Welcome to Tea with Mrs B, an author interview series. Here to share a pot of tea and to chat about her brand new book, Saving You, is Charlotte Nash.
Charlotte Nash was born in historic Lincoln, England and grew up in the sunny Redland Shire of Brisbane. Obsessed with horses and riding, she began stealing her mother’s Jilly Cooper novels at the age of thirteen, and has been enthusiastic for romance ever since. Always a little unconventional, she took a meandering path to writing through careers in engineering and medicine, including stints building rockets and as an industrial accident investigator. Now she writes romantic stories, and moonlights as a creative writing PhD student, studying how narratives engage the brain. She lives in a cosy Brisbane cottage with her husband and son, and a small flock of lovable chooks.
Hello Charlotte. It is my pleasure to welcome to my blog, Mrs B’s Book Reviews and thank you for joining me for Tea with Mrs B, an author interview series. To set the mood for our tea infused interview, what is your preferred beverage, tea, coffee or other? And side accompaniment, scone, cake or other?
Definitely tea! I enjoy being a bit of a tea snob – I currently have a rather lovely French Earl Grey, a Black Rose (lovely iced) and an Oolong Chocolate Chai in the pantry. The humble tea bag doesn’t get much of a look in at my place! And I’ll take cake, with some kind of buttercream if it’s going. Mmmm … buttercream. Clearly you’ve found two of my vices.
Can you tell us what genres you write for and how many books you have had published?
I write both romances (including small town/rural) and contemporary romantic dramas (sometimes called women’s fiction, but I know I have male readers so I prefer the more inclusive tag). My new novel Saving You is my sixth published. I have a many more manuscripts in the drawer, of course, which we shall not speak of.
Saving You, your latest book, has just been released. Can you describe the book in just a sentence?
An uplifting and romantic journey of three escaped pensioners and one single mother, who sets out to save her son and finds so much more on the way.
What came first in the creation of the novel – the title, plot, characters or setting when you first set out to write Saving You?
What came first was the secondary cast’s plot and the setting – a trio of pensioners escaping from their care facility for very personal reasons to go on a trip – but that led quickly to Mallory, my protagonist, and her predicament with her ex-husband, which then drives the story.
How long did it take you to write Saving You?
I wrote the first draft in about 2 months, but then followed many significant revisions, so it was probably 6 months full-time work altogether before it was ready for copyediting. That six months was spread over nearly 18 months of real time.
Did you need to undertake any research to bring Saving You to life? How did you incorporate this research into your book?
Indeed – there’s always research. I seem to very much need to visit a place to write about it if at all possible, and I so admire historical fiction writers who can bring somewhere to life without that direct experience. So for Saving You, I basically did what the characters were hoping to do – drive from LA to Nashville in 4 days. It was a crazy amount of driving, but very much informed the settings in that part of the novel. I wasn’t able to do the full journey through to New York due to time constraints, but I did fly there to absorb the atmosphere of the city for those parts of the book.
In addition there was a huge amount of other research, from Australian family law to rodeo events and locations.
What character did you most identify with in Saving You?
It’s a funny question, because every character has a little sliver of me in them, a personality seed which then germinates a whole different persona. In that way, I can identify with all of them … but perhaps I found myself most drawn to Jock. He’s probably the one character who understands most how life works, and yet he’s still sometimes as helpless as any of us are in lifting above it. I find that struggle between “academic” wisdom (knowing what you should or could do) and the daily experience of what you actually do very resonant. Mallory, my protagonist, in contrast is a young woman whose idealism hasn’t yet been dented, which made her refreshing – she has the courage to act and a goodness of intentions. I’d like to be more like her – perhaps that’s why she’s the protagonist!
What do you hope readers will take away from reading Saving You?
My first and foremost hope for any book is that the reader enjoys the story, that it pleasurably takes them somewhere else, even for a short time. I really cherish letters from readers who have read my books in a hard time and found some escape or solace in the story. Beyond that general wish, I hope Saving You is uplifting, that it encourages kindness and understanding between people, no matter how different we are in age, nationality or anything else.
How will you celebrate the official release day of Saving You?
It will be my son’s first day of kindy, so I think it’s tempting fate to plan any specific celebration! I’m going to make it up on the day – possibly I will overindulge in some exotic tea and cake. I’m also hoping to visit at least one or two of my local bookstores to see it on the shelves.
What is next on the horizon for Charlotte Nash? Do you have any writing projects you would like to share with us?
I’m currently writing the first draft of my next novel, which has the working title “Twenty-Six Letters”. It’s about a woman who receives a series of letters many years after her mother’s death that were meant for her growing up, and the tumultuous journey that results, all the way from Australia to a little English village. Still very much a work in progress, but I’m hoping the draft will be complete soon.
What 2019 book releases are you most excited to read?
I’m still behind on my 2018 reading! So I’m going to be sneaky and say a couple still on my TBR pile – Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver and Colleen Hoover’s latest Verity. I love both their work so much. Looking ahead, I like the sound of Sally Hepworth’s The Mother-In-Law. Also Ben Aaronovitch’s The October Man, a novella in the Rivers of London series. And The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. I’m clearly on a thriller and fantasy track right now, which is often what I do when writing a new book.
Finally, wrapping up our tea themed interview, who would you most like to share a pot of tea with?
I think I’m supposed to say someone famous and fabulously interesting here, and while I have a list of those, to be very honest, I’d most like tea with some of my best friends and author buddies, like Rebekah Turner and Christine Wells. Those are the moments that keep us sane and connected to each other in a hyperconnected, hyperanxious world. Wouldn’t trade that for anything. 😊
Thank you for taking the time to visit Mrs B’s Book Reviews for Tea with Mrs B Charlotte. Congratulations on this week’s publication of Saving You!
Why thank you; I’m super excited 😊
Three escaped pensioners. One single mother. A road trip to rescue her son. The new emotionally compelling page-turner by Australia’s Charlotte Nash
In their tiny pale green cottage under the trees, Mallory Cook and her five-year-old son, Harry, are a little family unit who weather the storms of life together. Money is tight after Harry’s father, Duncan, abandoned them to expand his business in New York. So when Duncan fails to return Harry after a visit, Mallory boards a plane to bring her son home any way she can.
During the journey, a chance encounter with three retirees on the run from their care home leads Mallory on an unlikely group road trip across the United States. Zadie, Ernie and Jock each have their own reasons for making the journey and along the way the four of them will learn the lengths they will travel to save each other – and themselves.
Saving You is the beautiful, emotionally compelling page-turner by Charlotte Nash, bestselling Australian author of The Horseman and The Paris Wedding. If you love the stories of Jojo Moyes and Fiona McCallum you will devour this book.
Saving You by Charlotte Nash was published on 29th January 2019. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
Connect with Charlotte here: