And another double-whammy week here on CentreStage:
we are a-rockin’ and a-rollin over here. Welcome!
CentreStage showcases amazing authors from around the world. These authors might tell you about their writing, their books, their lives or anything else that takes their fancy. Today, my fellow loveahappyending.com author and writing buddy, Sue Fortin, takes the stage with a wonderful journey around the countryside… Take it away, Sue!
Hi Nicky, thanks so much for inviting me here on CentreStage to chat about why I chose to set my book, United State of Love, in Arundel, West Sussex.
You’re so welcome! And ever since reading United State of Love, I’ve wondered what it looks like over there. Your descriptions are beautiful and intriguing… but I interrupt, already! Sorry.
I live just a few miles from Arundel and have always loved the place. It’s a beautiful historic town and attracts many visitors throughout the year, especially in the summer. Anyone visiting Arundel by train is greeted by the fabulous view of the Arundel Castle shouldering one side of the town and the majestic cathedral standing proudly at the top of the hill on the other side.
I had the pleasure of working there for 18 months when I was younger and spent many a lunch hour with my boss trying out the various tea shops and restaurants. When it came to deciding on a setting for the restaurant in United State of Love, Arundel was the obvious choice. An old church building in Tarrant Street was perfect for my character, Tex, to convert for his business. This is where Anna experiences her infamous ‘eargasm’.
I remember the ‘eargasm.’ A fantastic moment, loved, loved, loved it. I’ve pictured the place many times… now let’s see the real thing. Here goes:
I can also credit my boss for helping me decide on the job of tour guide for my character Anna. One day, when he was preparing for a big court case, he sent me off for the afternoon on a guided tour of Arundel. I really enjoyed the tour, even though the town is built on a steep hill and I wasn’t exactly wearing the right footwear.
The river Arun, well known for being one for the fastest flowing tidal rivers in the UK, cuts through the town and again I used this as a reference point in the book. Tex’s apartment looks out over the river.
I can’t possibly talk about Arundel and not mention Swanbourne Lake, surrounded by chalk hills and trees, marking the beginning of the 1000 acre Arundel Park. A great place for a 45 minute stroll around the lake or longer hikes through the park. I used this in a scene where Tex and Anna have a scare, which initially pushes them apart but then ultimately brings them back together again.
So this is the lake… I like it. It looks romantic, a really nice setting for Tex and Anna.
I like using real places that I am familiar with or have visited. Having said that, I must confess although I have several scenes set in Brenham, Texas, I have never actually been there. Nor have I stayed at any working-holiday ranches like ‘Moonshadow Meadows’, the home of Tex. However, I did research these and will be forever grateful for Google Earth and Street View!
STOP PRESS!! To celebrate being here on CentreStage, United State of Love is available for download at a special offer price of £0.98/$1.50 – see links below. Happy Reading!
Why, thanks, Sue: this is an amazing offer. You are a rock star!! Tell us a litte more about United State of Love…
Since splitting from her husband, single mum Anna Barnes is enjoying her new found freedom and independence. Now she can concentrate on looking after her teenage son and building up her career. However, she didn’t bank on working for Tex Garcia.
The gorgeous American chef is getting the locals hot under the collar and not just because of his culinary prowess! Beneath that handsome exterior, however, lies a man haunted by his past. Tex can’t commit and women pass through his life like dishes going out to service. So what is it about Anna that’s different?
Can Tex break her self-imposed rule of never mixing business with pleasure and add some spice into the mix? Or is Anna’s ex set to spoil the recipe altogether?
Finally, you can visit Sue on her blog, love reading love books; on Facebook and on Twitter. Sue is a featured author at loveahappyending.com, and is also busy blogging in an authorly capacity with The Romaniacs and Famous Five Plus. She’s one busy lady!
So, are you inspired to visit Arundel? Have you got a photo diary of your favourite settings and book locations? Feel free to share, if you can, and pop by and say ‘hello’ at any rate…