I’m thrilled to co-host today’s stop on the blog tour for Tremarnock Summer by Emma Burstall, the third in the delightful Tremarnock series. To get you in the mood for this perfect summer read, I have an interview with Emma about the book, its inspiration and her approach to writing generally.
The ebook of Tremarnock Summer is available now and it will be published in hardcover on 5th October 2017.
About the Book
Bramble Challoner has had a very normal upbringing. She lives in a semi in the suburbs of London with her parents and works at the call centre down the road. She still goes out with the boy she met at school. At weekends they stay in and watch films on the telly and sometimes hold hands. Bramble is dying for an adventure. So when her very grand grandfather, Lord Penrose, dies, leaving his huge, rambling house in Cornwall to her, Bramble packs her bags immediately, dragging along her best friend Katie. The sleepy village of Tremarnock had better be ready for its newest residents…
|Format:||ebook||Publisher:||Head of Zeus||Pages:||384|
|Publication:||30th May 2017||Genre:||Fiction|
Find Tremarnock Summer on Goodreads
Interview: Emma Burstall, author of Tremarnock Summer
Emma, without giving too much away, can you tell us a bit about Tremarnock Summer?
It’s about an ordinary girl from London, called Bramble Challoner, who unexpectedly inherits a crumbling manor house in Cornwall from the very grand grandfather that she’s never met. She leaves behind her boyfriend and family and moves with her best friend, Katie, to the manor, near the little village of Tremarnock. Here, she meets a mysterious artist, a suave land agent and a whole host of other colourful characters. Not surprisingly, perhaps, things don’t quite go according to plan and soon Bramble comes face to face with some very difficult decisions.
This is the third book set in the fictional Cornish village of Tremarnock. Why did you decide to introduce some new inhabitants to the village?
In Tremarnock, as in real villages around the UK, old inhabitants move out and new ones arrive. This is perhaps especially true of Cornwall, a popular destination for retirees as well as those from different parts of the country seeking a better a quality of life. Inevitably, this flux can cause tensions, and I loved the idea of portraying the clash between long established villagers and newcomers with a different outlook and agenda. There’s endless scope for drama!
Is Tremarnock based on a specific place in Cornwall or is it an amalgam of many places?
The latter. It’s inspired by several little seaside villages that I’ve been to and adore.
A theme of all three books seems to be finding sanctuary or making a new start. Is that something you set out to explore?
Yes. I think we all want to find what makes us feel happy and secure, whether that’s a place, person, job or a combination of all these. Life’s a journey, with rough patches and smooth, and if we stumble and fall, I firmly believe we can pick ourselves up and start over at any age, but it’s not easy. I’m interested in how different people deal with adversity, with varying degrees of success or failure.
Is it difficult to strike the right balance between pleasing fans of the previous two books by revisiting original characters and keeping things fresh by introducing new ones?
I haven’t found it hard up to now, but only readers can judge whether I’ve got the balance right. In my next book, which I’m writing now, I delve deeper into the life and personality of an existing character, but there are new characters too as well as the old favourites. I hope people like them all!
How has Tremarnock changed over the three books? Do you feel that its charm for readers is that it remains largely unchanged?
I think it has changed quite a lot. Existing characters are growing older, getting married, having children, health and relationship problems and dying, too, just as in real life. That said, the village itself, its wonderful old cottages and pubs, the beach, harbour and cliffs, haven’t altered much, and I guess that’s rather comforting in a rapidly evolving world.
Do you have a special place to write or any writing rituals?
I’m a bit of a nomad when it comes to writing. Sometimes I work in my little study, sometimes I decamp and go to my mother’s nearby, which is very quiet. At the moment, though, I’m working in the dining room, largely because the weather’s very hot and this room is the coolest in the house. I quite like a change of scenery; it keeps me fresh. I drink loads of coffee when I’m working , mostly homemade lattes in winter and iced coffee in summer, and I have a lovely comfy desk chair which I take with me, though not to my mother’s!
What is your favourite and least favourite part of the writing process?
I find the first few chapters the hardest, before I’m fully into the swing of the story and haven’t yet got to know my characters properly. I usually take ages to write the opening section then speed up as the plot progresses. Funnily enough, I probably enjoy writing the second draft more than the first, because I’ve got something to work with, rather than just a blank page. My second draft is when I start to feel I’m really making progress, and by the third, I’m mostly just polishing. Only then am I ready to show my fabulous editor and I wait with bated breath to see what she has to say. Whatever she suggests, I usually disagree with at first, but it doesn’t take me long to realise that she’s spot on, and back I go to the drawing board!
Which other writers do you admire and why?
I think Jojo Moyes is a brilliant writer. She’s very accessible, deals with big themes, has great heroines and makes me laugh and cry. I’m also a huge fan of Marian Keyes, who mixes humour so well with serious issues, and Nick Hornby. To this list I’d add Jane Austen and Emily Bronte, the original queens of chick lit, and Kate Atkinson, for her daring and cleverness.
What are you working on next? Will there be a return to Tremarnock?
I’m thrilled to say that I recently signed a contract with my publisher, Head of Zeus, for three more books in the series. Watch out for Tremarnock Four next year!
Thank you, Emma, for sharing the inside track on Tremarnock with us! Fans of the series will be thrilled to know there are more adventures on the way…
About the Author
Emma Burstall was a newspaper journalist in Devon and Cornwall before becoming a full time author. Tremarnock, the first novel in her series set in a delightful Cornish village, was published in 2015 and became a top-10 bestseller.
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