I usually mention the weather when I introduce my weekly authors, but by the time we’ve got to mid-March I’m finding it very difficult to keep my spirits up. There is nothing remotely fun about cold drizzle, and whoever coined the term “glorious mud” obviously didn’t have a dog. (I once read a saying that cleaning your house whilst owning a dog is as pointless as brushing your teeth with your mouth full of biscuits.)
Anyway, luckily my author today lives even further north than I do. I expect the weather here today is positively balmy for Caroline Dunford. Welcome to a gloomy Yorkshire, Caroline! Let’s have a cup of tea and a packet of some of those biscuits!
Where do you live, Caroline? I’m lucky enough to live in a cottage less than three minutes from a beautiful beach. The beach is in Scotland, so it’s not exactly a tropical beach, but the view of the bay is gorgeous all year round. I found walking along the sea front very inspiring, and because it’s an old town, and the promenade dates from pre-Victorian times, I can imagine my heroine from the 1910s, Euphemia, walking along with me. I can tell you she’s not a fan of seagulls.
The sea is exhilarating at this time of year. That sounds a wonderful place to live!
Where is your favourite place in the world? I wouldn’t have said I have travelled that widely. It’s true that my happiest place is wherever my family is – my partner and our two sons. I’m most content out in nature, in a forest or beside a deep sea loch. But don’t go making the mistake of ever trying to get me to go camping. I like my creature comforts. A nice cabin, with a wood burning stove and a hot tub, in the middle of a forest makes me very, very happy.
That sounds marvellous. Add a pile of books in the cabin and it would be heaven.
Being a writer is a great job. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? When I first left university I thought I would end up working in the business world. I joined a marketing department and after six weeks I resigned. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made, because it was a good job with good prospects. However, my weight was plummeting. I was constantly stressed and very miserable. Then one day I found myself think I need to go for a drink after work. A thought I had never had before and I decided right there and then this was not the way I wanted to leave my life.
That must have been a difficult decision. Good for you.
What book do you wish you’d written? I often read books I wish I’d written. Though my over-riding feeling is that I am always glad someone else did. I’m a huge fan of the late Robertson Davies, a Canadian author, who far too few people have read.
I have to confess I’m one of the many who haven’t! I’ll check him out.
What’s your favourite song? Now, this changes. I generally prefer more rock-style songs. Among my favourites are ‘Praise you’ by Fat Boy Slim, ‘Everyday I love you less and less’ the Kaiser Chiefs, ‘Things we lost in the Fire’ by Bastille, ‘Left Outside Alone’ by Anastasia and older numbers like Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rapsody’.
If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you say to them? There are so many people I’d like to meet! People who have changed the course of history. People who have over come great personal challenges. But if I’m going to pick one, I’ll go for Conan Doyle, so we could talk about mysteries, observation and his rather unique set of beliefs.
What’s your happiest childhood memory? I went on an outdoor adventure camp during my last year in Primary school and had a whale of a time. In particular managing to overcome my fear of heights and eventually climb, what at the time seemed like a, massive wall gave me a huge thrill and boost to my confidence.
That sounds like a great school.
If you had to marry a fictional character, from film, television, or books, who would it be? A lot of women say Mr Darcy, but I reckon he’d an incredibly difficult man to live with. That’s always the problem isn’t it? We read (and write) romances where love is won through action and/or adventure. It’s easy to pick an exciting character to enjoy those heady first days of falling in love. But the real question is whose socks do you want to live with? Life-long partnership is as much about (if not more so) the quiet times as the adventure. I’ll pick the Musketeer Aramis – a warrior-poet if ever there was one.
One of my favourite books, and I’m also loving the BBC series.
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you? To both be honourable and to be true to yourself.
Euphemia’s latest exploit finds her on April 12th 1912 on the Carpathia as the ship rushes to the rescue of the sinking Titanic. Among the lost is the spy Fitzroy with whom Euphemia has previously had some unwilling dealing for the sake of King and Country. Not long after she returns home, Euphemia learns the Fitzroy has made her the executrix of his rather extraordinary will. As she follows a series of tasks he has set she has to engage the help of ex-fiancee Rory McLeod, the most butlerish of butlers and Bertram Stapleford, the brother of her employer, as intelligent as herself, but passionate and often disastrously impulsive man. Executing Fitzroy’s will uncovers secrets from both Fitzroy’s past and Euphemia’s own, and leads them all into the most dangerous situation the trio have faced yet!
I’m on twitter as Verdandiweaves
Facebook at www.facebook.com/CarolineDunford
My Landing Page is at www.carolinedunford.com has all the details about my latest projects, novels and where I might pop up next!
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Thanks so much for coming today, Caroline. It’s been lovely to meet you and to find out about Euphemia’s adventures. Have a good rip home to Scotland!
If you’ve enjoyed Caroline’s interview, or have any questions or comments at all, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!