Hi Jennie, what a gorgeous manor you have! Thanks so much for having me.
(I had the foresight to visit Hindsight author Sarah Belle and her Limelight blog. Today, the delectable Ms Belle is wearing a pair of borrowed gumboots as we tramp the fields up at the fictional country manor.)
Pleasure’s all mine, Sarah. Now let’s not dither, the sun’s fierce and we’ve still got a two mile hike before we get to the shade of the veranda and the chance to partake of a little bubbly to cool us down.
Off we go…
What are books for?
To me, books are for loving and cherishing. They are for escapism, intrigue, adventure, travel, falling in and out of love and broadening the horizon. Books are another world that I can step into and out of at will. They are for maintaining my level of ‘sanity’ (if you could call me sane!).
We’ll let you know a bit later…
Will you tell us about yourself and what genre(s) you love writing?
I am a Mum of 4 boys, aged 4, 6, 8,and 10, (hence the sanity reference in the previous question!) and the only girl in the house – apart from Shiloh the Golden Retriever- but that’s ok because I grew up with 3 older brothers, so boys are my comfort zone. I am a Bikram Yoga devotee and struggle not to turn into ‘mega-cow’ if I don’t get to do at least 3 classes per week!
I write ‘Romagic Comedy’ which is Romantic Comedy with a dash of magic, but not enough to be termed ‘Paranormal’ or ‘Fantasy’. I’ve also had a crack at children’s fiction (3-7 age group), which is heaps of fun! In the future I’d love to expand into other genres, such as suspense and thrillers, but they are a way off yet.
Four boys ten and below? No wonder you write Romagic. But just think, you’re training future heroes. And yes, Sarah, we
think you’re sane – but who could blame you for having a few ‘mega’ moments with all this on your plate?
Which of your books or work in progress are we chatting about today?
Hmmm, how about my current release, Hindsight.
Will you share the first sentence or paragraph of Hindsight, or a favourite line or paragraph from somewhere in the book?
Sure will! This is from around the middle of Hindsight, after Juliette has, somewhat, settled into her new life in 1961. I thought about how uncomfortable cars were when I was a kid and channelled that when writing this scene. I don’t
even know if they make cars with front bench seats anymore?
The next weekend we go away to Lily’s parent’s house at Ocean Grove for the Easter long weekend. We borrow Uncle Din’s car and all pack in together for the trip: Chris, myself, the kids, Lily, Rosie and John. Mind you, the car is the size of a small European country, so it's not exactly a squeeze. The front bench seat is hard - break your bum-bones hard.
I’ve probably given myself hemorrhoids by sitting on a cold, hard surface for so long. The car has the suspension of a tractor - the drive was comparable to blasting off in a space shuttle, so whatever’s left of my kidneys will no doubt be excreted in my urine later today in the form of blood clots.
Wow – love this, Sarah!
When starting a new story, what do you begin with? Character? Scenario? Setting?
I start with a scenario – waking up as a 1961 housewife – and then get to work on the characters, namely the type of person this would cause the utmost conflict for, such as a modern day career maniac. It’s a kind of joint effort between character and scenario.
How much of you goes into each story you write?
Hindsight is my first attempt at a novel, and I suppose there is a little bit of me in Juliette Wilde – more so her sense of humour than anything else. Having said that, I did use my own Great Grand mother, Leticia, as a character. She died long before I was born, but I have always been fascinated by her photo and stories of her. I hope I did her justice.
The house that Hindsight was set in was built by my Great Grandfather, Gentleman John as he was known in the area, in
the 1880’s and stayed in my family until we moved to suburbia in 1971.
I think you’re doing everyone justice, Sarah – including yourself!
Who or what is your biggest champion and support?
Without a doubt my amazing husband, Jason. I probably would have given up if not for his encouragement.
Also, my late stepfather had the enthusiasm of a Labrador puppy in regards to everything I did! I am so grateful to have had him in my life.
God bless amazing husbands everywhere ♥
For an encore - would you like to share a tip for running the country manor in a more efficient way – giving us time to read and write more? (This can be a recipe, a cleaning tip, 25 ways to fix the tractor, how to fold a napkin, useful uses for old tyres or anything that comes to mind.)
Lol! The thought of me fixing a tractor is hilarious! I actually have an imaginary house keeper. Her name is Consuela and she is a lovely grandmotherly type from the Philippines. She loves the boys and cooks mouthwatering, nutritious food – the type that no one ever complains about. She’s a much loved member of our family. You can borrow her if you like?
Thank you so much for having me in your gorgeous country manor, Jennie! I had a great time. x
Sarah, that is fantastic! Gentleman John, Great grandmother Leticia, Labrador puppies and everything 1960s – it all appeals because I’ve had a taste of each. Our first family car was a Hillman Imp – not big, but it got us from A to B (mostly – it expired in the end).
I’ll take you up on the offer of borrowing Consuela – do you
mind if she stays the year?
All links to Where to Buy Hindsight by Sarah Belle:
Thanks for popping in!
Jennie & Sarah