Over the chuffing moon today to have the fabulous Sue Watson visit my blog as part of her blog tour for her gorgeous book We’ll Always Have Paris. Sue has answered a few questions for my blog and you’ll see below my thoughts about the book.
Have you ever been to Paris?
I have been to Paris only twice, the first time was with my husband, before we were married, it was very romantic, we scratched our names on the Eiffel Tower. We returned a couple of years later to see Oasis in concert, but there was a lorry driver’s strike and though we made it, Oasis didn’t. But despite being disappointed about the gig we still had a wonderful time – after all we were in Paris, a place filled with macarons and croissants – what’s not to love?
Where is the one place in the world that you’d love to go to but have not yet managed?
The Seychelles they say the sand is pale pink and the light is amazing… but one of my favourite places in the world, somewhere I’d always longed to go to is Santorini. I went there a few years ago and was inspired to write Love, Lies and Lemon Cake – the sunset there is something for everyone’s living list!
Have you ever met up with your first boyfriend? Can you tell us about him?
My first love was a boy at school, I was 13 and he was 14 and sadly it was more of an unrequited crush on my part. I loved him from afar for many years though and once went to the seaside with him – but I was so shy I didn’t speak one word and felt permanently sick for the whole day. Then one New Year’s Eve we were both in our late teens at college, we kissed at a party – it was wonderful and I thought after all this time it was finally the beginning of something special. Then he wandered off and kissed someone else…I’m still getting over it.
If you ever found yourself alone, God forbid, what would be the first thing you’d do that you’d always wanted to do and not managed to get round to it?
I would love to just lock myself away in a beach house for a couple of weeks. I’d have no internet, no TV, groceries delivered, and a few books on my TBR pile – and then I’d write a different book. I’d like to look out to sea and be inspired, empty my head and try writing a different genre even. Life gets in the way and as much as I love my family and would miss them, I am a terrible procrastinator and use them as an excuse not to work and it takes me so much longer to write a book than perhaps it should. I know if I just had the time and some peace I could get so much done. Yep a couple of weeks alone on the beach sounds like writer’s bliss!
The character of Rosie is considerably older than you. How did you put yourself into her position to write about her thoughts and feelings?
I was inspired by my mum who always says she still feels 18 inside. Mum lies about her age so no-one ever really knows, but she’s south of 70 and she still wears heels and lipstick and cares about the world so quite honestly I really don’t see age as the end of anything. Rosie is 64 and I wanted to create a character full of fun and humour and vitality, but at the same time has the wisdom to deal with what’s happening to her, be it dealing with new love, death, or her teenage granddaughter’s sex life! I wanted Rosie to be a woman in her prime who isn’t afraid of falling in love and isn’t scared to talk about sex and is excited about her future too – and I hope, in Rosie I’ve managed to do that and that any woman reading it will say ‘you go girl!’
Did you need to do any research for this book?
The book is set in and around Manchester in the present day and the late sixties and obviously Paris figures in the story too. So I researched Paris in the late sixties and I would have loved to visit again but didn’t have the time, so found some of the little cafes and landmarks that are still there today. As for teenage love and meeting your first love again I did speak to several people who’d had this experience – which was fascinating and gave me great insight. They were so interesting some more of their stories might even go into another book one day. Research is never wasted!
What’s next for Sue Watson?
I’m currently editing my new book ‘The Christmas Cake Café,’ which is out in October. I’m really excited about this one because it’s set in Switzerland, and filled with cakes and snow. It’s lots of fun and is sooo Christmassy I’ve really enjoyed this one – I was writing at my desk the other morning and I swear I heard sleigh bells – in the middle of July!
About the book
A charming, moving second-chance love story for fans of Thursdays in the Park, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Last Tango in Halifax.
Does first love deserve a second chance?
When she was almost seventeen, Rosie Draper locked eyes with a charismatic student called Peter during their first week at art college, changing the course of her life forever. Now, on the cusp of sixty-five and recently widowed, Rosie is slowly coming to terms with a new future. And after a chance encounter with Peter, forty-seven years later, they both begin to wonder ‘what if’ . . .
Told with warmth, wit and humour, We’ll Always Have Paris is a charming, moving and uplifting novel about two people; the choices they make, the lives they lead and the love they share.
What Did I Think?
I’m a huge Sue Watson fan so was really looking forward to reading We’ll Always Have Paris.
This is the story of Rosie, who after the love of her life Peter and her parted company in her younger years, goes on to have a very happy marriage with Mike, but after the death of her husband, she miraculously meets up with Peter again and it explores the emotions of the past and the present as she finds herself.
A beautifully poignant story about a mother who has spent her life putting her family first for her whole life, finally discovering who she really is and grabbing life with both hands. It hands lots of very emotional moments and as you come to expect from the lovely Sue Watson, a number of laughs along the way.
A beautiful book, highly recommended.
Sue Watson was a journalist on women’s magazines and national newspapers before working in a career in TV where she was a producer with the BBC. She has published six novels, her most well-known being Love, Lies and Lemon Cake. Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives in the Midlands and writes full time.