Welcome to Day 8 of the 2nd Annual Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour. I’ve teamed up with Rosie Amber again this year. We’re promoting 30 awesome romance authors in 30 days. Help us out by cross promoting when you can and check out these authors.
Don’t forget to go over to Rosie Amber’s page and check out her page too.
Today my guest author is Cecily Gates and I want to thank her for blogging with me today. Here is a little about her and her book An Imaginary House By The Sea.
1.) What inspired you to write this book?
An Imaginary House by the Sea is a wild, romanticized departure from a real-life experience of mine. I had the opportunity a few years ago to reconnect with a childhood sweetheart, and I was struck by how widely our lives had diverged.
I’m in a happy, loving relationship with my boyfriend here in the city, working a corporate job by day and writing novels by night. Like Dawn, I have a lot of dreams to chase. My childhood sweetheart, on the other hand, lives in the country. He’s married and has the cutest baby you’ve ever seen. He lives a much calmer, peaceful life, which is not to say that one is necessarily better than the other—they’re just different.
The experience made me nostalgic and got me thinking about what it means to reconnect with someone you knew a long time ago, back when you were nearly a different person. It’s a common phenomenon—you befriend someone as a child, you grow up, and often you grow apart. And sometimes it’s only upon a reconnection, many years later, that you realize how much you’ve changed. This was the seed for the novel.
2) What’s your favourite part of this book and why?
I don’t want to give away the details, but I loved the unfolding friendship between Dawn and Marguerite, John’s wife.
I tend to believe that there are no “villains” in real life, that most people mean well, and that it’s simply a matter of finding common ground. To my knowledge, this isn’t a concept often explored in romance novels, particularly when there’s a love triangle involved. It felt unconventional, surprising, and real to follow the two women as they bonded. Especially because they’re both such incredible people in their own right.
3.) What is your philosophy on writing and life?
Above all else, have a sense of humor. I have a particularly sardonic sense of humor (or so I’ve been told, anyway) and often don’t need to look far to find something to laugh about.
I’ll admit something here. Sometimes I wonder if I should be concerned how my online persona is incongruous with the books I’m writing. I like writing books with high stakes and emotional, authentic stories—but then I’ll go on Twitter and share a GIF of poodles doing aerobics. Or I’ll talk about that woman I saw in the park who was lovingly petting a flower. I thought it was the weirdest thing I’d seen all day, and so of course immediately went to Twitter about it. Does all that make my books less authentic? Or on the flip side, does that make my jokes less funny?
I was talking about this with my boyfriend Jack about this the other day, actually. He pointed out that the two can coexist: darkness and light. And perhaps you need both to see the other more clearly. Without the light, how can you appreciate the journey into the darkness, and vice versa.
4) Name your three favourite books that you’ve written — feel free to list buy links
This is my debut novel, so by default I have to say that this is my absolute favorite book that I’ve ever written. Following in a close second is the sequel, The Light of the Vanished (bit.ly/lightofthevanished). I’m in the process of writing it now, and I’m so excited about where the story is heading. The stakes are high, the romance is intense, and the heroine is the most interesting character I’ve ever written.
Since that leaves me with one book left, I’m going to tweak the rules a bit, if I can be so bold! I love to take every chance I can get to support the incredible work that my friends are doing with their own books, so I’ve compiled a Goodreads list of all the titles written by The Page Girls, who consist of India Lee, Emily Poule, Jasmine Tru, April Jane, and myself (https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/30078952-cecily-gates?shelf=the-page-girls). It’s a growing list, which is awesome. It never fails to make me freak out (in a good way, of course!) when my friends publish a new title.
5) What are your goals for this year?
I have three goals: first and foremost, to keep writing, naturally!
The second goal: to keep investing the rest of my creative energy towards The Page Girls (www.thepagegirls.com), the weekly romance lit mag that Emily, India, April, Jasmine, and I all run. It’s been a blast to create, and it’s incredibly fulfilling to see how readers respond to the site.
The third is a bit more esoteric: come up with a “cocktail of the year.” I don’t know quite what that means yet, but before the year is up, I’m hoping to invent some cocktail that in some way reflects my attitude about 2014. So far, I’m thinking sweet.
6) If you had to give one piece of advice what would it be?
I’d say keep your sense of humor, but since I already addressed that one above, I’ll share another one of my favorite tidbits of advice.
This one comes from the American novelist Henry James, who once said to his nephew: “There are three things that are important in human life. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind.”
Through both my professional and personal experiences, I’ve seen firsthand the incredible relationships that can form when you shelve your pride and extend an offer of friendship to someone who may not expect it from you. And so I try to remember that, and to take James’ philosophy to heart. If I can end this interview on a challenge to you, readers, it would be this: be fearlessly kind. Do favors. Watch what happens.
Links to author social media: (Note – I have my own author social media accounts, but I primarily post as The Page Girls so I will post those links here)
“Love is a messy thing. That hopelessly devoted, deep-in-your-bones kind of love we used to dream about when we were kids—it turns out that it’s hard. It aches. It takes time. Like a house that weathers the ages, it must be built, brick by brick.”
Snarky and ambitious Dawn Campbell almost had it all: a job producing lavish celebrity events, a hip downtown apartment, and a studmuffin of a boyfriend. But after losing all three in one fell swoop, Dawn finds herself resorting to the unimaginable: returning home to Bridgeport, an oceanside town where the air smells sweet but not much happens.
When a chance encounter brings her into the sturdy arms of John Brown, her childhood best friend, old feelings come rushing back. As the sparks fly, life finally starts to look up for Dawn…until she meets his wife.
Marguerite Brown has everything that Dawn doesn’t: a killer fashion sense, a breathtaking beauty, and a French accent—oh, and the kind of temperament that makes great white sharks seem docile in comparison. Determined to release John from an unhappy marriage, Dawn turns on the charm and makes a plan to finally win back her one-that-got-away.
But after Dawn stumbles upon a secret that, up until now, Marguerite has meticulously kept hidden, the two women are thrust into an unexpected friendship. An Imaginary House by the Sea follows Dawn’s journey towards self-rediscovery, finding purpose, and building a more complex, steadfast kind of love than she could have ever imagined.
Thanks so much for joining us on this grand adventure we call Romancing September Across the World 2014 Blog Tour.
As always, good writing and May God Bless You…