The Writing Life of: Darcie Boleyn
This week on ‘The Writing Life of:’ I am thrilled to be interviewing author Darcie Boleyn. Darcie will be sharing with us detail of her writing life, telling us all about her latest book ‘Summer at Conwenna Cove’, which was released on 15th May 2017, and answering a few fun questions too.
So without further ado I’ll hand you over to Darcie
Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night.
Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate.
Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.
1) As a child what did you want to do when you grew up?
As a young child, I wanted to be a vet, but that changed as I got older, and I decided I wanted to be a journalist or the next Stephen King.
2) Who were your favourite childhood authors?
Enid Blyton, Judi Blume, Charlotte Bronte then Stephen King.
3) At what point in your life did you realise you wanted to be a writer?
When I was a teenager but I didn’t think I could do it, so it took me a while to actually try to write a novel.
4) How did you go about following that dream?
I’ve always written, and as a child I used to enter short story and poetry competitions. This continued when I went to university but then, as life became busier, writing took a back seat.
I nursed the dream to write for years when my children were young, and I tried to write a novel but spent far too much time procrastinating, which meant that it didn’t get finished.
A few years ago, my husband encouraged me to really try again, and following a few false starts, I finally had that amazing acceptance email. Since then, I haven’t stopped!
5) What is your writing day like? Do you aim for a certain amount of pages or words before you stop for the day?
It depends now what I need to achieve in a day. If I have edits to do, I have to focus on working through them, but if I’m still writing the story, a good day is anything up to 5000 words but an average day sees an output of 2000 to 3000 words.
6) Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I do. As I was teaching until recently, it gave me some space between my day job and my writing, and Darcie Boleyn was born.
7) Do you have any strange habits before starting, or whilst in the midst of writing?
Not really but coffee is essential! If I’m editing, it helps to have a jar of Nutella and a spoon handy, because it keeps me going. 😉
8) Do you write longhand, typewriter, or on a computer?
I type my novels on my Macbook Air but make notes on an A4 pad and in notebooks that are placed all around the house, ready for when inspiration strikes.
9) How many books have you written? Do you have any unpublished work?
I’ve written five books so far as Darcie Boleyn. I have lots of notes and stories in various stages of planning but whether or not they’ll ever see the light of day depends on factors such as time and if they’re actually any good.
10) Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I write an outline and character sketches, then type away. But I find that my characters often tend to surprise me and I love it when that happens, especially when they reveal a secret that even I didn’t know they’ve been hiding.
11) Do you read all the reviews left for your book(s)?
This is a tricky one. Reviews can be wonderful and a good review can make you feel absolutely fabulous. Negativity in some reviews can be hurtful, but being a writer means you’re putting your work out there, so you have to toughen up and accept that not everyone will like what you write.
Concerning your latest book:
Publisher – Canelo
Pages – 286
Release Date – 15th May 2017
Format – ebook
Eve has a glittering career, a loving husband and a future. But a terrible twist of fate means she loses it all, and with nowhere left to turn she flees to her Aunt Mary’s home in Cornwall. The last thing on her mind is romance – until she meets Jack.
Jack has seen the worst things people can do to each other and realised he is better off alone. He settles in Conwenna Cove, and saves his affections for the rescue dogs he cares for. But when Eve arrives in the village he can’t deny his attraction to her.
Eve and Jack are both scared to trust, but when they come together it’s impossible for either to ignore their feelings. Can they put their fear aside and learn to love again?
12) How long did it take you to get from the idea’s stage to your date of publication?
About 18 months.
13) How did you come up with the names for your characters?
I have a list of names and I use that to check that I’m not using names more than once for main characters. I also try names out for size on my characters and quite often, they’ll change. This is why a good copyeditor is so important; to check for those inconsistencies.
14) Can you give us an insight into your main character(s) life?, What makes them tick?
Eve is a strong woman who has enjoyed a successful career but in order to get where she has in education, she’s sacrificed a lot. She blames herself for something that happened to her and the story is about her journey as she comes to terms with that fact that sometimes, bad things happen to good people.
Jack has been hurt, both physically and emotionally, and he has found comfort in Conwenna Cove, in painting and in working with greyhounds. However, he certainly wasn’t looking for love. But when Eve walks into his life, everything changes and he has to accept that the life he thought would be enough for him isn’t the one he’s going to have.
15) Which was your hardest scene to write?
One of the most difficult scenes involves Eve when she returns to her home and has to clear out the attic. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s something I went through myself and it can be a very painful time.
16) How did you come up with the title of your book?
I researched Cornish names and myths and legends and that’s how I came up with the name Conwenna Cove.
17) Did you get a family member/friend to read your work before sending to the publishers?
A very good author friend read it for me.
18) What process did you go through to get your book published?
The usual submission with synopsis then the stomach-churning wait to see if they like it.
19) What did you do once you had written the final word in your book?
I cried because it was such an emotional scene to write. But I usually cry after finishing a book because writing a story is such an emotional journey; you become invested in your characters and your setting and creating the perfect ending takes a lot of thought and effort.
20) What’s next for you, writing-wise?
Right now, I’m working on revisions for my second summer novel, Love at the Italian Lake, and plotting out Christmas at Conwenna Cove. I have a busy few months ahead of me! ☺
1) What’s your favourite food?
Anything with ginger or cherries in it, especially chocolate. And I love cheese – any type.
2) If you had a box of crayons and you could only choose one, which colour would you choose?
3) What movie could you watch over and over again?
Bridget Jones – all three of them! Or Dirty Dancing. Or Grease. Love them all!
4) What would be the top song on your playlist?
Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey
5) If you won millions, what would be your first purchase?
A doggy palace, so I could home more greyhounds and other rescue dogs.
6) A talking duck walks into your room wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses, whats the first thing he says to you?
I doubt he’d get the chance to speak because the dogs would take him down. 😉
You can find out more about Darcie by visiting the website/social media sites below.
I would like to say a big thank you to Darcie Boleyn for sharing with us details of her writing life, and for a wonderful interview. You can read our review of ‘Summer at Conwenna Cove‘ – here.