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