Book of the Month: May + Q&A with Annie Darling

Hi guys! It’s already June (even though it doesn’t feel like June, right, what with the weather!) and it is time for my Book of the Month, so here we go!

It was easy – peasy this month, to be honest, as among all the brilliant books that I’ve read, there was one that just blew my mind away – it had all that I’m looking for in a book: it was full of warmth, INCREDIBLE humour, fantastic, vivid characters and it had one of the best plots ever, and well, it took place mostly in a bookshop! So, do you already know what book I’m talking about? Exactly! It’s the one and only „The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts” by Annie Darling and here you can read my review of this gorgeous, charming, heart – warming book! And if you scroll down, yours truly and the lovely Annie are chatting about the book!

 

Q&A WITH THE AUTHOR

1. How would your own bookshop look like? Would it be more Posy or Sebastian’s style?

Not surprisingly I’m #TeamPosy all the way. Happy Ever After is the bookshop of my dreams. I love those bookshops, especially those second hand bookshops you always unearth in small towns when you’re on your hols, that are a warren of rooms all running into each other. Books arranged higgledy piggledy on the shelves. Comfy armchairs arranged here and there. The kind of bookshop that invites you to linger. And definitely either a resident bookshop dog or cat.

  2. Do you believe in Happy Ever After?

Kind of. Sort of. Alas, I see more evidence of Happy Ever Afters in books rather than real life.

3. What inspired you to write such a charming story as „The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts”? And where did the idea for this title come from?

It originally started life as a standalone novel called Posy Morland’s Happy Ever After. I had this very clear idea of a slightly bumbling, dreamy girl who’d grown up on a diet of romance novels and who found real life quite disappointing by comparison and the story grew from there. So, when I originally submitted the novel the title had changed to The Little Bookshop of Happy Ever After but it turned out three other authors had written novels about bookshops and one, in particular, had a very similar title so there was a lot of headscratching and flip-charting until my editor, Martha, and I came up with The Little Bookshop Of Lonely Hearts.

4. Sebastian may have been „the rudest man in London” but I adored him – he is funny, with a great dose of sarcasm and he knows what he wants – is he totally fictional character or is he based on a real person (if so, could you please introduce us?)?

He is really the modern personification of those alpha male romantic heroes from Regency novels who stride about being haughty and issuing commands to the lower orders, but are still damnably attractive! I wanted to take that 18th century hero template and apply it to a contemporary man and Sebastian was the result. Though I feel like he has more than touch of the Sherlock Holmes about him. (Never a bad thing!)

5. And Posy – one of the loveliest people in the world. How much of you is in Posy and how much of Posy is in you?

What do Posy and I have in common? Permanently tangled hair, messy flat, too many books owned and too many biscuits eaten! We also have very vivid, some may say over-active, imaginations.

6. People are already loving „The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts” – what is the best thing you heard about your novel?

It’s very early days as the ebook has only just come out, but I’ve been thrilled and quite blown away by the response so far, which has been really positive and so warm. I was worried that people might think I was poking fun at romance novels and their readers, so the best thing is that the readers of The Little Bookshop Of Lonely Hearts absolutely get that the book is coming from a place of love.

7.  What was the best – and worst – thing about writing this story?

The best thing was writing the scenes between Posy and Sebastian. The dialogue just snapped back and forth between them, such fun! And I also loved writing the Ravished By A Rake sections. The worst thing? There really wasn’t anything bad about the writing of The Little Bookshop Of Lonely Hearts. The words just poured out of me.

8. What did writing this book mean to you? What did you want your readers to take from this story?

I wanted to represent for the romance novel and the readers of romance. I think so often we’re looked down on and dismissed because we’re not reading ‚proper’ literary novels. I believe all the great literature is about love and even if it wasn’t, it’s important to read what makes you happy.

And what I want readers to take from this story is just a lovely warm feeling like they’re being hugged and a deep sigh of satisfaction when they read the four words that make up the final chapter.

 

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