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I am on the book blog tour for Gwenna the Welsh Confectioner by Vicky Adin and I have an interview feature for my spot. The blog tour is organised by Shannon over at R&R Tours.
💫 Gwenna the Welsh Confectioner by Vicky Adin
-Back of the Book
Against overwhelming odds, can she save her legacy?
Amid the bustling vibrancy of Auckland’s Karangahape Road, Gwenna Price is troubled. For all her youth, she is now the master confectioner in the family business since her father died. She promised to fulfil her Pa’s dreams and open a shop, but with her domineering and incompetent stepbrother Elias in charge, the operation is on the brink of collapse.
In an era when women were expected to stay at home, Gwenna is a plucky young woman with uncommon ambition. She is determined to save her legacy. Despite the obstacles put in her way, and throughout the twists and turns of love and tragedy, Gwenna is irrepressible. She refuses to relinquish her dreams and lets nothing stand in her way. Blind to anything that distracts her, Gwenna risks losing the one person that matters most.
About the author
Award-winning historical fiction author Vicky Adin is a genealogist in love with history. After decades of research Vicky has combined her skills to weave family stories and history together in a way that brings the past to life.
Fascinated by the 19th Century women who undertook hazardous journeys across the oceans to find a better life, Vicky draws her characters from real life stories: characters such as Brigid, the Irish lacemaker and Gwenna, the Welsh confectioner, or Megan who discovers much about herself when she traces her family tree in The Cornish Knot.
Vicky Adin lives in New Zealand and holds a MA(Hons) in English and Education. She is an avid reader of historical novels, family sagas and contemporary women’s stories, and enjoys travelling. Her writing has been compared to that Catherine Cookson.
- Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
The story is about Gwenna, a master confectioner at the turn of the 19h century. She is young, feisty and determined, but she’s not perfect. She makes mistakes. Her temper gets the better of her and she has fears she cannot control, but thanks to her determination she battles the odds. She finds love and tragedy in almost equal quantities and learns to survive both. Gwenna is a strong-minded, strong-spirited woman and the people she meets and loves respect and care for her greatly.
- Who would your book be perfect for?
Lovers of history and romance – there’s got to be a little romance in every story and I place my characters in the history of the time. They are there in the scene when a (now) historic event takes place, or they read about it in the paper. They have opinions, events affect their lives alongside the everyday routine and struggles of daily living. They are people who love and get angry, who despair and survive.
- Did you have a favourite character to write?
Apart from in one book, my main characters are women. I like to write about women who struggle silently but win in the end (mostly). Life doesn’t run smoothly at the best of times and I usually make them run the emotional gauntlet from desperation to happiness and success to make them strong.
- What inspired you to write the book?
In this case, it was the life story of my Welsh great-great-grandmother adapted to fit the New Zealand scene. But my ideas can come from any snippet of true-life events.
- Can you share with us a photo from 2018 that meant something special to you?
A recent trip to Alaska was particularly poignant. I dedicated Gwenna the Welsh Confectioner to my best friend Janice, who had always wanted to visit Alaska, but who lost her battle with leukaemia before she could make the trip we’d planned together.
- What has been your proudest bookish moment?
Launching my first book, The Disenchanted Soldier, at two public events.
At that time the book was entitled Daniel and it is the biographical dual-timeline narrative of my husband’s great-grandfather who came to New Zealand in 1862. It’s the story of his life as a pioneer, soldier turned pacifist and family man through to his death in 1926. Much happened in New Zealand over that period and he lived through it all. I did an incredible amount of research to ensure its historical accuracy while maintaining the family story complete with myths and mistaken beliefs.
It was the book that set in motion my life as an author, now five books later I still love writing.
- Do you have any questions for your readers?
Until now, I have written stand-alone stories. Do readers of historical fiction like stand-alone books or do they prefer a series?
And, if it’s a series, do they prefer a different story of daily-life set around the same characters (like Downtown Abbey), or stories using a different character as the protagonist each time (such as Poldark)?
And how many books in series 2 or 3 or up to 6 to 8?
- What is your favourite read of your whole life and why?
Only one? That’s hard, but if I had to choose it would be the Poldark series by Winston Graham. I grew up in Cornwall and have empathy for and recognise some of the places used throughout the story. I enjoy the rich characters and understanding the social proprieties of the time and how they drive different people to react in divergent ways.
- What are you working on now?
‘The Costumier’s Gift’ is my next book due for release in May. It’s a dual-timeline sequel continuing the family sagas of Gwenna The Welsh Confectioner and Brigid The Girl from County Clare. Young Jane in Brigid’s story has grown up to become the talented but unsung costumier at Auckland’s Opera House, where she hides from her memories and keeps her secrets to herself. Generations later, Katie must unravel all the secrets of the past before she can claim her inheritance.
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