Friday, 18 September 2015

Author Interview and Giveaway: Rhoda Baxter

Today's interview is with Rhoda Baxter. Welcome!

1. Please tell me about yourself.
Hello, I’m Rhoda. I live in the north of England with my family, where I like to read, write, bake cakes and gaze wistfully at those clothes I’m not going to fit in again. When I’m not doing that, or at work, I write romantic comedy for Choc Lit. 

2. And your new book, Please release me.
Please Release Me is about Sally, who is trapped in a coma; Peter who is trapped in a limbo of not knowing if his wife will ever recover, and Grace, who is struggling to get back to being ’normal’ after years of being a carer. It’s set in a hospice and deals with the emotions involved when someone you love is chronically ill, but, because I write comedy, there are lighter moments. I firmly believe that humour can mix with darkness, if only to make the darkness more bearable.

3.  A woman in a coma. That is different. Where did the inspiration come from?
The book arose from a dream. I woke up with an image of two women, sitting together, one in a wedding gown. I knew (in that way that you just know in dreams) that the women needed each other. I also knew that the women in the wedding dress was a ghost. 
I worked backwards from that image to work out who they were, why they needed each other and who the man was who was pulling them together and pushing them apart at the same time.
Although Sally is in a coma for most of the book, she is very much present. She can hear what’s going on, but can’t respond and, being the sort of person that she is, this makes her very angry. Sally was a really fun character to write.

4.  Was it difficult getting to the HEA in this one?
Oh yes. I wrote three separate endings before I found one that worked. The book starts ten months after Sally’s wedding, when Sally’s been in a coma for ten months. She’s starting to hear things and piece together what’s going on, and things have changed. Peter has changed. 
Thankfully, Sally’s not the sort to take things lying down. 

5.  Tell us 3 things about Sally...
1. She works as an estate agent, but has an eye for interior design. If you want someone to tell you how to make the most of the light in your living room, Sally’s your woman.
2. She’s angry with the world. Oh boy, is she angry.
3. She loves forget-me-nots because they remind her of her dad.

6. And to something else, what are you working on right now?
I’m currently writing a book about Sahan, a middle class young man, who is a student with a promising future, who falls in love with his cousin’s nanny. The nanny (I keep changing her name because I haven’t found the perfect fit yet) has her own secret. This book is different from my other books because all the main characters are Sri Lankan. 

I like setting books in fictionalised versions of places, so I’ve set the book in the Avenues in Hull, not too far from where I work. It’s beautiful round there.

Thank you!


Book Giveaway
E-book of Please release me

1. Open to everyone in the world
2. Ends Sep 26
3. Enter by commenting

Blurb:
What if you could only watch as your bright future slipped away from you?

Sally Cummings has had it tougher than most but, if nothing else, it’s taught her to grab opportunity with both hands. And, when she stands looking into the eyes of her new husband Peter on her perfect wedding day, it seems her life is finally on the up.

That is until the car crash that puts her in a coma and throws her entire future into question.

In the following months, a small part of Sally’s consciousness begins to return, allowing her to listen in on the world around her – although she has no way to 1. Please tell me about yourself?

Hello, I’m Rhoda. I live in the north of England with my family, where I like to read, write, bake cakes and gaze wistfully at those clothes I’m not going to fit in again. When I’m not doing that, or at work, I write romantic comedy for Choc Lit. 


18 comments:

  1. Interesting to hear when a story idea came from a dream. (not entering giveaway at this time, just stopping by)

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  2. This definitely sounds like a heavier read in terms of subject matter, so I'm glad to know there are humorous moments worked in! I love when there's that balance of light and dark:)

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  3. OMG!! Honestly The premise of Please Release Me got my eyes like saucers!! And I loved how the inspiration of this story came to the author!! BTW pretty creepy dream!;)
    Haniya
    booknauthors.blogspot.com

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  4. I love that the premise came from a dream. I also love that it took several tries to get the ending right. I'm an ending girl so that really speaks to me.

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  5. The premise sounds heavy, I sure would like to see how she made it light and funny. Can't take things too seriously right?

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  6. Sounds very interesting. I love when people get ideas from dreams. Some of my own writings came from such or random daydreaming.

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  7. I won't enter the giveaway since this isn't my genre and it'll be more fair for someone else to win :) Just wanted to say great interview. Interesting about the many different rewrites to get the perfect HEA and how cool it is to hear about the all Sri Lankan cast in her next book.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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  8. An interesting setting for a story. Not one I have read before.

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  9. thanks for the nice interview, it looks like a nice book

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  10. Wow, what an interesting story... I wish I could dream up stories, man. And then suddenly wake up to find them already written - that would be absolutely awesome! :)

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  11. Love the promise of depth of plot. Adding it to my TBR list!

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  12. So interesting how the book premise came to you..it gave me chills

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  13. Sadness lightened with humour sounds good to me and I love how the story came about from a dream.

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  14. Thank you for your lovely comments. :-)
    I rarely remember my dreams, so when this one was still there when I work up, I scrambled to write it down. I always struggle with endings. I wish my subconcious would help me out with endings from time to time.

    Sadness/humour - I'm a firm believer that sadness and laughter can exist side by side. I spoke to a lot of people who used a kid's hopsice when I wrote this book and the dark humour was very apparent (Martin House Children's Hospice - I will be donating half my royalties from this book to them).
    If you've seen the last episode of Blackadder Goes Forth, where they go over the top, you'll see what I mean. That episode makes me laugh, then makes me cry. Every single time.

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  15. Thank you for your lovely comments. :-)
    I rarely remember my dreams, so when this one was still there when I work up, I scrambled to write it down. I always struggle with endings. I wish my subconcious would help me out with endings from time to time.

    Sadness/humour - I'm a firm believer that sadness and laughter can exist side by side. I spoke to a lot of people who used a kid's hopsice when I wrote this book and the dark humour was very apparent (Martin House Children's Hospice - I will be donating half my royalties from this book to them).
    If you've seen the last episode of Blackadder Goes Forth, where they go over the top, you'll see what I mean. That episode makes me laugh, then makes me cry. Every single time.

    ReplyDelete

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