Tell us a bit about you and your background
Hi Linda, thank you so much for making me so welcome and hosting me on your blog today. I live in a truly beautiful part of the UK – Devon. I grew up in London and have lived in New York. Devon is as far away from those 2 cities as you can get, all green fields, farms and beaches. We often times would dream about living here when on holiday with our 3 boys. We were fortunate enough to make it happen so here we are! My career has seen most of my time spent within PR and marketing in the music industry, although over the last decade or so I’ve been working within healthcare. A real mixed bag which has afforded me some amazing experiences and great ideas for writing!
What’s the logline that describes your writing?
Contemporary romantic suspense. Chicklit with a twist is how it has also been described.
What are your hobbies away from the computer?
I have an 18-month-old Springer Spaniel called Poppy who I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time training! When not running through fields full pelt chasing her, I like to crochet and bake (not at the same time although that could be interesting). Oh and reading, of course. I try to read at least one book a week, sometimes it happens other times not!
Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?
The simple answer is both. For me it seems to be that wherever the catalyst for the story starts that’s how it then develops. With my debut novel All Tomorrow’s Parties, I had a strong powerful image of the lead main character Laine Marshall first, the plot then evolved from her. However with my current WIP, it’s the other way around. I had a light bulb moment where the plot unfolded to me, the characters are developing through the storyline as we speak. For me this works well as it’s the inspiration that keeps me passionate about my writing.
Is your writing style planned or freestyle?
Most definitely freestyle. Most days I feel as if I’m a time thief. I’m constantly grabbing 10 minutes here, stealing an hour there. I often travel with my job so I’m becoming quite skilled at blocking out the noise of the train station or airport lounge and quietly sitting and writing a few pages (I carry a notebook everywhere these days).Interestingly in my day job, I have to be incredibly well organized and plan out everything emmm… maybe that’s why my writing is so freestyle….
Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?
Yes I have. All Tomorrow’s Parties is set in London and Venice, places I’m fortunate to know well. I would urge anyone who has never been to Venice (or Italy in general for that matter) to go, it really is magical. My second novel (planned for release in May) has three main locations – the West Country of England (about 100 miles away from where I live), a small town called Monflanquin in France where I spent last summer and New York where I once lived. I like to draw on locations I know. I use them as stages in which to place the characters. It really helps me to visualize the characters sitting in a café or catching the subway. Hopefully it drives the descriptive side of my writing.
Can you really have a happy ever after?
Set in the music industry of 1980’s London, All Tomorrows Parties is a journey through life and love. Laine Marshall isn’t a product of the 1980’s she is the epitome of it. 18 years of age and working for one of the hippest labels around Vestal records. She takes the day to day hedonism of working for Vestal in her stride and experiences every emotion under the sun except the one she craves the most – love.
She has a DJ boyfriend Danny she ‘likes’ and a music editor lover Tony ‘she could love’, but no smack bang between the eyes kind of love. That is until a chance encounter in Italy sets her pulse racing and her heart in pieces. With her life turned upside down, she tries to navigate towards love with tragic consequences. Someone is trying to derail her happiness but who and why? Can her heart be broken and rebuilt?
“Let’s find a café somewhere, grab some lunch and plan our day, agreed?” said Andy as they finally stood on the quayside.
They made their way to Café Pietro just off St Mark’s Square. After a quick lunch and glass of wine, they all decided to go their separate ways and explore elements of the city that appealed. They agreed to meet back at the quayside to catch the vaporetti at 6pm.
Andy, Pete, Mary and Ella went straight to St Mark’s Basilica whilst John whispered to Laine he had a surprise to show her and they headed off towards the waterfront. “You’re being quite secretive John, what’s this about?” asked Laine.
“Ah you’ll see”, he said, grabbing her hand and moving towards a small ferry.
The boat took them to the small island of San Lozarro degli Armeni. The island was home to the order of Mekhitarist Monks, originally from Armenia. John explained that the island had been a place of love for the poet Byron. He knew from their conversations that Byron held a special place in Laine’s life. It was also fortuitous that San Lozarro deli Armeni was also home to some of the world’s rarest roses – a favourite for them both. Walking along the beach that first night, they had both been surprised by the other’s love of roses. It had sparked a debate on the origins of the rose and a discussion around why both the UK and the US had adopted it as their national flower. It had been the first of many coincidences.
As they approached the island they were struck by its beauty. The monastery tower framed picture perfect against the powder blue sky, the jade blue sea contrasting against the backdrop of the soft coral stonework of the island. The island itself seemed to be perfectly square with the monastery centrally placed.
Laine had heard of the island when she had read about Byron’s life and his love of Armenian culture but had never expected she would be able to visit it. “This is amazing John – how did you know about this place?” she said, taking hold of his hand. “One of the guys at the base mentioned it a while back, it’s not that well-known, but really worth the trip. When you mentioned you loved Byron, well, it all kinda fitted together”, he said, squeezing her hand just a little.
They walked hand in hand through the cloisters of San Lorrazo del Armeni. The air was heavy with hints of musk and tea rose. Their olfactory senses at first overwhelmed as the subtle changes in scent presented itself, ebbing and flowing like the tide. The roses in the gardens were nurtured like much loved children, now resplendent in a wild spectrum of colours. A monk knelt, a trug by his side. His secateurs delicately dead heading the myriad of rose bushes. He turned and nodded as they passed.
These roses had seen lovers come and go. The memory of their scent imprinted, able to trigger emotions of either love or sorrow. Petals fell as the breeze drifted through and scattered them onto the cobbled path. A carpet of resplendent blooms in multiple colours lay ahead of them. They walked slowly along the path; petals appeared to drop from the sky as if heralding their arrival. Instinctively, Laine took off her sandals. A mix of smooth velvety gloss and heat from the cobbles tickled the soles of her feet. John smiled. The more time he spent with Laine the more he realised how similar they were –both cherished simple beauty where they found it.
Nicole Fitton is a freelance writer who lives in Devon with her children, husband, 10 old hens, 1 very old rabbit, an even older cat and a very young springy springer. Her career to date has spanned 3 decades working in PR and marketing within Europe and the USA. She currently works within healthcare management in the UK. When not ‘doing the day job’ and apart from writing, she enjoys field trialing her spaniel (who is very trialing!), playing golf (badly) and drinking copious amounts of coffee. She likes all things shiny and really really likes fast cars.
She is a member of the group Authors Helping Authors. Her second novel is due for release in 2016.