The Summer Theatre by the Sea
- Drama Club
A summer to remember…
Charlotte Saunders has always loved the buzz of city life. So, when she finds herself abruptly fired, dumped and forced to leave London to move in with her sister Lauren in Cornwall, she thinks the world is ending.
To keep herself busy in the quiet coastal town, Charlotte agrees to help the local drama club. Designing sets for their performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, just for the summer, while she figures out her next career move. But could days at the beach, new friends and a dashingly handsome doctor, change Charlotte’s mind? Suddenly Cornwall doesn’t look so boring after all…
What book truly inspired your life and why?
I’ve read and loved so many books, it would be hard to pick just one. I suppose the first story I really became obsessed with as a child was The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irvine. I think that book set me on the path of wanting to write stories.
How did you pick who you dedicated your book too?
I dedicated my first book The Forget-Me-Not Flower Shop to my family. They’ve been such supporters of my writing, encouraging me never to give up, and celebrating with me when I was offered a book deal with the fabulous Avon. I owe them big time! As for The Summer Theatre by the Sea, it felt fitting to dedicate it to my lovely drama friends – especially as they were the inspiration for the book!
Did you do a lot of research for your book?
Penmullion is a fictional place, but it’s based on several places in Cornwall. It’s a beautiful part of the world, so visiting there is never a hardship. Research for Charlotte and Barney’s careers required a combination of non-fiction reading and interviewing people who’d done those jobs for real. Reading is one thing, but hearing stories about real events is priceless when it comes to ensuring a character reads authentically.
What was your favourite read of 2017?
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
It’s a beautiful book, with a mix of humour and sadness. The main character is quirky, endearing and I loved her inner monologue. A very clever and unique story.
If you had to take three books on a desert island what would they be?
Persuasion – Jane Austen
Bet Me – Jenny Crusie
Tell No One – Harlan Coben
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?
My journey has been a series of ‘near-misses’ that finally culminated in a deal with Avon. I’d had interest from agents and publishers over the years, but never quite made it over that elusive finish line. My break-through came when my amazing agent, Tina Betts, took me on. She’s always believed in my writing and I’ll always be very grateful for her support. I also owe a huge vote of thanks to Natasha Harding, who remembered my writing from her days at Macmillan and opened the door for me when she moved to Avon.
Can you share with us a photo that tells a story?
I think this photo says it all really…
What would you like your readers to know before starting your book?
I loved writing this story, it’s very close to my heart. So, thank you for reading it, and I hope you enjoy it!
Do you have any questions that you would like to ask your readers?
We all search for that one book that ‘hits the spot’. I’d love to know what my readers would like to read about – you never know, it might inspire my next story!
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