Today, I’m privileged to feature fellow Chindi author, Carol Thomas. To celebrate the release of her latest novel, Maybe Baby, Carol is this week’s ‘Chindi Author of the Week.’
First of all let’s find out a little about her.
Carol Thomas is an active member of the Chindi Authors and lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively Labrador. She has been a playgroup supervisor and taught in primary schools for over fifteen years, before dedicating more of her time to writing. Carol is a regular volunteer at her local Cancer Research UK shop. She has a passion for reading, writing and people watching and can often be found loitering in local cafes working on her next book.
Thank you for joining me, Carol. Congratulations on the publication of Maybe Baby. Can you tell us a little about the book?
Maybe Baby is a romantic comedy and the sequel to The Purrfect Pet Sitter (Lisa Blake book #1.) While each book can be read as a standalone story, Maybe Baby revisits the characters from The Purrfect Pet Sitter as they move into the next phase of their lives.
I was delighted with an early review that described it as, “full of love, true friendship and humour”! I think that sums it up well.
What inspired you to write a sequel?
There were elements of Lisa Blake’s story that weren’t central to the first book that I wanted to explore further. At the end of The Purrfect Pet Sitter, Lisa and her old flame, Nathan, have eleven years to catch up on; there are secrets to be revealed and new discoveries to come to terms with.
I enjoy reading and writing romance, but I often wonder what happens after the happy ever after moment; writing a sequel lends itself to satisfying that curiosity. I was excited to see how my characters would work together as they embarked upon their relationship and faced the challenges that brought.
What planning and preparation did you do before getting started on the sequel?
I re-read The Purrfect Pet Sitter and made notes on each character, particularly their voice and individual traits. While I felt I knew them well, I had to ensure I carried them across accurately.
During the planning and writing process, I also held in mind that I had a responsibility to those who had read and enjoyed The Purrfect Pet Sitter. Readers who have spent time with the characters and grown to love them have expectations too. I didn’t want to disappoint my readers and considered that in each character’s individual actions and reactions throughout.
For reasons that will become apparent to readers of Maybe Baby, as well as researching plot points and settings, I also prepared a spreadsheet with a detailed timeline of events. It is the most upfront planning I have done for a novel.
Can readers expect more in the Lisa Blake series?
All characters have been left in a good place, and each story is so far complete in its own right. However, never say never, I have an idea for a Christmas novella I would like to base on these characters, and so if that keeps slipping into my mind (these stories have a way of making you write them), I may well return to them again in the future.
Blurb for Maybe Baby:
Just when you thought you had it all worked out …
Best friends Lisa and Felicity think – maybe, just maybe – they finally have everything sorted out in their lives.
Lisa is in a happy relationship with her old flame, and busy mum Felicity has managed to reignite the passion with her husband, Pete, after a romantic getaway.
But when Lisa walks in on a half-naked woman in her boyfriend’s flat and Felicity is left reeling from a shocking discovery, it becomes clear that life is nothing but full of surprises!
Where can our readers purchase a copy of Maybe Baby?
Where can our readers find you?
Thank you for joining me today, Carol. If any readers have any questions for Carol, please ask at the end of this blog or contact her directly from one of the links above.
Very interesting. I’m working on a sequel and think it is easier as the world and characters are built, but oh the expectations and pressure!
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I know what you mean, Lexi. I’ve just finished Book 2 and plan to start Book 3 in the next few weeks. Isn’t it lovely staying with your characters though?
Interesting chat with Carol. Thanks! I too am working on a sequel, but with a few years between the prequel. It is hard to let go of the characters, but I have to be careful to not repeat things. Difficult if you want it to be a stand alone too. Good luck to Carol with her book and everybody else, with whatever they are busy with.
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I agree, Angela. It is difficult not to repeat but by the same rule you can’t take it for granted that the reader will know things if you want it to stand alone. It’s working it into the story in a different way.
I’m looking forward to reading Carol’s ‘Maybe Baby’ and ‘The Purrfect Pet Sitter.’ They’re both sitting on my Kindle waiting for me.
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