Happy Friday!!!! Today I am thrilled to be joined by Cressy for some Q&A.
Can you tell us a little about you?
I am Cressida – Cressy – McLaughlin, I’m 34 years old and I live in Norwich with my husband David, four Lava Lamps and a whole heap of books. I have always been a huge bookworm, I studied English Literature at university, and then I decided I wanted to try and write a book of my own. Being able to create characters and settings and scenarios from scratch – to let my imagination run wild – and then have other people read and enjoy my stories, is a dream come true. I love reading all genres, from wonderful romances to gory crimes and terrifying ghost stories. My current celebrity-romantic-hero crush is James Norton.
Can you tell us about your new book?
My latest book is The Canal Boat Café. The main character, Summer Freeman, has to decide whether to take over her mum’s café, on board a narrow boat in the sleepy, riverside village of Willowbeck, eight months after her untimely death. It was first published in four separate parts, All Aboard, Casting Off, Cabin Fever and Land Ahoy! and is being published as a full eBook and paperback on the 28th July.
What is your favourite place to write?
I am lucky enough to have my own little office in our house, which is ideal. It has a view out over the garden, is adorned with a sparkly lava lamp, some plotting boards and whichever flavour of Yankee candle I’m favouring, and gives me the space to think. I love it.
Where do you get your character inspiration from?
Mainly my head, though I steal snippets – a look or an expression or a character trait – from the people around me. I haven’t taken anyone and put them straight in a novel, but it’s sometimes tempting when you meet interesting or eccentric people, especially if you’re never going to see them again.
What are your 3 desert island books?
The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me by Lucy Robinson
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.
What is your favourite place to read?
I do read in a bed a lot, but I also love curling up on the sofa or, if the weather’s nice, going down to the bottom of our garden. It’s quite secluded so all road noise disappears, and it’s just me and my book and the bird song.
What is your favourite book and why?
Just one book? Eek. I know it’s a recent one, but I think I would pick Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. It’s so funny, wonderfully romantic and a brilliant retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I only read it a couple of months ago, but I can see myself returning to it again and again, finding new things and being swept up in it every time. I’m already fiercely protective of my copy.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love reading (surprise!) and watching films. I spend quite a lot of time exploring the coast and countryside of Norfolk, where I live now, and returning to London to spend time with friends and family. I’m equally happy on a deserted beach in North Norfolk or a bustling, West End pub. I like watching cricket and drinking prosecco and I occasionally do a bit of drawing and painting, though my easel is probably mouldy I haven’t touched it for so long.
Chocolate or sweets?
Chocolate – especially if it’s a Ferrero Rocher.
Is there a book you wished you wrote?
Oh, so many! Sooooo many. I think The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me by Lucy Robinson. I love that book. It is perfection.
You have a free flight and accommodation to anywhere in the world where would you go?
I would go to San Francisco. I’ve never been to America, and I really want to go there – and New York. Could I include a couple of internal flights? I could travel around a bit.
What is your favourite season?
Autumn. I love the rich golden colours, the smokiness in the chilly air, the smell of bonfires, the flash of fireworks and the fun of Halloween. It’s beautiful and exciting and full of anticipation, somehow.
Where can we find you?
Blog/Website: Not yet, but soon hopefully.
Other: I have an Instagram, which is also: @cressmclaughlinAll Aboard by Cressida McLaughlin
Series: The Canal Boat Café #1
Published by Harper on 4th February 2016
The Canal Boat Cafe is a warm and touching story told in four parts, from the best-selling author of A Christmas Tail, perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan and Holly Martin.
Summer Freeman returns to the waterside village of Willowbeck to help with the Canal Boat Café, which used to belong to her mother. Valerie, a fortune teller, has been running things, but the business is in a pickle. The coffee machine is jammed, the cake offerings are paltry, and not all of the locals want to see the café succeed. And then there’s the handsome wildlife photographer, Mason, from the boat next door, whose Border Terrier steals some bacon right under her nose. Her Bischon Frise, Latte, loves their boating neighbours, but Summer is less sure.
As her old life and the community of Willowbeck begin to entwine, Summer finds herself setting sail on a new adventure but will she find herself navigating choppy waters instead?