For the third in my series of "My First Book" interviews with fellow authors, I am welcoming another Cariad Chapter member, Emma Bennet. I am very envious of how Emma has fully embraced all avenues of social media as an author, and it's clear I have a lot to learn! Have a look at her links here: https://linktr.ee/emmabennetromance
Here's what Emma had to say about her first book.
When did you publish your first book, and what started you writing?
I published my first book nearly 10 years ago now, though it certainly doesn’t seem that long ago! I’d written some children’s stories before that, but thought I’d be brave and try writing a ‘grown up’ book. There was a lot of trial and error because I didn’t have any of the amazing resources I now know about, and which can make such a difference such as the wonders of YouTube and excellent writing craft books.
Tell us about that book.
It was called The Green Hills of Home and it was the story of a young Welsh writer called Gwen falling in love with her handsome editor.
‘Shy Gwen Jones lives in the beautiful rolling hills of the Welsh countryside in a sweet little farmhouse that’s been in the family for generations.
She dreams of becoming a famous writer, but that sort of thing never happens to ordinary country girls.
Then Gwen lands a deal with a prestigious London publisher. Her new editor John comes to stay to work on her book. He’s aloof and pompous and thinks he knows everything, but he certainly is handsome . . .
Before long the pair can’t deny their mutual attraction. But cosmopolitan John never planned on getting distracted by pretty Welsh writers. And country girl Gwen has no plans to leave the green hills of home.
Then John suddenly ups and leaves, and Gwen’s book deal is cancelled. Did he ever really have feelings for her?
Gwen knows that if their love stands any chance, she’ll need to swallow her fears and write her own destiny.’
This book has recently been republished by my new publisher, Joffe Books. Their cover is beautiful and makes the fourth cover this story has had!
What is your fondest memory of publishing your first book?
I think for most authors the fondest memory is when you first got to hold a physical copy of your book. There’s nothing quite like it! I originally self-published and my husband designed the cover for me which made it extra special!
Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is called Falling in Love at Nightingale Farm. It’s another contemporary romance and it’s set on a farm in Kent which city girl Polly is trying to save from financial ruin.
‘Polly Pressman is a London girl through and through. So when she’s asked to help save an old family friend’s struggling farm, she’s way out of her depth.
She arrives at Nightingale Farm trying to impress John and his gruff-but-hunky son Mark with her business know-how. But it’s clear from her sky-high stilettos that she is woefully unprepared.
Polly knows how much the farm means to John, and she’s doing everything she can to get it back on its feet. Soon people are flocking to visit the petting zoo and cute coffee shop and go strawberry picking.
Finally Mark sees that Polly truly cares about Nightingale Farm. And one night after too much of John’s homemade cider, the pair find themselves alone and unable to deny their attraction . . .
Romance is blossoming at Nightingale Farm. Will Polly trust her instincts and leave behind the big city for good?’
What advice would you give to new writers?
Read and write as much as you can! I say read first because I really believe that this is so vital to discovering more about your own writing. Read as widely as you can, in as many genres as you can, even if you’re not sure they’re for you. You never know what you might be drawn to and what will inspire you.
As for writing, practice makes perfect as they say! The more you write, the better your storytelling will be.