We’re so pleased to have author Charlie Cochrane joining us today to chat a bit about her latest release, In the Spotlight.
Authors get inspired by all sorts of things. A favourite actor can be the face that launched a thousand (sort of) works – Jamie Bamber was the sole stimulation behind the Cambridge Fellows stories. Places can be inspirational, too, especially if you’re a writer (like me) who sees scenes in their head, almost like a film playing through. I like to have a clear mental image of where my heroes are – although this sometimes drives my editors to distraction. I can envisage the locations so clearly I forget to include the detail of them in the manuscript and then have to write the descriptions in later.
Several places have really got my writing juices going. The first is Cambridge, where I was at university and – as a little cockney girl from a not very well off family – I seemed to spend an awful lot of time just going round with my mouth wide open in a state of “How can I actually be studying here?” gobsmackery.
The second is Jersey, where I’ve set one of the Cambridge Fellows books and where I started to set a romance story that has metamorphosed into ‘Broke Deep’ which is out later this year from Riptide. (Jersey life and law is just too different from that on the mainland to have made the original story work.)
The third place is that part of the Thames either side of Maidenhead, particularly Monkey Island and Cliveden, both of which I’ve been privileged to visit, eat at and – in the case of Cliveden – stay. There’s a magic about both of them, partly to do with the opulence (and eccentricity!) of the surroundings and partly in the connection with the past, a world of “upstairs downstairs”, bells to call servants and gentleman in suits and ladies in long dresses pleasure cruising along the Thames.
The fourth isn’t as opulent or spectacular as anything so far mentioned, but the Plaza Theatre in Romsey is a little art deco gem and I’ve had many a good evening’s entertainment there. The local amdram companies do a good show, and I especially enjoyed both “Arsenic and Old Lace” and “Red, Hot and Cole”. (Although how anyone can write a show about Cole Porter and not mention his sexual orientation beats me.) The Plaza – and the actors/producers who put so much effort into the productions there – featured heavily in my mind when I wrote “If Music Be” which is half of the “In the Spotlight” pairing of stories.
There have been more, but I’d like to skip to the last in the list, which is…unknown. It’s the next place I go to where I’ll say, “Wow! There has to be a story to tell here.” Whether that happens today, next week or next month, I’ll be ready for it.
About the Book
All That Jazz
Francis Yardley may be the high kicking star of an all-male version of Chicago, but bitter, and on the booze after the breakdown of a relationship, he thinks that the chance for true love has passed him by. A handsome, shy rugby player called Tommy seems to be the answer to his problems, but Tommy doesn’t like the lipstick and lace. Can they find a way forward and is there still a chance for happiness “nowadays”?
If Music Be
Rick Cowley finds himself taking up am-dram once more, thinking it’ll help him get over the death of his partner. He’d never anticipated it would mean an encounter with an old flame and the sort of emotional complications the Bard would have revelled in. Still, old Will had the right word for every situation, didn’t he?
About the Author
As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Romances, mysteries, sometimes historical and occasionally hysterical. Rumours that she has written about weresloths are true.
Charlie’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People and International Thriller Writers Inc, and regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.