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, Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop, is Rebecca Raisin.
Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been published in various short story anthologies and in in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance.
Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly believe in true love.
Hello Rebecca. It is my pleasure to warmly welcome you to my blog, Mrs B’s Book Reviews. 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?
Thank you so much for inviting me, Mrs B! Allow me to make a pot of Romeo and Juliet love potion for you! Rosie makes exotic literary tea blends and it’s one of my fiction favourites, goes down well with scones with lashings of jam and cream! And the same old debate usually arises with my UK counterparts: do you put jam or cream first on the scone, and my opinion is – you clearly put jam first! Let’s take a vote!
Can you tell us what genres you write for and how many books you have had published?
I write romantic comedy, or women’s fiction! They’re stories about love and friendship often with a foodie element and an exotic location or two to keep things interesting. I’ve published fifteen books over the last five years, some have been shorter novella series and some full length novels.
Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop has just been released. Can you describe it in just a sentence?
Heartbroken planner-to-a-fault Rosie takes a leap of faith and hits the open road to change her life and with every fork in the road she learns to trust in the experience and her new nomadic friends!
What came first in the creation of the novel – the title, plot, characters or setting when you first set out to write Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop?
First came the idea of living on the road as a Van Lifer. I follow a lot of those types of lifestyle blogs and am envious of how they work and live and love without the constraints of the usual 9-5 mundanity. What they must see, and feel and the freedom that goes along with treading your own path dazzles me. So I thought if I can’t actually live that life I can at least imagine it, so Rosie was born!
How long did it take you to write Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop?
It has taken about a year to write alongside edits for other books and planning the next with my editorial team.
Where did the inspiration for your characters come from?
The inspiration for Rosie was came easily, I pictured her that very first night on the sofa when her husband drops his bombshell and knew I had to make her face a few more challenges along the way! She craves order and routine because of her past, and yet here she is suddenly faced with the polar opposite. Aria then came about to test Rosie in many ways, but also to lift her up and show her that she’s perfect the way she is. And Max, well Max is pure fantasy and I am not ashamed to admit it! And Ollie is that poetic guy, the one who’s good with words…
Can you tell us about the research process to bring Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop to life? How did you incorporate this research into the book?
Rosie runs a travelling tea shop that specialises in comfort food, so the very first thing I did was make a list of all the old fashioned food that warms you from the inside out. The type of recipes my mum made me as a child, and just those memories were enough to take me back! I also spent a lot of time researching Rosie’s route around the UK. Every festival is accurate time and weather wise so I had to make sure the story moved along at the right pace for these details to be correct. I really enjoyed learning about the towns and the tourist sites and also the little places off the beaten track that the nomads find along the way. I sort of feel like I’ve been to those places now, I spent a lot of time looking through photos so the descriptions were correct!
What ingredients do you feel are necessary to compose a successful romantic comedy based narrative?
The characters have to be relatable and well developed so that you either feel their struggle or at least empathise with it. The dialogue has to be fast paced and witty, although there’s always room for those lovely emotive moments too. Descriptive is good but kept short so the story doesn’t slow the story too much.
Rosie, your lead, embarks on quite the adventure. What would be involved in your own trip of a lifetime?
Oh, this is hard! I actually wanted to do the very same thing but write on the road instead of baking! I’d really love to travel around Australia in a campervan, which Aussie hasn’t dreamed of that?! I’d love to spend time in Tasmania and find all those lovely little hidden beaches and coves and eat fresh produce and read books and make tea and never come home! Who’s in?
What do you hope readers will take away from reading Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop?
That’s a great question! I know we can’t all take a leap of faith and leave our lives, jobs, homes, and bills but we can be more spontaneous. We can say yes to new adventures, even when they scare us. We can take risks, and open our hearts and trust that whatever happens at least we lived life wholeheartedly and didn’t regret not taking chances.
How will you celebrate the official release day of Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop?
I’ll actually be on a boat somewhere between Singapore and KL! Hopefully the Wi-Fi won’t be too dodgy so I can still work, and I think Rosie would approve!
How has your writing evolved since your first published novel?
I learn more with each book but each story is unique and the characters have a tendency to guide me so it always comes down to them and how their lives shape the story. I think I’ve learned to take more risks – I often write characters who aren’t tough and confident because that’s what appeals to me. There’s room for more characters who aren’t sassy and ballsy, but who are introverted, anxious and lacking confidence, and when they learn that that’s okay, it’s always a heart-warming moment of the writing process for me. I’ve learned to listen and develop my own voice in terms of characters and their motivations.
How do you balance life with writing?
It’s always tricky especially around deadline time but my family are always very supportive and know if I miss a few weekends because of work that it won’t be forever. I have a lot of flexibility otherwise and can be present for school events, and things like that so it’s a bit of give and take on everyone’s part. I can’t think of any other job I’d love as much as this and as cliché as it sounds I enjoy every second of it, even when I’ve read the words a million times and can’t stand it, I know it’s all part of the process and it means I’m almost there.
Is there a genre you haven’t tried writing yet, but want to in the future?
I’d like to do a really emotional book, something that makes you sob into your pillow like The Fault in Our Stars…
If you could slip back in time, what era would you travel to and why?
I’d head back to 1920s Paris when the literary greats of the Lost Generation all knocked around the 6th Arrondissement. Imagine sitting next to Hemingway as he scribbled in his notebook, or meeting the formidable Gertrude Stein at one of her literary salons surrounded by works of art by Picasso! Sipping a champagne cocktail at the Ritz. Flapper dresses and exotic headpieces! I love everything about that era!
What is next on the horizon for Rebecca Raisin? Do you have any writing projects you would like to share with us?
I’m writing one at the moment set in Italy but I’m also set to write Aria’s story which I’m really looking forward to!
Finally, wrapping up our tea themed interview, who would you most like to share a pot of tea with?
I’d like to catch up with writers Amanda Knight and Lisa Ireland, I love those girls and I haven’t seen Amanda in ages! I’d also love to catch up with book blogger Claire H from Claire’s Reads and Reviews because we have been meaning to make a date but life keeps getting in the way! Maybe we need another WCFF?
Thank you so much for having me!
Thank you for taking the time to visit Mrs B’s Book Reviews for Tea with Mrs B Rebecca. Congratulations on the publication of Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop!
Rosie Lewis has her life together.
A swanky job as a Michelin-Starred Sous Chef, a loving husband and future children scheduled for exactly January 2021.
That’s until she comes home one day to find her husband’s pre-packed bag and a confession that he’s had an affair.
Heartbroken and devastated, Rosie drowns her sorrows in a glass (or three) of wine, only to discover the following morning that she has spontaneously invested in a bright pink campervan to facilitate her grand plans to travel the country.
Now, Rosie is about to embark on the trip of a lifetime, and the chance to change her life! With Poppy, her new-found travelling tea shop in tow, nothing could go wrong, could it…?
A laugh-out-loud novel of love, friendship and adventure! Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Holly Martin.
Connect with Rebecca here: