I’d like to welcome to my blog today the lovely Joanne Boden. Joanne lives in Lancashire with her husband and their two sons. When she is not busy writing, she likes to take her boys to the local museums, cafes, and walks in the countryside.
Joanne has published four non-fiction works aimed at parenting children on the autistic spectrum, based upon her experiences as a mother of an autistic son. She has also self-published a contemporary romance novel, Picking Up the Pieces.
Joanne writes contemporary romances with gorgeous heroes. Escape to Little Bluewater Bay was her debut novel with Choc Lit.
Hi Joanne, thanks for agreeing to come on my blog to celebrate the release of your second book with Choc Lit – A Vacancy for a Village Vet.
From big city high-flyer to little village vet …
Hannah and Daniel were teenage sweethearts, but then Daniel left their sleepy village of Middlefern and his grandfather’s veterinary practice behind for the bright lights of London.
Now, fifteen years later, the prodigal grandson has returned to temporarily take over the village practice with a veterinary qualification and his dog, Sammy, in tow. Daniel is ready for rabbits with tummy aches, guinea pigs who’ve lost their squeak, plenty of cow complaints and a whole lot of memories – both good and bad. But is he ready to see Hannah again?
Of course, a high-flying city vet like Daniel was never planning to stay in Middlefern for good – especially given his history with the place. But could another, even more important, vacancy convince him to change his mind?
How are you finding being a published writer?
It still doesn’t feel quite real. Does that make sense? The entire Choc Lit team is lovely and very supportive. I really couldn’t be in better hands. It still very much feels like a dream come true, in that I get to write the stories I love to read.
Middlefern village is a fictional place, where have you based it on?
Middlefern isn’t really based on one particular place. In my mind it is based on the many rural villages that are local to me and which we often find ourselves driving through. I wanted to evoke that sense of community and belonging that living in a small village creates.
Hannah is a carer when Daniel the vet comes back to take over the practice from his grandfather after his grandfather’s death. I don’t think it’s a spoiler alert to say that there is a fair amount of tension and angst between him and Hannah when he comes back after not keeping in touch as he promised. Tell us about your first love?
Oh I love this question. Reader, I married him. We met at school when we were both fifteen. We’ve been together ever since. This year marks our twenty-fourth wedding anniversary.
Hannah has an old and trusty bicycle? Are you a cyclist?
I can’t ride a bike. I have no sense of balance.
Do you name cars or bikes?
Our first car, a Nissan Micra, we named Jack. We did name a Rover 45 Humphry and when we had a Skoda we named it Lubor. We don’t have a name for our current car.
Animals are obviously important in this novel, so are you a cat or dog person?
I am a cat person, but I do like dogs. We had a cat many years ago when the boys were babies, but she sadly passed away. Her name was Pudding and she was a rescue cat. We don’t have any pets at the moment.
I have a character in a book I’m working on now called Daisy, how easy do you find it to name characters?
I sometimes start to write with a stand-in name until a name jumps out at me. I always feel that the name has to match the personality. I probably spend too much time Googling names.
On that point – do characters come to you fully formed?
When I begin to write I always have a firm idea of who the character is, their backstory, what they look like, their likes and dislikes. But it’s not really until I get stuck into writing that they become fully formed for me. This is when I make more notes to flesh them out during the second draft.
What comes first character or plot?
Character–always. I think this is because my books are very much character driven and the plot revolves around them. But I always know how the story will end when I begin to write.
Do you get to the end of a book and find that supporting characters have become so ingrained in your head during the writing of the book that they deserve a second outing later? So what I guess I’m asking is are we going to meet anyone from Vacancy for a Village Vet again?
I don’t have any plans to write a second book based in Middlefern. But you never know. I just feel it works very well as a stand alone. I felt very differently when I finished writing Escape to Little Bluewater Bay,
What software do you use for writing?
I write on a Chromebook and use Google docs. It works for me. I find it has fewer directions and I always write in dark mode. When it comes to editing I use Office 365.
Plotter or pantser?
Don’t laugh but I had to Google what a pantster is. 🙂 I am not a fly by the seat of my pants kind of writer, although I wish I was. I do like to have a rough plan in place before I begin to write. However it is always very flexible.
Do you have a specific timeline in mind for each book?
I usually give myself six months to write a book. I always have a very rough draft in place and I give myself three months to finish the first draft.
And finally, what are you working on next?
At the moment I am finishing the first draft of Bluewater Bay book 3. Then I will be starting on the first book in a new trilogy. Each book will feature a different brother. I am so excited to get started on the new books.
Thank you for stopping by Joanne, it’s been great chatting.