I’m always delighted to feature any member of Book Connectors to Being Anne, but today it’s a particular pleasure to introduce you to Carol Warham. She’s a debut novelist, she’s Yorkshire based, her book is based in Yorkshire, and it’s one I’m really looking forward to reading. She’s also promised to buy the cake if ever we get together – but I wasn’t unduly influenced by that (honestly). Resolutions is published for kindle today by Tirgearr Publishing (congratulations Carol!), and it really does look like a book I’ll enjoy – I’ll be reading and reviewing in October.
Resolutions tells the story of Carly Mitchell who returns home, to the fictional town of Yeardon, a few days before New Year. She comes back to the small town, on the edge of the Yorkshire moors, which was once her home. A year earlier, she had fled, leaving her bridegroom and friends bewildered. Her intention is to spend a couple of days to make her apologies and offer an explanation for her action.
She meets with mixed reactions, ranging from curiosity to open hostility. However when an emergency arises Carly agrees to change her plans and stay for a longer period. Falling in love with the new local doctor, Ben Thornton, was not part of her original plan either. Especially when it appears his past is shrouded in mystery.
Complications and tensions increase during the town’s New Year celebrations and she begins to doubt whether she has done the right thing.
Will Carly find the resolution she needs to overcome the challenges facing her or will she run away again?
I’m delighted to welcome Carol Warham as my guest on Being Anne…
The West Yorkshire market town of Holmfirth and its surroundings are the locations for Resolutions, my first novel. I chose Holmfirth for the setting as, having lived close by for thirty years, I knew the area well. I’d originally intending setting the story in the US so that Resolution could be the name of the town. However I had to admit it didn’t work and I needed to bring the story closer to home.
Holmfirth is a lovely old market town, set amid beautiful scenery. It is an area I love and an ideal setting for the novel. Holmfirth retains its narrow, cobbled, often steep streets. Over the years it has developed into a popular place to eat, with a growing number of new restaurants in the town. Many people would recognise the location as that of the television series Last of The Summer Wine.
I had to use a little artistic licence as, in the story, there is a lake close to the centre of the town. I ‘pinched’ that from a neighbouring town. During the story, Ben takes Carly for a drive. He has some explaining to do and hopes to find the opportunity. They stop to eat at a thirteenth century inn, which is about half an hour from where I live, so that was an ideal place to use. It turned out to be a good excuse to go and have lunch there and take some photos.
I have written since childhood, having started by making small comics for my dolls, enjoyed writing compositions in school and progressing to training as a journalist for a short while. However life took a different turn and like most, particularly of my generation, I got married and had a family of two daughters. During that time I held down a few different jobs, from working for the taxman to working in our own businesses. Once the family had grown up I settled down to writing short stories, poems and holiday articles, many of which were published.
I never really thought that one day I would write a novel. I suppose it’s always at the back of your mind but the likelihood of writing one and being published was very remote.
About the novel
It was on a holiday to Florida that I came across the town of Celebration. That town became the inspiration for Resolution. The plot followed the name, and it was obvious to me it needed to be set around the time of New Year.
The first draft was only around fifty thousand words and I admit it wasn’t very good. I had joined the RNA New Writers Scheme and duly sent it off. I did this for a second year, after working and editing on it. I’m probably being controversial, as I know how highly thought of the RNA NWS is amongst others, but it didn’t work for me. Maybe that will give hope to others in the same position.
I filed away the manuscript and didn’t think I’d ever return to it. About eighteen months ago I started to discuss it with an author friend. She thought it had a good plot and was a great idea. My main problem was that I had no idea how to edit it. Under her guidance and experience I edited, re-wrote and re-edited until at times I felt I never wanted to look at it again! However, in time, Resolutions was developed and moulded into a book I could be proud of.
Then came the time to decide, I needed to ‘let go’ and try submitting it. I sent it off to four publishers. I was delighted when three responded, saying they were interested. I decided I would go with Tirgearr Publishing, they had an excellent reputation for supporting their authors, particularly new ones, which I have found to be very true.
In recent years I’ve been delighted to be a judge in the short story section for the HysteriaUK competition and also to read for the RNA’s Romance Novel of the Year.
In my spare time, when not helping with the grandchildren, I go to the gym, and belong to various village groups, like the reading and walking groups. I run a small but enthusiastic writing group which meets in the village library. Last year we held a successful children’s writing competition which was sponsored by Central England Co-operative. Book tokens were presented as prizes and the entries displayed at the village library.
Recently I represented the book group on BBC Radio Leeds, a number of times, talking about books and my work on the novel.
Carol, it’s been so lovely to meet you – the very best of luck with Resolutions, and I’ll see you again in October…