Good to meet you…author Romy Gemmell

It’s not often I have a guest from further north than where I live in Yorkshire, but my visitor today is coming all the way from over the border in bonny Scotland. I like to make my guests welcome with traditional food whenever I can. I’m afraid I have to draw the line at haggis for my guest today (just google the ingredients. Enough said!) But the traditional Scots cranachan is absolutely delicious. It’s a dessert of raspberries, honey, whipped cream and toasted oats, and I have a bowlful ready for each of us.

Welcome to Yorkshire, Romy Gemmell! Let’s add a drop of whisky to the cranachan :)

romy gemmell, helena fairfax, the adonis touchMany thanks, Helena, for inviting me to be your guest in lovely Yorkshire, one of my favourite parts of England!

God’s own country, as we Yorkshire folk are fond of saying :)

Whereabouts in Scotland do you live, Romy? I live at the top of a hill in a village on the beautiful west coast of Scotland – about half an hour from Glasgow and twenty minutes across the river from Loch Lomond. We have views of the river from upstairs and are bordered by the sheep-filled countryside at the back.

The west coast of Scotland must be one of the most beautiful places in the entire world. I think even us proud Yorkshire folk would have to agree!

Where is your favourite place in the world? I wouldn’t like to live anywhere but Scotland but have been to many beautiful places around the world. One of my constant favourites is Venice – we’ve been a few times but I still want to go back again. Such romance, history, architecture and atmosphere!

I could explore Venice for months and not get bored. Such a small city, crammed with things to see and people to watch!

Being a writer is a great job.  What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?  I’ve quite enjoyed each experience for as long as it lasted but some didn’t last long! I’m afraid I’ll have to admit to nursing being my personal worst in the end. Being straight out of school, I had an idealistic view of it which didn’t translate to real life. I had to give up one and a half years into the three year course – yet I was told I had the makings of a very good nurse and they were sorry to see me go. I’ve never regretted my decision! It’s definitely a vocation I didn’t have.

It’s a brave step sometimes to give up something you feel is wrong, when people are trying to persuade you otherwise. It was obviously the right decision for you!

What book do you wish you’d written?  Oh, very difficult as I love so many! One I read many, many years ago that has never left me is Knowledge of Angels by Jill Paton Walsh, which I read again one day. I love the philosophical question behind the story, the setting and the period. I would love to have written this, or something like it!

I read quite a few Jill Paton Walsh books when I was a child, but not this one. I’ll check it out!

What’s your favourite song? Again, I have too many to single one out – but at the moment it’s ‘Dance me to the End of Love’ by Leonard Cohen, also sung beautifully by the duo the Civil Wars. My daughter gave me their CD and I play it every day as I love the songs so much and I like working to music.

I have a brilliant CD of Cohen covers, called ‘I’m Your Fan’. I haven’t heard this particular cover. It sounds great!

If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you say to them? I’d quite like to meet the three Bronte sisters and find out how they were able to write such passionate novels, living in the Yorkshire countryside in Victorian times. I would also tell Charlotte how much I have always adored Jane Eyre – and Mr Rochester!

I live not far from the Bronte Parsonage, and I, too, find it incredible that such passionate stories came from out of this gloomy house.

What’s your happiest childhood memory?  This is one of two favourites as I loved my childhood. My father was a very hard worker and my mother was clever at making the money go further with nutritious food, especially with a large family. But every Friday evening, when he was paid his wages, my father brought home a white paper bag filled with a wonderful selection of chocolate bars – the kind we couldn’t afford at other times. My brothers and I were allowed to choose one and it was the highlight of the week . Perhaps it’s partly why I love chocolate so much, as my father died when I was twelve.

 What a wonderful way to remember your dad :)

If you had to marry a fictional character, from film, television, or books, who would it be? Apart from the obvious Mr Darcy or Mr Rochester, both of whom I adore, one of the characters I’ve always loved from the book and film is Victorian poet Randolph Henry Ash from Possession by A.S. Byatt. That might partly be due to Jeremy Northam playing him in the film!

Oh I love your choice!

What’s the most important lesson life has taught you? Never to give up a dream, that worry is unnecessary in the greater scheme of things we can’t change, and to be content with what we have.

 Very wise words!

helena fairfax, romy gemmell, the adonis touchAnd finally, please tell us about your latest book, where we can find it, and where we can find your blog/website

The Adonis Touch, from Tirgearr Publishing, is the second novella in my Aphrodite and Adonis series set on Cyprus. Although contemporary romance, there’s a touch of fantasy with sexy and mischievous Aphrodite and her lover Adonis interfering in visitors lives to make them better! In this one, Katie has to let go of her past and lose her inhibitions to find a deeper love with Mike.

Website: http://www.rosemarygemmell.com

Main Blog: http://ros-readingandwriting.blogspot.com

Twitter: @rosemarygemmell

* * *

I love the cover of your novel, Rosemary, and the idea behind the story is really witty and inventive. Thanks so much for coming down from Scotland to visit. Hope you have a good trip back over the border!

If you have any questions for Romy, or any comments at all, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!

 

61 thoughts on “Good to meet you…author Romy Gemmell

  1. Helena – thank you so much for the lovely interview and thought-provoking questions! Really appreciate visiting your friendly Yorkshire abode – and thanks for the delicious cranachan rather than haggis (which I eat only now and then in small measures). Have a great day!

    • Thanks so much for coming, Ros, and for providing such entertaining answers! It’s been lovely getting to know more about you. Hope it’s nice and sunny up on the west coast!

  2. Hi Rosemary and Helena, what a lovely interview. Your memory of the white bag full of chocolate bars reminds me of a similar one, Rosemary. When my dad did a Saturday afternoon in the Black Bull Inn as barman, he would go into the newsagent’s and buy dolly mixtures for us and liquorice all-sorts for my mum. Anne Stenhouse

  3. what an interesting interview, it made me think of all the ways I agree…and differ with my answers.
    I have fond memories of the fair in the field behind our house, and knowing I’d get to go for one noisy diesel fumed afternoon. I only have to hear “From a Jack to a King to smell the oil, and the popcorn…

  4. Thank you, Rosemary and Helena for a really interesting interview. I agree the avoidance of haggis was a wise decision – for most people it’s an acquired taste!

  5. I like this idea for a book. Do Aphrodite and Adonis ever feel a little left behind and abandoned now that their temples have been preempted?

  6. Thank you, Helena and Romy, for a wonderful interview. I am a huge Leonard Cohen fan, too. His songs are some of the most beautiful poetry I’ve heard. I also love your comment, “Never to give up a dream, that worry is unnecessary in the greater scheme of things we can’t change, and to be content with what we have.” Oh, if I could only let go of worries :-) Thanks again for a great interview.

  7. Hey, Helena. Thanks for giving us another informative and entertaining interview. The chranacan sounds yummy with our without the Whiskey. :) Good luck with your books, Romy. They sound like delightful reads.

  8. Great interview Rosemary and Helena! I wasn’t sure it was you because of the way you have your name, Romy, which is a great way to shorten your name. I am also a big Leonard Cohen fan and we saw him in concert a few years ago. I also agree with never giving up on your dream. I would never have been published if I had done that. My father didn’t bring it home, but I’ve loved chocolate all my life!!

    • I’d love to see Leonard Cohen in concert, Barbara. He came to England a few years ago, to the Glastonbury festival, and apparently he was awesome. Glad you enjoyed the interview. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  9. Thank you Helena and Rosemary for this lovely interview. It was a pleasure to read and made me think of my own lovely dad who died too young too, but who left so many warm memories x

  10. Thank you for allowing me a glimpse of England and Scotland. Oh how I wish I were there with you. (Of course one swig of whiskey and I”d be on the floor!!) Delightful interview. Thanks for the heads up on your first book, Rosemary. I downloaded it. What an intriguing idea for a series. Anxious to see how you carry this out. Best wishes on your new release!

    • It’s a great idea for a series, isn’t it, JQ? I also love the idea of the Greek setting – especially as this morning in Yorkshire it’s chucking it down with rain! I’ll save Romy’s book for when I go on holiday. Thanks for coming, JQ, and for your great comment!

  11. Hi Ros and Helena. I don’t get to visit blogs often, but glad I came by. Your book sounds like a winner, Ros and the cover is fantastic. I’m always a fan of Greek Mythology. Probably has something to do with teaching English for 25 years! We are planning our 1st visit to Scotland in Sept. 2014. Can’t wait to see the spectacular Scottish countryside.

    • Hi Cheryl, thanks so much for taking the time to visit. The scenery on the west coast of Scotland in particular is absolutely stunning. Edinburgh, too, is a beautiful city with a fascinating (and bloody!) history. I hope the rain holds off for your visit, Cheryl. Sometimes in September we do get glorious Indian summers. Fingers crossed! And thanks for your comment!

    • Hi Cheryl – many thanks for taking time to visit and for your lovely comment! How lovely that you’re coming over to Scotland – which part are you visiting?

      • Landing in Glasow & working our way down to London. From to France,Spain & hopefully Portugal. Will be gone 3 wks.

  12. I’m not that far from Glasgow, Cheryl! Don’t know if I’ll be here or on holiday at that time but it would have been lovely to meet for coffee if possible. Although I expect you’ll be packing an awful lot into your trip!

  13. Romy,

    *sighing* One of my longings is to visit the British Isles, especially Scotland. But alas, I’ll have to settle for being an ‘armchair’ visitor. Your description of where you live sounds absolutely breathtaking.

    When I was a kid, I collected model horses and record albums of various country music artists. My dad would periodically surprise me with one or both. Sometimes he brought them home just for fun, but when I was sick (such as flu, measles, chicken pox, etc), he always treated me.

    • Hi Kaye, that’s another lovely memory. You must have a great record collection! I hope one day you’ll make it over to the UK. Scotland is definitely the place I’d visit – more than London, which is always packed with people. And there’s a great tradition of Scottish country music, too. Hope you make it here some day!

  14. Aloha Ros and Helena. :-). Love your interviews Helena. Great questions.

    I love your cover Ros and the premise of the story. I’ll look out for that one. Lovely. :-).

    I loved your story about your dad and the choccie bars. That’s so lovely!! What a super memory to have. When I come up you ladies way next. I’ll be sure to bring you some choccie bits and bobs. Helena and I will give them all to you. But we’ll have to share the wine. Love the sound of that that pudding. Yum. Definitely needs a wee dram in it. :-)

    I love how it feels like we really ate at your place Helena with all your goodies you have for visitors. :-)

    Thanks and aloha Meg. :-)

    • Hi Meg, yes, you must definitely call in some time! There’s always a place for people bearing chocolate :) Ros’s childhood memory is a lovely one, and the first time an author has specifically mentioned her dad. Great that Dads get lots of mentions in the comments. Thanks for coming – and help yourself to a drop of whisky!

  15. Thanks for that lovely comment, Meg – it would be lovely for us all to get together in reality and share those goodies!

  16. Great interview, Helena and Rosemary, and I have the book on kindle…. lucky me. One of my favourite holiday destinations when we used to camp as children, with our Mom and Dad, was Western Scotland, and we always ended up in Malaig. We camped on the shores of Lock Lomond often as well. I swam in it every day. And got bitten by midges as well…..

    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Susan. I too have fond memories of camping in the west of Scotland. The sight of the sun setting over the Hebrides has stayed with me, and the wonderful smell of peat and heather. The midges can be a curse, though, I agree! I seem to remember May is a midge-free time to visit. Glad Rosemary’s interview brought back happy memories. Thanks again for your comment!

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