|My author copies of A Cornish Affair|
A Cornish Affair was conceived in 2005 as August Rock. I won't go into all the gory details but by the time two years ago when I began to rewrite the book in first person I had rewritten the book 27 times. Yes, you read that correctly. But not consecutively...I wrote and rewrote other books in-between. After each new book or new rewrite of another, I had learned something new as a writer and I applied that to August Rock that was....
So come to rewrite 27, I realised I had written my voice totally out of it and it had no soul left but my goodness what I had learned in the process. So for that 27th rewrite I went back to version two (helpful hint - always keep copies of the early versions) and I took everything I had learnt and began again. I also pulled out the male point of view (POV) so I had only my heroine's POV and that of the ghost, Toby. It was a stronger book by the end of that rewrite.
Sitting in our boat looking up at the setting of the story, I had a blinding moment of inspiration or madness...you decide which. I knew that the story had to be told in first person. Maybe it was the setting of the book - a bit like Rebecca (note: I have never read more than three chapters of Rebecca. It just wasn't 'my book' unlike Frenchman's Creek or Jamaica Inn...). But I just knew. However this posed a problem. I had never written much of anything in first person. To resolve that I used NaNoWriMo that year to try it and I wrote The Summer of the Black Hare and had a ball. (I heartily recommend NaNo for experimentation).
I then rewrote the first three chapters of August Rock in first person and sent them to my editor, but I had left Toby's (my 13 year old Victorian ghost) in third. She liked Jude, my heroine's voice, but told me Toby had to be in first. This was the beginning of a very long labour and I won't bore you with the details.
A Cornish Affair is a very different story to August Rock although the setting, the heroine and the hero are the same. I was working on it down to the very wire. In fact at one point it wasn't going to be delivered, so to speak, until next year...
Two days ago I held the finished book in my hands and fell in love with it (and believe me after the total 30+ rewrites cutting 70,000 words I didn't think that was possible). It does help that the cover is soooo stunning, really. The colour is amazing. But it was with huge trepidation that I opened the book and read (I had to because of this talk on Sunday at the Fowey Festival - formerly the du Maurier Festival). And to my surprise I kept reading....
A Cornish Affair is a very different book to it's origins and also to The Cornish House (in a way a bit like my own children). It tells a story of how sometimes you have to go away to find yourself and it's a lesson that I learnt myself. It's a story I've dedicated to my beautiful daughter because there will come a time when she needs to make her own way in the world but please dear God not yet!
|A Cornish Affair is dedicated to my daughter|
Now the one question I have been asked many times...is it a sequel? No. Nor is it a prequel. It takes place just a few months before The Cornish House. However both books are set in the same location and have many of the same characters.
Yesterday on Twitter I gave away a few copies. Over on my Facebook Page there's an opportunity to win signed copies if you are willing to share your run away stories. Of course there is also a Goodreads Giveaway.
|A pair - The Cornish House and A Cornish Affair|
A Cornish Affair is over on Jera's Jamboree and I talk about my love of Cornwall over on London Perfect. And finally I'm over on the Rightmove Blog talking about my research for The Cornish House.
And finally if you happen to be in London on the 23rd of May please come and join me for a Cornish Cream tea to celebrate the launch of A Cornish Affair at 18:30 at Waterstones Kensington High Street.