Happy Friday!!!!! I haven’t done a FIF for a while but Poppy was looking for Q&A spots for today so I thought I would offer my little blog up for a spot…also check out the giveaway at the end.
Hi Poopy, can you tell us a little about you?
Hi Emma, thanks ever so much for having me as a guest on your lovely blog today. So, I’m Poppy Blake and I write romcoms with a twist of mystery and surprise. I’ve been scribbling away since I was a child, illustrating the stories with really awful drawings, before moving on to longer pieces, then a full-length novel which is still in a shoe box on the top of my wardrobe. I was absolutely amazed and over-the-moon when the fabulous people at Harper Impulse said they wanted to publish three of my Windmill Café books! It’s a dream come true.
Can you tell us about Autumn Leaves?
Autumn Leaves is the second book in the Windmill Café series, but all the stories are standalones so you don’t have to have read the first book, Summer Breeze. We meet up with Rosie Barnes again, the manager of the cute little cafe in a windmill in the Norfolk countryside, along with her friend, Mia Williams, who has a penchant for quirky, if not down-right risqué aprons! Having moved on from the ice-cold fizz and strawberry-and-cream scones of summer, they are now getting stuck into pumpkin-spiced lattes and chocolate fudge brownies. However, as always, all is not as it seems at the Windmill Café. After the food-poisoning mystery of Summer Breeze, Rosie and her friends are faced with another mystery to solve, this time when one of their guest gets shot by a stray archery arrow!
Who was the easiest character to write?
I think the easiest to write was Rosie herself. Before she escaped to the gorgeous countryside of Norfolk to run the Windmill Cafe, she worked in a little florist’s shop in London until she found her partner frolicking amongst the fuchsias with one of their wedding clients. She was devastated, of course, and the break-up caused the resurgence of her obsession with cleanliness and order which for a while she was able to conceal under the guise of the necessary hygiene requirements of the café. I loved how she develops over the course of the three books, from someone who arrives in Willerby with a broken heart to someone who, with the support of new friends and the wider community, is able to move on with a smile on her face and a song in her heart.
Who was the most difficult?
There’s a mystery to solve in all the Windmill Café books, so I think the character I found the trickiest to get right was the culprit. I wanted to make sure that it was a difficult as possible to guess the person responsible right up to the end when their identity is revealed.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Actually, what I struggle with the most is getting the names of the characters right. I often settle on one name only to change it several times throughout the story. For me, it’s just so important to make sure a character’s name reflects their personality and where they’re from. I spend hours trawling through the Baby Name websites for ideas which thankfully I do enjoy!
Where is your favourite place to write?
I like to write in a light, sunny room and for me that’s the kitchen where we have a huge table and I can spread all my books, pens, notes and character profiles across its width. However, I like it mainly because it’s near the kettle and the biscuit drawer!
Where is your favourite place to read?
We have a wonderful cherry tree in our garden, so if the weather is playing ball, I love to read out there.
Chocolate or sweets?
Chocolate, definitely. I love dark chocolate and my favourite treat is a box of After Eight mints!
You have a free flight and accommodation to anywhere in the world where would you go?
Wow, it would have to be Florida. We had a fabulous holiday there a few years ago and visited all the fabulous theme parks, rode all the rides and had our photos taken with the characters! I’d love to go back and do all the things we didn’t have time to do.
What is your favourite season?
It absolutely has to be summer. I’m a sunshine addict and there’s nothing I like better than sitting outside in the garden with something fizzy and a good book, or walking in the countryside, stopping off for a cup of tea and a strawberry cream scone. Oh, and my birthday is in July which is a great excuse for a party!The Windmill Café: Autumn Leaves by Poppy Blake
Series: The Windmill Café #2
Published by One More Chapter on 18th June 2018
Summer days drifting away…
As the last rays of summer sunshine fade away, Rosie Barnes swaps serving ice-cold fizz and strawberries for warm, spiced pumpkin latte and chocolate brownies. Her love for the Windmill Café remains as strong as its peppermint green sails.
So, with time on her hands, Rosie agrees to help gorgeous Matt Wilson on one of his outdoor expeditions – camping under the stars with rugged Matt the perfect chance to wind down.
As the Autumn mist rolls in, the change in weather brings with it a sense of danger when one of the camping group is shot with a bow and arrow! An unfortunate accident, or a killer on the loose in picture-perfect Willerby?
If news escapes, Rosie knows dreams of building a life at Windmill Café will be over for good. Unless she and Matt can solve the mystery before it’s too late!
Poppy is running a giveaway from the 22nd until the 29th June. Check out her twitter page (link below) for all the details.