Today I am so chuffed to be part of the blog tour for Alex Brown's new book The Secret of Orchard Cottage! It's a fantastic addition to the Tindledale books series (you'll see in a bit when my review goes live), but first up I have an interview with the lady herself! Enjoy! :)
Hi Alex! Welcome to Bookish Escapes! Can you tell us all about your new book The Secret of Orchard Cottage?
Hello and thank you for having me. The Secret of Orchard Cottage is set in Tindledale and follows the story of April, who is trying to piece herself together again after the death of her husband, Gray. April visits her Great Aunt Edie in Tindledale and is dismayed to find Edith’s cottage and the orchards surrounding it in a sorry state of disrepair. Edith seems to have lost interest completely; instead she’s become desperate to find out what happened to her sister, Winnie, who disappeared during WWII. April gets to work immediately, discovering that the orchard still delivers a bumper crop each year, and with the help of some of the villagers – including Matt, the enigmatic Farrier – begins to unravel the mystery of the missing Winnie. Slowly, April can feel things coming to life again – but can Orchard Cottage work its magic on her too?
Winnie's story is so important to the book, what made you want to tell it?
Ahh, this is really hard to answer without spoiling the story for those who haven’t read The Secret of Orchard cottage yet. Let’s just say that I’ve always admired the ordinary women who did their bit for the war effort.
Did any part of you want to include more snippets of Winnie? I loved the book, and would have loved more of a peek into Winnie's life!
Yes! I adored writing the snippets of Winnie, especially her diary entries. I’d love to write Winnie’s story in its entirety one day, so watch this space …. J
Your whole writing career so far has been series, do you dream of writing just one book, set in one place? Or are you happy writing connecting books (I like connecting books - it's so much fun seeing old characters pop back up).
I loved writing the Carrington’s series, but the Tindledale books are all stand alone stories, with the added bonus that I get to pepper in updates on previous characters. I’m not very good at saying goodbye to my characters as they become like friends after spending so much time with them, so this works perfectly for me. I’m sure I’ll write one book set in one place one day, but I reckon it’ll be hard not to want to include at least one old favourite friend from a previous book.
How does it feel to wake up every day knowing you're a published author? That strangers like me read & love your books?
Well, most mornings I wake up to the alarm telling me to get up and get my daughter to school which is always a bit hectic, but as soon as I sit down at my desk and read all the emails, reviews and messages from my wonderful readers it feels absolutely brilliant.
Finally, what's next for you? More Tindledale, I hope? :)
At the moment I’m writing a Christmas short story about Kitty (she runs The Spotted Pig Café in Tindledale) and what happens when her late soldier husband Ed’s service dog, a black Labrador called Monty, is retired from the army and needs a home.