Interview with Angela Britnell
This week marks the release of A Summer to Remember in Herring Bay by Angela Britnell. As an author who was born and grew up in Cornwall, she now lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and she has written over 30 books. Many of her novels feature love stories set against the backdrop of beautiful places - and her most recent book is set in Cornwall, however things might not be all as you'd expect.
In celebration of the release of A Summer to Remember in Herring Bay, we are excited to share this interview with Angela, telling readers all about the book and what they can look forward to when reading it.
Tell us about your latest book, A Summer to Remember in Herring Bay, and what readers can expect.
The story is set in the fictional Herring Bay along the Cornish coast which is far from being one of the picture postcard villages overrun with visitors, in fact it’s a community struggling to find a new identity and the same can be said about the two main characters. Essy’s mother grew up in Herring Bay but rarely talks about why she left for America as a teenager and never went back. Essy snatches the chance to combine a business trip with visiting Herring Bay and meets Ruan who is back in the village after leaving his architect’s job in London under a cloud and doesn’t fit in now any more than he did growing up. The rumours surrounding his father’s disappearance have always plagued him and when Essy’s persistent questions reveal a link with her own mother it becomes clear that their growing relationship may struggle to survive as long buried secrets emerge.
You were born in Cornwall, but now live in Nashville, Tennessee in the US. Setting is often a huge part of your books. How do you think this has shaped your writing?
To me the setting is hugely important and consider it another character. Most of my stories are trans-Atlantic romances so the sense of place is even more crucial to my main characters and therefore becomes one of the varied ways in which they get to know each other.
What do you love most about living in Nashville? What do you love most about living in Cornwall?
We live outside of the city and rarely go in even in normal circumstances and we all know this year is anything but! We’re not huge country music fans, not something we brag about in public, but outside of that there are great restaurants, museums, theatres and an excellent symphony. Tennessee does has some beautiful scenery to enjoy and spring and autumn are my favourite seasons because my pale English skin wilts in the intense summer heat and humidity. It’s hard to believe I haven’t actually lived in Cornwall since I was eighteen but it is still very special to me and I return as often as possible. I miss being by the sea and relish the different pace of life.
What has your journey been like on the route to publication? Is there anything in particular you wish you had known before?
I suspect like many things in life it’s better not to know what lies ahead! I was stunned in a good way when my first novel sold but was brought down to earth not long after. For a start the cover looked as though it was done by a five year old and then my publisher went out of business and my final royalty cheque bounced, by persistently visiting the bank I did finally get it cashed. Thankfully since then my publishing experiences have been considerably more positive and I’m amazed to realise when I counted them up that with this new book I’ve had thirty-three books published and several magazine short stories! I fell in love with writing after a short creative writing course drew me in but it took time for me to learn that publishing is a business and you have to treat it that way. One necessity is a thick skin in regards to not taking rejection or bad reviews too personally. Naturally they still sting but try to remember at the end of the day it’s simply one person’s opinion.
Your book A Summer to Remember in Herring Bay is out 28th July. What are you most looking forward to on its release?
I’ll be excited to share Essy and Ruan’s story with my readers and as I obviously can’t be in Cornwall I might make a proper cream tea and celebrate with my family.
Angela’s lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she's visited or lived on her extensive travels. Thanks to over three decades of marriage to her American husband she's a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, the Romance Writers of America and the Music City Romance Writers. If you'd like to find out more of what Angela gets up to you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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