Its been a while since I have done an author interview- or anything that is not a recipe! So today we have D.Wells to chat with us 😀
Tell us a bit about your book
6 Caledon Street is a novel about a young woman called Sarah, who moves into a converted Victorian property and discovers journals written by a teenage girl, who lived there during the Edwardian era. Sarah is fascinated by the parallels running through both their lives, as she attempts to move on from a painful past. The novel follows her story, as well as the other new occupants of the house, her family and friends who have their own issues to contend with, and Sarah’s growing fascination with the Edwardian family who used to live there.
What would say is the genre for your book
I like to call it a contemporary fiction, with an historic twist! There may be no official genre that fits that, so contemporary fiction is the closest description.
Where did the inspiration come from?
I love researching different eras and adding it as an historical aspect to a story. I then weave it into a modern setting, through flash backs or in this case, the pages of a journal. Most of my initial ideas seem to pop into my head from nowhere, although I am sure some ideas have a subconscious basis from something I may have heard, read or watched.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
I always battle with titles and I really struggled to come up with this one. In the end, it was a case of ‘keep it simple, stupid.’ Most of the novel is centralised around the house itself and its previous and present occupants, so it was the most logical solution to name the novel after the actual address!
How long did it take you to finish writing the book before the first edit? How many drafts were there in total?
I’m an ‘edit as I go’ type of author. I tend to write about half a dozen chapters at a time, before I go back over and edit and redraft. I find that if I don’t do this, regardless of how much pre-planning or how many notes I’ve made, I battle to keep on track with the story. By the time I’d finished the entire manuscript, it had been redrafted about three or four times. It took nine months in total.
Are there any characters in the book based on people you know?
Not characters, no. I do slip in the odd character name that is familiar to me, though. For example, my late granddad was called Arthur. I have used that name for characters in previous books.
How did you celebrate being published? Did you have a launch party?
I first released 6 Caledon Street as an ebook and I was heavily pregnant at the time, so my celebrating was having my child a few weeks later! The novel is now being self published as a paperback and I’m sure I’ll think of something to celebrate.
Would you care to give us an extract?
Sarah gave a deep sigh of satisfaction as she drew in the first mouthful of coffee. The intense flavour mingled with its exotic scent and sent her taste buds and nerve endings tingling. Her one vice, coffee, had proved a powerful and even seductive ally after years of sleepless nights and exhausting starts to the morning. Despite having slept well the night before, Sarah almost couldn’t bear the thought of missing out on that first cup of the day.
The bay windows were flung wide open, letting in the new day sun. Winter was finally melting into Spring and the freshness of the air was no longer painfully icy, but rather cold with a hint of fragrance dancing through it. The new buds would soon emerge on the trees and after that the flowers would burst into full bloom. It was Sarah’s favourite time of year and the open windows symbolised her desire for Spring to be ushered in fully.
She sat at her oak dining room table and stared contently out the large windows. From her position she could see the tips of the trees and hedgerow which lined the garden. Beyond that was a great expanse of sky; light periwinkle grey, with wispy white clouds scattered across the horizon.
She liked that from this angle she couldn’t see what was happening on the ground. It was her own little haven, separated from the busyness of life below. It was just her, the sky and nature. Nothing else mattered.
Suddenly her reverie was disrupted by the sounds of Tchaikovsky. Her resident concert pianist was back. Sarah smiled broadly as she raised her coffee cup to her lips. The scene was now perfect, her relaxed Sunday morning complete.
How do you beat writers block? Any tips?
I go back over my notes and remind myself of where I am heading with the overall book. If that doesn’t help, I’d advise taking a break, doing something else for a while and trying again later.
Do you have any hobbies apart from writing?
I like getting out in nature with my family. I am a keen amateur photographer too, so I will often take the camera when we’re out and about.
When you write, do you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser?
If I am writing a full-length novel I have to plan. In the past I have planned down to each individual chapter, but I did find it sucked the joy out of it for me, so now I tend to plan a detailed beginning, middle and end, the characters and their story arcs and of course, any research that needs doing.
If I’m just writing for fun, or a short story, then I can quite happily ‘free write’ and see where it takes me.
Do you have any advice for fellow writers?
Keep writing, keep practising. Whether it gets stowed away afterwards, or whether you self publish it, blog it, enter competitions etc, it doesn’t matter – just keep writing. That’s how you’ll improve and learn. Reading lots is essential too.
If your book became a film- who would you pick to play the main characters?
To be honest, I couldn’t imagine it being made into a film. Not to say that won’t happen, though! I am planning to write some screenplays in the future and I can imagine some actors who’d be great in those parts, but that is still a way away.
I see you have new work in progress- care to tell us about it?
Yes, I am currently writing a new manuscript for another full-length novel. It follows three generations of women in one family and explores the conflicts that have damaged their relationship with one another. Again, some of the book is set in the modern day, but part of it is set in Cornwall in post-war Britain.
Lastly, where can readers find you and your book on the internet?
I have an author page on Facebook and Instagram and I plan to launch my website later this year.
My books are all available on Amazon. My earlier books are under my previous pen name D. van de Merwe, and upon 6 Caledon’s Street’s paperback release, it can be found under my new pen name D. Wells.
D. Wells is a self published author, having released four books and currently working on her fifth. She lives in the U.K. and is married with three children.
Many thanks for participating! Good luck with the paperback launch and look forward to updates on your next novel!