIN ABOUT HER WRITING JOURNEY AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND HER NOVEL ‘NOT THOMAS’,

P1040360 - B&WGood morning Sara and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Morning, Jo – it’s a pleasure to be here. I live in west Wales, on the Carmarthenshire coast, with my husband, Simon. We have two grown-up children – our daughter lives down the road from us with her two dogs, and our son lives in Dublin, so we’re frequent visitors to Ireland. In the past, all my jobs have been child-related. I’ve worked as a primary school teacher, and also been a child-minder and an assistant in a children’s library. I now write full-time.

How did your writing journey begin?

I’d always loved writing bits and pieces and imagined myself writing a novel one day, but when the children were young I never seemed able to set aside enough time. When I turned forty, I decided it was ‘now or never’ and I joined a local writing class. The emphasis was on writing for children and I built up collections of short stories for four to eight-year-olds. The first of these was called ‘Welsh Cakes and Custard’ and it was published in 2013. It won a Welsh award and this really encouraged me to keep writing. I’ve written another two children’s books under my real name of Wendy White.

What inspired you to write Not Thomas?

My first teaching post was in a very disadvantaged area, and the poverty and neglect I witnessed there made a lasting impression on me. I drew on these teaching experiences to write Not Thomas, and I wrote it very slowly over fourteen years. I chose to write it under the pen name Sara Gethin to keep my novel distinct from my humorous writing for children.
Not Thomas is quite dark. It’s about child neglect and the story is told entirely from the point of view of five-year-old Tomos. He’s been removed from his lovely foster parents and sent to live with his mum who’s hiding a drug addiction. Tomos isn’t based on one child I taught – he’s a mixture of a number of children I knew and heard about, all rolled into one often very sad, but also really hopeful, central character.

As a writer what is the best piece of advice you have been given?

The lecturer on that very first writing course I attended gave us an essential piece of advice – read, read, read! He told us it’s the best way to learn what good writing is. Some students disagreed with his advice because they felt it would lead to them copying someone else’s style. It’s an argument I’ve heard many, many times since, but I still firmly believe that if you want to write well you have to read an awful lot too.

What destination is top of your bucket list?

I would love to visit Australia. I’m not very good at roughing it, or coping in extreme temperatures or with unusual foods, so it’s the perfect place for my dream holiday. And all that reading time on the plane there and back – bliss!

And lastly, you’re one of the contestants in I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here. Which four famous people would you like as companions in the ‘jungle’ and why?

Being a contestant on I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here is my idea of absolute hell! Roughing it, disgusting food – see my answer to the previous question. But thank you for letting me choose four companions to help soften the pain.
First of all I’d pick Graham Norton. I think he’s hilarious and he’s interviewed so many famous people he’d never run out of entertaining stories. We could rely on him to make witty remarks about the other contestants too. Next I’d choose Kate Bush. I love her voice, although I know it’s a little like Marmite. We could duet around the camp fire and annoy everyone else. She could teach me her dance moves too – they’re about the only dance moves I stand any chance of learning. Dara O’Briain is my next choice, mainly because he’s very funny, plus he has a talent for science, which I’m really bad at, and I might as well use my time in the jungle to learn something new.
And finally, I’d choose an author. This is the hardest choice of all because there are so many wonderful authors I admire to choose from. I’m going to plump for Patricia Cornwell. I could spend hours picking her brains about police and forensic procedures. Then I might try my hand at writing a detective novel when I’d escaped from the jungle (I secretly want to be Ian Rankin). Ms Cornwell could entertain us too, with imaginative ways to bump off the most annoying contestant – hypothetically, of course. Hopefully, the most annoying wouldn’t be any of my chosen companions – or worse, me!

 

NOT THOMAS by SARA GETHIN

NotThomas cover final front only

The lady’s here.
The lady with the big bag. She’s knocking on the front door. She’s knocking and knocking. I’m not opening the door. I’m not letting her in. I’m behind the black chair.
I’m waiting for her to go away.

Tomos lives with his mother. He longs to return to another place, the place he thinks of as home, and the people who lived there, but he’s not allowed to see them again. He’s five years old and at school, which he loves. Miss teaches him about all sorts of things, and she listens to him. Sometimes he’s hungry and Miss gives him her extra sandwiches. She gives him a warm coat from Lost Property, too. There are things Tomos cannot talk about – except to Cwtchy – and then, just before Easter, the things come to a head. There are bad men outside who want to come in, and Mammy has said not to answer the door. From behind the big chair, Tomos waits, trying to make himself small and quiet. He doesn’t think it’s Santa Claus this time.

When the men get in, Tomos’s world is turned on its head and nothing will ever be the same again.

 

Not Thomas is available to buy in paperback direct from the publisher Honno Press:

http://www.honno.co.uk/dangos.php?ISBN=9781909983625

and in paperback and on Kindle from Amazon:

www.amazon.co.uk/Not-Thomas-Sara-Gethin/dp/1909983624

SARA’S SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Sara Gethin Social Media Links:

Website & Blog: saragethin.com

Facebook: @SaraGethinWriter

Twitter: @SGethinWriter

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/saragethinwriter

 

BOOK PROMOTION: Cover Reveal for The Captain’s Daughter – Book Two in Victoria Cornwall’s Cornish Tales Series

COVER REVEAL

The Captain’s Daughter
Victoria Cornwall

TCD_RGB_150

A gripping historical novel set in Cornwall.
Perfect for fans of Winston Graham’s Poldark, Susan Howatch & Philippa Gregory novels.

Book 2 – Cornish Tales

 

Beware the strength of a quiet woman.

After a family tragedy, Janey Carhart was forced from her comfortable middle-class life as a captain’s daughter into domestic servitude. Determined to make something of herself, Janey eventually finds work as a lady’s maid at the imposing Bosvenna Manor on the edge of Bodmin Moor, but is soon caught between the two worlds of upstairs and downstairs, and accepted by neither, as she cares for her blind mistress.
Desperately lonely, Janey catches the attention of two men – James Brockenshaw and Daniel Kellow. James is heir to the Bosvenna estate, a man whose eloquent letters to his mother warm Janey’s heart and whose attentions to her when he returns home set her pulse racing. Daniel Kellow is a neighbouring farmer with a dark past and a brooding nature, yet with a magnetism that disturbs Janey. Two men. Who should she choose? Or will fate decide.

PRICE: £2.99
Pre-order price: £0.99
PUB DATE: 3 October 2017
ISBNs
Digital: 978-1-78189-381-4
CATEGORY: Historical/Women’s Fiction/Romance/Saga

BOOK LINKS

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Captains-Daughter-Choc-Cornish-Tales-ebook/dp/B075JNYRGG/r

https://geo.itunes.apple.com/gb/book/the-captains-daughter-choc-lit/id1271370193?mt=11&at=11lNBs

https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-captain-s-daughter-13

CHOC

Choc Lit:
info@choc-lit.com
+44 (0) 1276 27492

 

Victoria CornwallVictoria Cornwall can trace her Cornish roots as far back as the 18th century. This background and heritage has given her an understanding and knowledge of Cornish rural life, which is the inspiration for her writing.
Following a fulfilling twenty-five year career as a nurse, a change in profession finally allowed her time to write in her favourite genre – historical romance.

She is married with two grown up children. The Captain’s Daughter is the second novel in her Cornish Tales series.

Catch up with Victoria on Social Media:

https://twitter.com/VickieCornwall

http://http//victoriacornwall.com/

https://www.facebook.com/victoria.cornwall.75

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16069968.Victoria_Cornwall

 

PRAISE FOR VICTORIA CORNWALL’S PREVIOUS NOVEL – THE THIEF’S DAUGHTER

A great historical romance in the Poldark tradition with a wonderful hero, spirited heroine and smugglers galore, all in a wonderful Cornish setting.
Award-winning author, Christina Courtenay.

book reviewIf, like me, you are having Poldark withdrawals, then look no further. The Thief’s Daughter is a gorgeous tale of love and betrayal that will have you reading up until the wee hours of the morning as you follow Jenna and Jack on their journey to find their place in the world.
A beautifully written historical romance, that delves into the dangerous world of smuggling and questions how far you can and should go, even for those you love. I cannot wait to read more from Victoria Cornwall!
Sorcha O’Dowd, Waterstone’s Bookseller and Book Blogger.

Annie's book cornerWhat a wonderful debut novel from Victoria Cornwall! I’m not usually an historic romance fan but I was swept up in the story and the beautiful scenery descriptions.
Jenna and Jack’s relationship has highs, lows and strong arguments! I love a relationship that isn’t black and white and this one is very colourful! I also enjoyed Jenna’s attempt to escape her past and not be painted with the same brush as her family.
As my readers know, I am a great fan of Choc Lit and this is yet another book worthy of them. I look forward to Victoria’s next book.
Ann Cooper, Annie’s Book Corner.
with love for booksThe Thief’s Daughter is an amazing story about two people who have lost much, but are willing to do anything to keep others safe, even when these people don’t deserve this kind of protection. I loved to read about Jenna and Jack’s journey together, it made them stronger and able to open up to each other. They have great chemistry and it was heartwarming to see how they slowly grow closer together. Victoria Cornwall was born and raised in Cornwall and she perfectly describes this stunning place and the surroundings she writes about. I have been to Cornwall myself and while reading her book I thought about my time there with great fondness. I’ll be watching Victoria Cornwall and can’t wait to read more of her stories.
Anniek Snowroses, With Love for Books.
 

Cannisters

This was a step away from my comfort zone as this is the first ever historical romance I have read. Let me tell you I am glad I made the leap of faith with this one. What I found was a tale including romance, drama, intrigue and a little bit of betrayal. The research that the author has so clearly done into the historical elements shone through and is placed in the story in such a way that I feel I have learnt something but not been lectured.
Sal’s World of Books