As ‘Pippa’s Cornish Dream’,climbs up the Amazon UK rankings, I’m thrilled to have it’s author Debbie Johnson on my blog. Since Pippa Harte was forced to take over her parent’s farm, she’s barely had time to shave her legs let alone make time for love. Now she’s more likely to be getting down and dirty mucking out the pigs – and avoiding those of the human male variety.
When Ben Retallick walks out of her childhood and back into her present it seems that perhaps Pippa has more time than she thought. All Poldark smoulders and easy-going charm, Ben’s definitely worth whipping her wellies off for!
But Ben is a man with his own past and his own issues – and as much as she’s enjoying having him around, she’s got to get a grip. After all life isn’t always a beach … even if you are in Cornwall.
It’s lovely to have you here Debbie, your books always make me smile. Do you see the funny side in real life situations too? Does this give you ideas for stories or are they pure imagination?
First of all, thank you – I always like to make people smile! I try to always see the funny side – I have a house full of kids and dogs, which does help! Life is often a serious and challenging affair, and a sense of humour is essential – my books are all about escapism. Some of the ‘funnies’ in Pippa’s Cornish Dream were inspired by my own children, and my crime thriller Fear No Evil draws a lot on the Scouse wit I am surrounded by!
Cold Feet at Christmas’ was a bestseller. Was it difficult writing a book to follow this, or had you already written your latest release, ‘Pippa’s Cornish Dream’?
I had already written Pippa’s Cornish Dream – and now wait nervously to see if she does anywhere near as well as her older sibling! The difficult one is the book I’m writing now – a Christmas follow-up to Cold Feet. Writing to someone else’s deadline is always much harder, and a lot less fun!
How long have you been writing?
All my life. I was one of those geeky kids who was always inspired by a new notebook. I worked in journalism for many years, which is a very different style of writing, but does give you a certain discipline, as well as useful life experience. I started writing fiction seriously in 2010.
What inspired you to set Pippa’s Cornish Dream’ in Cornwall?
I’d been there on holiday, and was just blown away by it – quite literally on some days, as the weather was a little unpredictable! There is just something very special about the whole area. Then, this year, Poldark arrived on our TV screens and completely backed up my decision – it’s an amazing place.
It certainly is, I spent my honeymoon there many years ago and many happy holidays since. 🙂
What’s the inspiration behind the farm setting in Pippa’s Cornish Dream?
We stayed on a farm in Cornwall, and my kids loved being out every morning, feeding the chickens and the pig, and it was all a very different experience from our usual urban life in Liverpool – it just struck me as a wonderful setting for a romance; very earthy and beautiful, but also hard work.
What other books have you written?
Cold Feet at Christmas for HarperImpulse of course, but also two urban fantasy books called Dark Vision and Dark Touch, which came out in paperback on an imprint of Penguin Random House. I loved those – it was all that weird True Blood style stuff (vampires and witches and Goddesses and prophecies) but set against the very real backdrop of modern-day Liverpool. Fear No Evil is a crime thriller with a supernatural element, based around one of my all-time favourite creations, a PI called Jayne McCartney – the sort of woman you’d like to go to the pub with! That was with Maze, Avon’s digital branch. I have a new HI out for Christmas, and then next year – this is scary and exciting – my first print book for HarperCollins. It’s another romantic comedy, but very different than my earlier ones – it’s about a woman who hits 40 and finds her whole life in tatters, and how she rebuilds it. It was actually the first full book I ever wrote so I’m thrilled at the prospect of seeing it on the bookshelves at last!
That’s great, lots more for me to read.
What’s your favourite genre of book, to read? Why do you like this type of book?
I don’t have one particular genre – I read crime, fantasy, horror, women’s fiction. But it absolutely 100% has to have strong female characters and a few laugh out loud moments. Some of my favourite authors are Janet Evanovich, Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, John Connolly, Robert Crais, Karin Slaughter and JD Robb/Nora Roberts. I get pretty excited when any of their books come out!
What’s your writing space like?
Very, very unglamourous! There is no literary salon, or shabby chic writing den – the other day in fact I was laughing about this, as I was trying to write while sitting on my sofa. My teenaged son had his mates around, and my younger two were watching Minecraft videos on YouTube. We had three dogs in the house – our own Golden Retriever and Black Lab, and a Springer Spaniel we were looking after. The noise levels were through the roof, the whole place was complete chaos, and I’m sitting there tapping away on my laptop trying to create some magic! But that’s my life, and I’m perfectly happy with it.
Sounds like mine. 🙂
What’s next for you, Debbie?
More writing. More chaos. More school runs. More nervously checking Amazon – more of everything, in fact! Apart from house work. That’s to be avoided at all costs.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us Debbie. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your books.
To read my 5* reviews of ‘Pippa’s Cornish Dream’ and ‘Cold Feet at Christmas’ Click on the book covers below: Website