Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Today it is my turn to post on the blog tour for “Search for the House of Dreams” and I’m very happy to share with you the answers Alison Burke, its author, kindly gave in reply to my questions.
Read on to find her responses and to discover more about both her and her book . . .
From events in family history, from an interest in mental health provision in 19th century England and of the lives of women living on the margins of respectable society.
Intended as a stand-alone novel, ideas for a sequel come to mind
2. What is your writing process?
I work out storyline and characters, then do research. I write the first draft, ensuring an accurate timeline and using my research sparingly. I put the finished manuscript aside for a few days. I then rewrite to improve story and characters.
I then ruthlessly self-edit, do further rewrites, then proof read with Grammarly before handing it to the professionals.
3. Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
I started with pen and paper, but now work directly on to the computer, finding my ideas flow more freely this way. Writing and rewriting 80+ words while typing with one finger of each hand is hard, but it can be done.
4. Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?
I like Martha Weeks in House of Dreams because of the way her character changed from morose antagonist to cheerful and supporter of the main character when her circumstances in life improved.
5. If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
Antony, because he had the advantage of a bright future in the care of his half-brother and the opportunity to decide his own future in life. Also, everybody loved him.
6.How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
The names seemed to appear in my mind as I visualised the characters, but there did seem to be some logic to it. For example, I have known several English people called Barbara, Blanche or Antony. To me, Genevre has no English equivalent. She is the odd one out.
Thank you so much for answering my questions, I’m always intrigued in how different authors respond and their different ways of working!
Read on for more information about “Search for the House of Dreams” and Alison Burke, its author.
It is the year 1847 in the elegant city of Bath where 18yr old Genevre Stratton is treated more as a servant than a daughter in the elegant house where bills are not paid, and the rent is in arrears.
Appalled by the dishonesty and overriding social ambition beneath her parents’ veneer of respectability, only her love for her younger brother and sisters keeps her there.
Left to cope alone when their false world falls apart, she fights to keep her siblings together, until poverty forces her to yield them to the care of their half-brother, George Coleman. Handsome, wealthy and charismatic, he is the enemy who becomes her lover.
To surrender all to her passionate desire for him, or to keep the independence of a new-found musical career on the London stage? This is her is her choice to make, until an unexpected call of duty takes her to Paris.
Must the old, dark secrets she discovers there alter the course of her life forever?
I was born in Lancashire and started my career by training as a State Registered general nurse. Later, I joined the army and became an officer in the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps. On a posting to Malaya, now Malaysia, I found my true love. This was an ideal setting for a marriage with young children, and now my memories are a wonderfully rich source of material for my writing.