“Love in the North”
It’s HarperImpulse Fortnight, and Caroline is thrilled to have recently released her powerful and poignant debut novel “The Torn Up Marriage” with this imprint. We chatted about the inspiration for the wonderful setting for this and her other novels.
Why did you choose Northumberland as the setting?
I have lived in Northumberland for the last 13 years and absolutely love the place – castles, rolling countryside, moorland hills, and the most amazing golden sandy beaches. There are historic towns, such as Alnwick (where “The Torn Up Marriage” is based) and Morpeth, with their honey-coloured stone buildings. I want my readers to wander with the characters and discover these places too. I just love walking on the beach with my spaniel, the wind blowing, the rush of the waves, and my mind will set away, imagining the dramas unfolding. There are several scenes set at the coast, Embleton beach in particular - a wonderful golden arc of sand with the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle looming in the distance.
I enjoy using the same setting in different scenes to highlight how situations and characters have changed. Embleton is where the family in the novel enjoy a day out, and then later where Michael walks, quietly contemplating the fallout of his affair and the wreck of his marriage.
Northumberland is such an inspiring county. It’s more than just a backdrop; from the setting, the mood and tone of the story are captured, and the places become part of the characters’ lives. As our homes and home towns do ours. Northumberland is just so evocative for this.
So come along with me, discover the beauty of Northumberland and “The Torn Up Marriage”.
What is your next novel and will it be as heart-rending?
The next book is already written; it has some poignant themes, but isn’t quite as heart-rending. I felt like writing something more uplifting with some flirty fun, as well as it touching some serious issues too. It is inspired by the Tea Rooms at Chillingham Castle, again set in wonderful rural Northumberland, about a girl in her mid-twenties leaving her safe office job and going to run the castle tea rooms for a year, fuelled by her love of baking and her dreams. Of course, there is an extremely handsome estate manager and a gorgeous love story about to unfold. After all, writing for Harper Impulse, I can’t resist a bit of romance.
Family, friends, food, a glass of bubbly and, of course, a good book make me smile. I love writing emotional stories about love, loss, betrayal, and family, that explore how complex and yet beautiful love can be. I also like to write romantic comedy, letting the characters have a bit of flirty fun too! I believe in following your dreams and working hard towards them, which led me to Harper Impulse (Harper Collins) and a publishing deal (woop!) after many years of writing. Stunning Northumberland is my home – sandy beaches, castles and gorgeous countryside that have inspired my writing.
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“The Torn Up Marriage” is now available on Amazon: http://t.co/uqMDVX57UH