I am delighted to welcome Hilary Spiers to my blog today, where she is going to talk about what it's like inside the mind of an author! But first, here's the blurb to Hilary's wonderful new book Hester & Harriet...
When widowed sisters, Hester and Harriet, move together into a comfortable cottage in a pretty English village, the only blights on their cosy landscape are their crushingly boring cousins, George and Isabelle, who are determined that the sisters will never want for company. Including Christmas Day.
On their reluctant drive over to Christmas dinner, the sisters come across a waif-like young girl, hiding with her baby in a disused bus shelter. Seizing upon the perfect excuse for returning to their own warm hearth, Hester and Harriet insist on bringing Daria and Milo home with them.
But with the knock at their front door the next day by a sinister stranger looking for a girl with a baby, followed quickly by their cousins' churlish fifteen-year-old son, Ben, who also appears to be seeking sanctuary, Hester and Harriet's carefully crafted peace and quiet quickly begins to fall apart.
With dark goings-on in the village, unlooked-for talents in Ben, and the deeper mysteries in Daria's story, Hester and Harriet find their lives turned upside down. And, perhaps, it's exactly what they need.
Doesn't that sound like a delightful book? I am so grateful to Hilary Spiers for appearing on my blog today; here is what she has to say about what goes on in the mind of an author!
It's 3 am. I know because I've squinted at the luminous hands on my watch, cursing. Just as I squinted (and cursed) at one o'clock, two o'clock ...
'Will you just let me get some sleep?' I say irritably to Hester , eyeing me beadily from somewhere in my spongy brain.
She snorts. 'White wine with lasagne! Seriously?'
Whatever possessed me to make both my sisters oenophiles? When I only drink bubbles? (It doesn't have to be champagne, but if you're offering ....)
'And Chardonnay! Please!'
'OK, OK,' I say, knowing better than to argue with Hester, for whom the phrase 'doesn't suffer fools lightly' might have been invented.
Harriet chips in. 'While we're having this chat–'
'We are not having a chat! I am trying to get some much-needed sleep. Besides, I've just sent the proofs back.'
'Get onto your editor first thing,' snaps Hester, in a tone that brooks no argument. 'Do you want to look a complete idiot? Correction: do you want me to look a complete idiot?'
I drop – at last – into an exhausted sleep.
Since Hester and Harriet erupted into my life (initially in a short story I wrote while on my MA in Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University), it's fair to say my life has been turned upside-down. There isn't an hour when they don't pop up to offer a comment or what both sisters would undoubtedly consider a 'helpful' suggestion.
I write plays as well as novels and short stories, but Hester and Harriet are no respecters of the different calls on my time. No matter that I'm trying to fashion a tricky scene or weave a number of different plot lines into a coherent denouement, they'll march in and take over the show on the flimsiest of pretexts.
7 am most mornings finds me ploughing up and down the length of our local leisure pool. More often than not, as I dodge around the other swimmers jostling for space, Hester and Harriet are swimming just behind my right shoulder, talking. Lordy, for two women who claim to like a quiet life, they certainly can talk!
After a couple of hours at my desk (still trying to get this last scene right), I decide to stretch my legs with a walk into town. Perhaps catch a coffee with a friend. I no sooner settle down for a natter with a cup of black coffee than Harriet is whispering in my ear, 'That woman in the corner? Don't you think she looks just like ...' And of course, she does, the poor unsuspecting shopper minding her own business. So out comes the notebook, and shushing my long-suffering friend, I'm desperately trying to eavesdrop to catch any bon mots my target may drop for this scavenging writer to snaffle.
'Incidentally,' I say to Hester and Harriet as I wrap up the day at about 5pm, looking forward to a session in the kitchen as a break from writing, 'it's just occurred to me. About that lasagne. I think white wine would go perfectly well with a seafood lasagne ...'
Harriet laughs; Hester's face tightens. She hates to be outflanked.
A small victory. I have to take them where I can.
Thank you so much for appearing on my blog today Hilary! Make sure you all check out the rest of the posts on the tour <3
Buy Hester & Harriet here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hester-Harriet-Hilary-Spiers/dp/1925266818/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Check out Hilary Spiers here: http://www.hilaryspiers.co.uk
Until next time :)