Wednesday, February 17, 2016

#MMBBR #Showcase The Lost and Found Life of Rosy Bennett by Jan Birley



The Lost and Found Life of Rosy Bennett by Jan Birley

Blurb:
Rosy loved her London life – her job in a designer shop, her gorgeous West London family house and of course her gorgeous family (although young sons are enough to test anyone at times). All that disappears when, one unremarkable morning, after one unremarkable school run, her husband collapses on a crowded tube carriage and dies. 
As she struggles her way through the grief, she discovers her husband’s secret life: secrets accounts, secret deals that their solicitor knew nothing of, secret debts and what looks like a secret “very close friend” at least. 
Totally unprepared and suddenly in debt, Rosy is forced to leave London to start a new life with her incredibly reluctant boys in the countryside. Can angsty urban teenagers cope with farm life, let alone enjoy it? More to the point, can their mother? It’s certainly not going to be easy but when you are at rock bottom the only way is up. 

To purchase copies of The Lost and Found Life of Rosy Bennett:

About Jan:

So – all about me ………
I went to live in London when I was 17. Pretty young really, amazing that my parents let me go – after six years at a draughty boarding school in Yorkshire, my knowledge of life was hardly encyclopaedic. Mind you, whose is at 17? Initially, I trained as a radiographer but didn’t like it much and dabbled in other worlds where I couldn’t find anything I really wanted to do. Apart from sit and read a book, of course. Nanny? Nope. Not after attempting to look after two hideous children who only spoke Dutch. Cooking in a restaurant in Cornwall? Not really my thing, especially as my role seemed to consist of doing the washing up. So back to London where I spent many years in Wandsworth, getting married and having three fabulous sons, two of whom are twins. Now I live in Dorset, but am unwilling to give up totally on city life and so I still go back there to work at LSE one day a week. I’m a dyslexia support tutor. I also work at a local girls’ school and because of the lovely, long holidays I’m able to spend a good part of the year with all my boys at our holiday home in Italy. Along with our elderly dog, we relish the time we’re able to spend in la bella Umbria. My husband is the Deputy Mayor of our town here in Dorset which keeps him busy.I’ve recently published, on line, my first novel with the second one to follow shortly. The third one is still in the process of being written. All of them are stand-alone books. Although I’ve been writing for many years, it never seemed a possible financial option as a career but belatedly I’ve realised that if I don’t pursue my dream right now, that’s all it will ever be. The result is The Lost and Found Life of Rosy Bennett.Find her here:http://janbirley.co.uk/
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I went to live in London when I was 17. Pretty young really, amazing that my parents let me go – after six years at a draughty boarding school in Yorkshire, my knowledge of life was hardly encyclopaedic. Mind you, whose is at 17? Initially, I trained as a radiographer but didn’t like it much and dabbled in other worlds where I couldn’t find anything I really wanted to do. Apart from sit and read a book, of course. Nanny? Nope. Not after attempting to look after two hideous children who only spoke Dutch. Cooking in a restaurant in Cornwall? Not really my thing, especially as my role seemed to consist of doing the washing up. So back to London where I spent many years in Wandsworth, getting married and having three fabulous sons, two of whom are twins. Now I live in Dorset, but am unwilling to give up totally on city life and so I still go back there to work at LSE one day a week. I’m a dyslexia support tutor. I also work at a local girls’ school and because of the lovely, long holidays I’m able to spend a good part of the year with all my boys at our holiday home in Italy. Along with our elderly dog, we relish the time we’re able to spend in la bella Umbria. My husband is the Deputy Mayor of our town here in Dorset which keeps him busy.
I’ve recently published, on line, my first novel with the second one to follow shortly. The third one is still in the process of being written. All of them are stand-alone books. Although I’ve been writing for many years, it never seemed a possible financial option as a career but belatedly I’ve realised that if I don’t pursue my dream right now, that’s all it will ever be. The result is The Lost and Found Life of Rosy Bennett.

Q.  What inspires your writing?
A. People watching. It can be anywhere. The bus, a restaurant, coffee shops, supermarkets. Just something I overhear, or the way someone has their hair looped up in a bird nest bun. I have to instantly write this down, of course, or five minutes later I will have forgotten. In fact, I now record these observations on my phone but have to pretend I am having a conversation, as otherwise feel like I’m employed in conspicuous undercover work.


Q.  What is your favourite thing about being a writer?
A. Working to my own time. Nobody to tell me what I should be doing.
Living in another world where my characters are real and constantly surprise me as they gradually acquire their own lives and persona and stray from their script.


Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. Not writing. Procrastinating. Dawdling. Gazing out of the window in my study, looking at rooftops and the countryside in the distance. Never seeming to get down to it – and then when I do - the words can fly off the page leaving me wondering why on earth I hadn’t got going earlier.


Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. I’d have a large trust fund and embrace sybaritic luxury.


Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. It’s Now or Never


Q.  What is your favourite book of all time?
A. Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford. All that thirties style.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. I would like to say Harriet Vane in the Wimsey novels. She seems to combine intelligence, knowledge and charm without being arrogant but feel sadly, am more like Bridget Jones stumbling around and getting things wrong.

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?
A. At this point, probably Rosy Bennett. She gets things wrong, doesn’t always keep her youngest son in order when she should. But for the right reasons; love, worry and a degree of guilt, although their situation isn’t her fault. A normal mum in abnormal circumstances.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. One of the Jeeves books by Wodehouse, preferably when Bertie is staying with Aunt Dahlia as then I could sample Anatole’s sublime cooking. It would be tremendous fun too watching Bertie tie himself in knots, only for Jeeves to have to untangle them.

Q.  What is your favourite season?

A. Spring – when everything is on the verge of happening. In the same way I love Christmas Eve when the main event is tantalisingly just round the corner.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favourite book cover and why?
A. I love the cover. The designer has created a clever mix of London’s skyline, Rosy and an alpaca which I think works so well. On my website, the backdrop also features an alpaca linked into the skyline, standing near St. Paul’s. I rather wish it had been the same on the cover.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. To research all about alpacas I went on a course at an alpaca farm. It was the first time I had come into close contact with these noble beasts and I thought I was doing really well with one who seemed hugely friendly, until I realised that he was far more interested in eating my scarf which seemed to unravel very quickly and slither down his throat. I never got it back but after that, I really didn’t want to!

Q.  Are you working on something new?
A. I certainly am! This time the protagonist, Cordelia, is an interior designer who lives in London but takes on a project in Umbria. Of course, she gets into trouble and how she proves she was right all along will, hopefully, make a good read. I’ve based it in the area where we are lucky enough to have a house. We haven’t been there since last September and miss it very much, so writing brings it all back – makes me want to go there even more.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A.   Writing’s a funny business, instantly you are pigeonholed into a genre and when you are new at the game, unless your name gets known, you could have written Pride and Prejudice but if people don’t know about it, it’s not going anywhere! So, I would like to say thank you for reading this far! Thank you even more if you have read my book and, if you have, I hope you enjoyed it. I’ll end with a quote from Thomas Mann, the German novelist: ‘A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.’ Just about sums it up!




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