Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Q&A with Cressida McLaughlin - #BlueMoonGuesthouse Blog Tour

1. Can you tell us a bit about what inspired you to write The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse?

I spent many of my childhood holidays in a seaside town in Dorset called Burton Bradstock. It had the sandy beach and ice cream kiosk, and the towering cliffs.  I have happy memories of long days on that beach, or in the teashop in the village, visiting Lyme Regis and Corfe Castle.  Then, several years ago, I went to Hastings for a few days with my husband.  We found a beautiful hotel right on the seafront, in one of those impressive, grand old houses. Each of the rooms was themed around a different country, and we stayed in Japan, with a futon and a square spa bath - it was such a unique place. Over time, the memories from my childhood holidays and the hotel in Hastings came together, and I had the idea of a guesthouse where each of the rooms was themed around something that had meaning for my central character, a place that was her business, but also symbolic of her friendships, her past - the things that made her who she was. The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse developed from that one idea. 

2. What do you find hardest about writing in general?

Believing in yourself.  It’s so easy to think that everything you’re writing is a load of rubbish, and hard to fight the urge to hold your finger down on the delete key.  Like everything, there are good days and bad days, but sometimes it’s tough to push through the doubts (that only you create), and get the words on the page.  First drafts will never be any good, second and third drafts improve things marginally.  As with so many things, you have to keep working at it, be patient, carve out your story over time – and squash the doubts!  

3. Has any other writer influenced the way you write?

There are lots of other writers that I admire, and who have probably influenced the way I write somewhere along the line.  I love Harriet Evans’ writing style, her way of striking a balance between wholly believable characters and dramatic, emotional storylines.  Jill Mansell and Miranda Dickinson are two other writers I love reading and really look up to, and I try to emulate their humour and romance, and the magical quality of their books, though I’m sure I don’t come close. 

4. Please could you tell us something that isn’t commonly known about you?

I had – and possibly still have – a massive crush on the Disney Robin Hood fox. 

5. Could you describe your perfect day?

It would involve some writing in the morning, followed by a nice lunch and spending the afternoon walking somewhere picturesque with my husband, or reading outside in the sun.  I love being close to water, a river or the sea, and I’d end the day with an al fresco dinner as the sun went down.  Food will always feature heavily, but the setting is important too – I love the Lake District, Cornwall and Edinburgh, as well as Norfolk, and would be happy doing those things in any of those places. 

Thank you so much Cressida for answering my questions. I loved Once In A Blue Moon Guesthouse. Check out my mini review from when I read it on my recent holiday here.

Robin Brennan has come home to Campion Bay. Now her parents have retired, she’s set to become the new landlady of The Campion Bay Guesthouse.

Bookings have been as thin as the hand towels, and it doesn’t take long for Robin to realise that the place needs a serious makeover. Perhaps throwing herself into the task will help to heal her sadness at the tragic end to her dreams in London.

As she gives the guesthouse a new lease of life, Robin encounters old friends and new, including old flame Tim, who’d clearly like to reboot their romance. But what about Will, the new arrival at No. 4, who’s rocked up with the cutest dog ever?

Caught up in a flurry of full-English breakfasts and cream teas, Robin’s never sure what, or who, the next check-in will bring…

Purchase from Amazon UK

Follow along with the rest of the blog tour. 

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