We are popping over to France this week to hear from the lovely author, Beth Haslam. I first came across Beth on Twitter and in no time at all we’d built up a wonderful rapport. I was therefore delighted when Beth agreed to come along to Patricia’s Pen and chat about the birth of Fat Dogs and French Estates. It’s over to Beth.
I am honoured to be asked by Patricia to write a guest blog. Why? Because apart from being a lovely lady, I deeply admire her work and her generous support of fellow authors, both seasoned and new.
Aw, thanks Beth. The feeling is equal, I can assure you.
Fat Dogs and French Estates
I’m a storyteller. As far back as I can remember, I have written tales about my family and animals.
After graduating from university, aside from preparing endless business reports, a busy career stalled any erstwhile thoughts I might have had about progressing with my pen. Things eventually changed.
My husband, Jack, had worked his socks off for years too. When early retirement beckoned, we decided to buy a second home in a country with a warmer climate than England. We chose the south of France. Nothing grand, it would be a small house with enough land for me to walk our dogs and indulge my love for the countryside. A simple decision? In theory, perhaps.
Blissfully innocent, we set off with our two portly dogs on what would become an extraordinary adventure. Surviving near-death incidents, we drove thousands of kilometres, viewing French estates steeped in history and crazy aristocrats.
Despite my meticulous planning, every property on our list ended in disaster. Exhausted, and facing failure, a poignant twist of fate turned our lives upside down. We can smile about it now.
Today, we manage a French estate stuffed with wild boar, deer, hare the size of Labradors, and a host of rescue animals. We are immersed in a farming community that hasn’t altered much for the past thirty years. Friendships, and living in tune with the changing seasons are vital here. We cherish the lifestyle.
Despite the pastoral backdrop, there’s never a dull moment. Drama occurs in the most unlikely places. Jack, musing over a gin and tonic one evening, made a telling remark. “Our experiences are so unbelievable you should write a book about them.” So I did.
With the unstinting support from Victoria Twead and Ant Press, my first memoir, Fat Dogs and French Estates was published. As our adventures have continued, so has the series. Fat Dogs Part 5 will be released later this year with more planned for the future.
Wow, Beth, what an interesting story and I love your book covers. Do come back to Patricia’s Pen once Fat Dogs and French Estates Part V is released.
Click on the links below to purchase Beth Haslam’s books.
About Beth Haslam
Beth Haslam grew up on a rural farm in Wales. Her childhood was spent working with horses, helping the gamekeepers raise pheasants, or out sailing.
During her career, Beth worked as a Human Resources specialist. When she and her husband, Jack, decided to buy a second home in France, their lives changed forever. Computers and mobile phones have swapped places with understanding French customs and wrestling with the local dialect.
These days, Beth is occupied as never before. Raising and saving animals, writing, and embracing everything their corner of rural France has to offer. And she loves it!
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