Hello lovelies! Today I have a Q&A with author Alison Burke as part of the blog tour for her new book Search For The House Of Dreams organised by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. First a little about the book:
Title: Search For The House Of Dreams by Alison Burke
Date Published: 14th June 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction
It is the year 1847 in the elegant city of Bath where 18yr old Genevre Stratton is treated more as a servant than a daughter in the elegant house where bills are not paid, and the rent is in arrears.
Appalled by the dishonesty and overriding social ambition beneath her parents’ veneer of respectability, only her love for her younger brother and sisters keeps her there.
Left to cope alone when their false world falls apart, she fights to keep her siblings together, until poverty forces her to yield them to the care of their half-brother, George Coleman. Handsome, wealthy and charismatic, he is the enemy who becomes her lover.
To surrender all to her passionate desire for him, or to keep the independence of a new-found musical career on the London stage? This is her choice to make, until an unexpected call of duty takes her to Paris.
Must the old, dark secrets she discovers there alter the course of her life forever?
You can buy your copy here:
Q&A with Alison Burke:
Can you tell me a little bit about your book?
It is a historical novel, told in the first person by 19yr old Genevre who strives to keep her younger sisters safe when their father dies and their mother deserts them. When love, with a cost, comes to all three, her sisters surrender willingly but Genevre, beautiful, clever and just a little bit ruthless, finds another way. This is a stand-alone novel, but a sequel is possible.
Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
From bits of family history, usually hushed up, and from an interest in the place of women in the English theatre of the late 19th century, as well as other aspects of their life at a time when women’s rights were negligible.
If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be?
When their family falls from grace, what lengths must the beautiful, spirited elder daughter go to in order to save her siblings from disaster?
What is a typical writing day like for you?
Immediately after getting dressed and drinking one cup of excellent coffee, I work on my current novel for about two hours, having read first several pages of yesterday’s work to get into the right mindset. More coffee, a couple more hours of writing or relevant admin and finish. Lunch. While I do housework and gardening I often rehearse ongoing scenes and may get them written in the evening.
If you could recommend just one book to read, what would it be and why? Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fanny Flagg. When I first read it, over thirty years ago, I thought it was just a funny book. Recently rereading it, I found it examined friendship, women’s aging, lesbianism, justification for murder, euthanasia, the importance community and the dehumanising effects of racism on white as well as black people. It was still a funny book.
Who are your favourite authors?
Marion Keyes, Jojo Moynes, Robert Harris.
Is writing your only job? If not, what is your other job?
I am a retired health professional.
Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!) My age, but I’m not going to say what it is.
What are you currently working on?
A stand-alone romantic novel set in in the English county of Devon in the early 19th century
This is the Regency period but, though set among the land owning class, there are no rakish Dukes awaiting salvation by the love of a good woman or any of the familiar tropes of that much exploited and enjoyed period of English history.
About The Author:
I was born in Lancashire and started my career by training as a State Registered general nurse. Later, I joined the army and became an officer in the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps. On a posting to Malaya, now Malaysia, I found my true love. This was an ideal setting for a marriage with young children, and now my memories are a wonderfully rich source of material for my writing.
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