Author Faith Mortimer and I have been on-line friends for longer than I can remember. I think we first “met” through #TBConFB, and it’s been a delight watching her attracting the attention of more and more readers with every book she publishes. I even help her – well, just a little – with the administration of her excellent Facebook group for authors, poets, readers and writers, Let’s Do Books. But – and to my shame – I’ve never reviewed one of her books on Being Anne. So I’m going to put that right in September – her new novel, A Very Distant Affair, published on 1st July for kindle and in paperback, is firmly on my list to read and review. Let me share the cover information:
Cheryl Taylor, a landscape artist appears to have it all. Apart from fame and fortune, her attentive husband Daniel is brilliant at managing her business matters. Cheryl has allowed him full rule of her affairs from the day they were married…but twenty years later, she wonders whether she shouldn’t be quite so naive. Daniel is controlling and as she learns from one friend during an intimate conversation. “Diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend you know. They are a man’s best friend. They’re great at getting men off the hook, and keeping their women quiet.”
Feeling uncomfortable and troubled over her friend’s warning, Cheryl decides there is more to life than being successful and at the beck and call of a manipulative husband. She sets out to find what she really wants from life, and to her horror, discovers one earth-shattering secret after the next.
Her life in turmoil she visits Australia, where on a previous trip, she found contentment from an unexpected quarter. Michel, a widower, owns a winery and boutique hotel in New South Wales, and is as different from Daniel as chalk is to cheese.
Cheryl is drawn to this gentle Australian of French descent and feels her new-found strong will wavering. She returns to London to offer Daniel an ultimatum, only to discover the final shock which threatens all their lives.
Looks good, eh? I’m looking forward to it. And while it waits on my kindle, I’m delighted that Faith agreed to join me on Being Anne.
Faith, I’m delighted to welcome you to Being Anne at long last! Would you like to introduce yourself?
Hello Anne. First, may I take this opportunity to say how delighted and honoured I am to be featured on your blog today. I read your posts avidly and they never fail to come up to scratch – I sincerely hope this writer can do justice and answer your questions with thought and care!
I’ll be reading and reviewing A Very Distant Affair in September, and really looking forward to it. I notice it’s the fourth in the Very Affair series. What’s the common theme?
I’ve always been intrigued by the word affair and its different connotations. Affair comes from the old French – à faire – afaire – affair and originally meant – to do. I take the theme of a romantic entanglement which may or may not be illicit.
I love the setting for this one – New South Wales winery and boutique hotel. Did you get to do a research trip?
I did indeed! My daughter lives in New South Wales, and her place is far out in the beautiful countryside. Everything I portrayed involving the topography, the flora and fauna exists much as I described. It is seen as a raw and wild landscape; much of it illustrated by outstanding beauty.
Faith, it’s quite exhausting just looking at your output – mystery/suspense, psychological thrillers, romance, action and adventure, women’s fiction. Do you enjoy writing them all equally?
Hm. That question needs a complicated answer. When I start on a new book, I actually hate the first chapter. So much so, that I inevitably rewrite the whole thing. I suppose what I’m saying is, because I have so much buzzing around in my mind, I find it hard to write clearly until I’ve had time to settle down into my writing groove. In the beginning I often imagine I should be writing in one of my other favoured genre. Once I’ve relaxed into the story then I love the way everything pans out – so when things are going well I enjoy every genre I tackle. I just love writing.
You’d be taking over my blog if we talked about all your books – pick out three for my readers that you’re most pleased with, and best represent your writing…
That’s easier. With my Diana Rivers series, I think the first book, The Assassins’ Village sets the scene, characters and series well. With the Dark Minds Psychological Series, I favour, Behind a Twisted Smile. This is partly based on personal experience and the reader can imagine how the killer inveigles his twisted thoughts and deeds onto those around him. With my Affair series, I love A Very French Affair – but beware – readers do need a stack of Kleenex at the ready!
Whenever I think of you, I think of someone living the dream, luxuriating in the Cyprus heat, listening to the sound of tinkling cowbells, sipping wine at your writing table under an olive tree. Where do you actually write?
Haha! That sounds too idyllic! Mostly I write in our living room. My desk is next to double doors overlooking the very pretty front garden, and set beneath a powerful electric fan. Sometimes I write outdoors, on the veranda or in our inner courtyard and yes, we do have an olive tree nearby. No cows though, Cyprus has more goats! In truth I consider myself lucky because I can write in at least three comfortable places.
And how do you write? Do you keep regular hours, or are you a little more gentle on yourself?
I did keep regular hours – usually four or five in the mornings and aim for over 1500 words each session. Just lately, due to family circumstances things have changed and life has become hectic. We’re spending more time back in England and I’ve not been able to devote enough time to writing…hopefully by September I’ll be back on track.
Planning, writing, editing, publishing, publicising once the book’s out there – what’s your favourite part of the whole process? And the most difficult?
Writing is definitely the most enjoyable – the worst has to be publicising. Ask any writer and the majority will say the same. Whether a writer is independent or contracted with one of the top publishers, we all have to work at becoming recognised as being a writer of distinction and it can be tough and demoralising.
There’s a lovely statement on your website: “Faith has read and listened to many others with advice about writing. Most of it so mixed and contradictory she has come to the conclusion that it is best to take the route where you feel most comfortable.” Do you have any writing advice for others?
Oh yes. Believe in yourself, and if it is truly what you wish for in life then never forget that dream. Go out and grasp life with both hands…plan that book in your head, jot down the salient facts and then get on and write it. Above all, never ever give up.
Tell me about your relationship with social media – where we first stumbled across each other. A blessing, or a necessary evil?
A bit of both I think, Anne. Without sounding corny, I can honestly say I have met some wonderful people all down to social media. Sometimes it is easier to say things to virtual strangers than to people we’ve known for years. On the other hand, I know constant self-advertising on say, Facebook, Google or Twitter can be annoying. It’s probably best to keep both on an even keel and not get carried away. They say ‘less is best…’
I know you’re a reader too. What writers do you particularly admire? if someone said “your writing reminds me of…”, who would you really like them to mention?
Like many writers I’ve admired dozens of writers over the years. My favourites include: P D James, Tolkein, Thomas Hardy, Agatha Christie, Ken Follett, Delderfield, M M Kaye, Sebastian Faulks. I’d love to be likened to P D James or Sebastian Faulks.
And what’s next for you? Are you working on something new?
Yes. I’ve started a fourth Dark Minds Psychological Thriller. It is set in the present and on location in the Caribbean – on a remote island off the coast of Panama. I’m only about 5000 words in and it is slow going at the moment but hopefully, I’ll have a new book to offer in time for Christmas 2016.
Thank you Faith – and I’ll look forward to September…
Faith Mortimer is a British author dividing her time between Hampshire and Cyprus. Since 2005 she turned her hobby of writing into a career. During childhood, she dreamt of writing novels which readers would love, and spent many hours writing short stories which she read to her sisters. Faith was born in Manchester, and educated in Singapore, Malaya & Hampshire, England.
Faith is always delighted to talk to readers and can be contacted through her Facebook author page, her website, Twitter and Goodreads. And if you’d like to check out her books, you can do so on Amazon in the UK and US.