Today on Meet the Author we’re hearing from the lovely Carol Thomas……
I write for both adults and children: My romance novels, have relatable heroines whose stories are layered with emotion, sprinkled with laughter and topped with irresistible male leads; while my children’s books have irresistibly cute, generally furry characters young children can relate to.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I live on the south coast of England with my husband, four children and lively Labrador. Reading is my main hobby as I enjoy getting lost in a good story, but I also like to people watch and collect snippets of conversations to thread into my novels. I can often be found loitering in local cafes, working on my next book.
What inspired you to start writing?
I had kept notebooks for many years and liked the idea of writing a novel, but it was only when a friend published her first book that I thought it was achievable. I got out a notebook I felt had the potential to be made into a full-length story and started writing.
How many books have you written and published?
My first novel, a contemporary romance titled Crazy Over You, was self-published via Matador in 2015. I gained a publishing contract with Ruby Fiction, an imprint of Choc Lit, in 2017. The Purrfect Pet Sitter, a romantic comedy, was released the following spring. The sequel, Maybe Baby, also published by Ruby Fiction, is due out on April 2ndand I am counting down the days!
I have also released a children’s picture book, titled Finding a Friend, and have two other children’s books written, that are awaiting illustrations.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
Oh, this is tricky because they are always my favourite at the time of writing. I enjoy spending time with my characters and always fall a little in love with my heroes.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
I use baby name lists for their year of birth to look for names that may be appropriate. Once I have an idea, I search the name on Google, to find if it belongs to someone famous, and to see how a person with that name looks. Having been a primary school teacher, I am a firm believer in names reflecting a person’s character type.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
Definitely Abby’s husband, Simon, from Crazy Over You. He would be practical and know what to do. He’s a stay calm in a crisis type of person.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
I have had different favourites at different times in my life. My go-to authors at the moment would be: Sarah Morgan, for a cuddle of a book, check out Sleigh Bells in the Snow; Mhairi McFarlane, any book – I love them all – for her wit and ability to sum up a situation in a single sentence; and Tracy Bloom, I enjoy her quirky view on life – The Last Laugh is a great read.
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
When I was at primary school, I wrote a story about an earthquake. It got chosen for the school magazine; I was very proud of that. I think I still have a copy somewhere.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
As a teenager I worked in a greengrocer’s – little side fact, my sister, future husband and his brother worked there too. While studying, I picked mushrooms – it wasn’t terribly glamorous. I’ve been a playgroup supervisor and was a primary school teacher for many years. My husband and I have a web-related business, but currently, I spend my time writing and volunteering in our local cancer research shop.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
I am suddenly thinking Bill and Ted – I’d travel anywhere with Keanu Reeves.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My brother passed away, of natural causes, when I was twelve (I’m the youngest of six children, and he was the eldest). I’d like to talk to him, though I would also be tempted to give the opportunity to my mum. For many years we have tended his grave together, and I see the pain his loss still causes her.
What are your favourite things to do?
Spending time with my family is always special. If I can do that on a snowy mountain, or in the peaceful countryside, then that’s a bonus.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
I was once in London following a series of events that had come to ahead resulting in the lowest morning of my life to date. I knew to stay in the hotel room wasn’t good for me, and so I forced myself to go to breakfast and for a walk. At breakfast, Jedwood (at the height of their five minutes of X-Factor fame) were on the next table. Then, on my walk, I saw Will Young jogging through the park and a parrot in a tree. The oddity of it all helped me through the morning.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
You’ll be sitting on your bottom a lot, stay fit! (I haven’t.)
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
Bell Hooks’ Aint I A Woman.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
My latest book, Maybe Baby is a romantic comedy and the sequel to The Purrfect Pet Sitter (Lisa Blake book #1). While each book can be read as a standalone story, Maybe Baby revisits the characters from The Purrfect Pet Sitter as they move into the next phase of their lives. I was delighted with an early review that described it as, “full of love, true friendship and humour”! I think that sums it up well.
Here’s the blurb:
Just when you thought you had it all worked out …
Best friends Lisa and Felicity think – maybe, just maybe – they finally have everything sorted out in their lives.
Lisa is in a happy relationship with her old flame, and busy mum Felicity has managed to reignite the passion with her husband, Pete, after a romantic getaway.
But when Lisa walks in on a half-naked woman in her boyfriend’s flat and Felicity is left reeling from a shocking discovery, it becomes clear that life is nothing but full of surprises!
Thank you so much Carol for taking part! I’m with Carol on the time travel – I’d love to do the Bill and Ted thing…..although not just because of Keanu Reeves but because of all those awesome historical people they meet!
I’ve not read any of Carol’s books yet but they sound like they’d be right up my street so I’ll be checking them out when my TBR has calmed down a bit!
Thanks again Carol, and as always if you have any questions for her, give us a shout below.
Have a lovely weekend all