Lisa Hobman talks about her new novel, A Seaside Escape.
1. Can you tell us more about your latest book, A Seaside Escape?
The book tells the story of Mallory Westerman, a Yorkshire lass like myself, who has been so focused on making her business work that she has forgotten to take time to fall in love. You learn all about the dramatic changes that take place as she tries to find her happy ever after.
2. How did you come up with the plotline for the book? Is it in any way based on your own experiences?
The story was inspired entirely by the location where the majority of the book is set, a little place called Clachan Seil in the Scottish Highlands and the stone Bridge Over the Atlantic there. We visited many years ago and I fell in love. The ideas and characters wouldn’t let me be until I put fingers to keyboard! There are similarities between myself and Mallory, ie, I relocated to Scotland and I’m from Yorkshire too but the book isn’t based on my life.
3. Do you have a favourite part or scene from A Seaside Escape?
There is a particular scene that takes place on the Bridge Over the Atlantic that broke my heart to write. I still get emotional when I read it now. And that’s all I can say without spoilers! The book was originally released as Bridge Over the Atlantic after what that scene drew from me as a writer.
4. Where did you get the inspiration for the character of Mallory Westerman?
Mallory Westerman is hopefully a character that most women can relate to. She wants to be successful, she wants to be loved and she is sometimes very self conscious – she doesn’t have a super model figure. We follow her journey of self discovery in the story and watch as her self perception changes as a result of the people she encounters.
5. What does your average writing day look like?
Lots of tea. Lots of procrastinating to begin with and then splurges of writing to the point where I forget to eat or brush my hair! I now have a beautiful writing den which is a wonderful place to focus. I have quotes on the walls from some very inspirational people and a lovely view of my garden. So it’s my favourite place in the cottage to be.
6. Who was your favourite author growing up? Has it changed?
I have always loved the classics. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte being my absolute favourite but I have enjoyed so many authors it’s hard to pick a favourite. Lisa Jewell was the first contemporary romance author I read and I still love her work. But my tendency to revisit Emily Bronte and J D Salinger is still there.
7. What is a great book you’ve read recently that you would recommend to others?
Recently, I’ve been reading works by other Aria authors such as Fay Keenan, Faith Hogan and Adele O’Neill just to see what their styles are like. Suffice it to say I’m honoured to be amongst such talented story tellers. My favourite books in the recent past have included anything by Melinda Price – I always say I would read her shopping list if she published it!
8. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Just go for it! Get writing. You don’t know what you can achieve until you try! Don’t wait as long as I did.
9. If you were forced to write a different genre, what would it be?
I would LOVE to write a crime/suspense novel. I just think it would turn into a romance because I’m such a sucker for love stories!
10. What’s next for you?
I’m currently writing another Scotland based contemporary romance for Aria Fiction. And there is always another waiting in the wings of my mind to take centre stage. It depends which characters shout loudest – and yes that does make me sound a wee bit bonkers.
All work and no love can make for a dull life. But cupid’s arrow has a habit of striking when you least expect it…
Mallory Westerman is the successful proprietor of Le Petit Cadeau, a gift shop extraordinaire in thriving Leeds. Concentrating solely on her business, she has almost given up on finding someone to love. That is until she literally falls into the arms of a handsome, intriguing stranger who becomes her Knight in shining armour.
The whirlwind romance that ensues changes her life-path irrevocably. However, the road to true love is never smooth and things don’t always turn out how you expect…
Lisa Hobman’s debut novel, Bridge Over the Atlantic, was shortlisted in the 2014 RNA. Her stories centre around believable, yet down-to-earth characters and the places in Scotland she has visited and fallen in love with. She is a happily married mum of one with two energetic dogs.