I’ve never really thought about it, well not until now.
I’ve never made the best of things. I never knew how.
I never really went for it. I never took the leap.
I never found the confidence they say lies in the deep.
I never thought I was brave enough or good enough to win
And I never heard a little voice egging me on from within.
I never had the lucky breaks so never knew what could be.
I never had anyone tell me that it must come from inside me.
I never found my momentum, nor even got it started.
I never caught the train as it had already departed.
I never started swimming nor got into the flow
And if I carry on like this, then I guess I’ll never know.
I Never is a short poem by Ms Moem.
Last year I was lucky enough to get a scoop from debut author Elisabeth Hobbes on the release of her book, Falling For Her Captor. The 1st of July 2015 saw her second book, Wager For The Widow published and she’s agreed to come back again and fill us in!
Welcome back Elisabeth and congratulations on your second title being published!
How has life been since your first book was published? In a lot of ways it hasn’t changed. I haven’t been recognised in the street or rubbed shoulders with celebrities. I still work, though now I can legitimately spend time writing rather than having to fit it into odd bits of time here and there. I’ve enjoyed the ride so much though. I’ve been on the radio twice and filmed a video for the So You Think You Can Write blog. I’ve loved reading the reviews for Falling for Her Captor, which have been so positive.
Tell us a bit about your new book. It’s set in Cornwall in the middle of winter, so ideas for reading during a heatwave. Eleanor is a widow who has sworn off men, living independently in her home on a rocky island cut off by the tide and trying to evade her mother’s attempts to marry her off to a nobleman. Will is her father’s steward who wagers he can get her to kiss him before the end of the Midwinter Night feast. Though initially she sees him as arrogant and disreputable Eleanor begins to discover the honourable man beneath the bravado. Will has never failed to get any woman he wants so when Eleanor initially rejects him he’s even determined to win her over. He soon discovers his own heart is not as safely locked away as he believes it to be and always in the back of his mind is the worry of what will happen if she ever finds out about the wager.
Where did the inspiration for this come from? In my first book Falling for Her Captor I threw in a line about the hero Hugh being the son of a noblewoman and her family’s steward and thought there was an interesting story in there. I’ve always loved Cornwall and looking through some old photos I came across one of St Michael’s Mount and knew immediately it would make a perfect basis for Eleanor’s home. I use music for inspiration and the song that fitted this when it popped onto my iPod was Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen.
How long did it take you to write? I started writing it in the February after I got the call from Harlequin offering me the two-book deal and sent it to my editor in December so around ten months. Because I teach part time I give myself one day a week to write and whatever time I can find in the evenings. Fortunately I had the rough plot it in mind otherwise I’d have panicked otherwise.
Are you doing anything special to celebrate the book’s release? On publication day I treated myself to a long overdue massage (on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year) and followed it up with a ginger mojito which is my current favourite drink. It’s my 40th birthday next week so I’m celebrating that this weekend and will remember to raise a glass to Eleanor and Will too.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since being published? I’ve become much more aware of the amount of research that goes into writing historical romance. The copy editors have a sharp eye for the smallest anachronism so with each book I’ve become a lot more obsessive. This book found me researching tide times, winter flowering plants and oyster farming. I’ve also discovered what an amazingly supporting, enthusiastic group romance readers and writers are. I’m honoured to be a part of the world.
Where can we buy Wager For The Widow? It’s available as an ebook and paperback from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wager-Widow-Mills-Boon-Historical-ebook/dp/B00VS0FV5U and other online retailers, including Mills & Boon’s own website. It’s also available in bookshops including WHSmiths.
Are you working on anything else at the moment? I’ve just finished the first draft of my third book, currently called The Blacksmith’s Bride and am about to start reworking that. It’s my third medieval for Harlequin and is due to my editor by the end of August.
Aside from your own books, if you could have written any other book in history, which would it be? Persuasion by Jane Austen. It’s such a wonderful story of second chances and characters facing up to the part they played in their own situation. The letter from Captain Wentworth to Anne Elliot is one of the most romantic pieces of writing I’ve ever read.
What’s next for Elisabeth Hobbes? Falling for Her Captor is going to be translated and published in French in October, which is very exciting. Once I’ve handed in my current work I’ve got one more book to write for Harlequin. After that I have a whole folder of stories I want to write so I’m not going to be giving up any time soon!
So if you fancy a spot of historical romance, do get your hands on a copy of the book, or even download it from itunes!
If you’d like to keep up with Elisabeth Hobbes, here’s where you can find her:
Try Not To Hesitate – Poem quote from Dear Me by Ms Moem
Hello July! My you’ve come around fast!
We’re now over half way through the year and we’re having some sort of insane heatwave. It is tradition, as a British person to spend all the time wishing it were hot and sunny and then the very instant the sun puts in an appearance, we just can’t take it and we’re all willing winter forwards. The sun can’t win.
For me, the 1st of July signifies the beginning of a tricky time of year. Four years ago today, I heard the worst news when my Mum let me know she had only days left to live. As it turned out, we had a little under two weeks to spend time together and try and process what was happening but of course, these things aren’t just parcelled up neatly and even now I can still feel that same raw emotion as I did then. Up until then, I had always been a positive person. Overwhelmingly so perhaps. In fact my pal Brad Burton, Britain’s number one motivational speaker even commented on it!
@IWantAPoem Amy your positivity is overwhelming i spark off it. You really are amazing. Put that in your pipe. X
— NetworKING (@BradBurton) April 8, 2011
My mum was a very positive woman and she passed that on to me but that day and in those following, the world as I knew it crumbled and I have never quite got it back.
But little Miss Positivity is who I really am. Misery doesn’t suit me.
Grief is a funny thing. Not funny haha obviously but it is strange in the way it ebbs and flows and can totally sweep you off your feet when only minutes earlier, you’ve been fine.
Over the last few years I have felt I have come to the point where I’m ready to close that chapter and try and move forward a couple of times, but like the beast that it is, the grief has swirled back at me and kept me merely existing, doing my best to make it through the day.
The trouble is, that time doesn’t stand still while you get your sh*t together and try to rebuild yourself. So without me truly appreciating it, four years have gone; been lost to grief.
I’ve missed myself, frankly. And it has been so obvious in my words. A lot of the poetry I have written has had a downbeat feel or rather just not the upbeat tempo that I lived before THAT change.
Maybe this blog shouldn’t even be on here. It’s not poetry, but it is life. My life.
And today I am seizing it back.
It occurred to me that I could just spend the rest of my life being sad and I don’t want that. Nothing I do or say can ever bring my mum back. That’s a fact. But the way I live going forward does not have to be defined by that tragedy. If my mum were still here, she’d be going about her day to day life and living, and that’s what I need to do.
There is no escaping the memories. Even as the sun shines today I am instantly cast back four years as the sun shone hot and bright on the coldest and darkest days of my life. Even sitting writing this, I can feel my brow furrowing and my mood slipping as I remember.
So, instead of spending this month focussing on the anniversaries of all the ‘lasts’ and sadness we experienced, instead I am only going to allow myself to think of my positive memories of her and of our lives together.
She was quite a character so there are lots of reasons to smile.
Before we lost her, we had so many sunny days together. Shopping, walking, sitting out in the garden, visiting relatives…… the sunshine should remind me of those days instead of those final, hopeless days and so that is how it shall be.
I’m hoping that that subtle shift towards what I put at the front of my mind will make all the difference. I’m not going to wish the month away but I am going to put myself back into the driving seat so that I can decide how it goes. I will navigate my way through the month, and not be driven back into the doldrums.
Wish me luck!
I hope July is kind to you and that the sun shines on you all.