The Novel Approach welcomes Charlie Cochrane on the Lessons for Suspicious Minds blog tour. Enjoy Charlie’s interview, then be sure to leave a comment right here for the chance to win a title from Charlie Cochrane’s backlist (excluding Lessons for Survivors). Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 25, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to add your email so a representative from Riptide Publishing can contact you if you win!
Q: Welcome, Charlie. Let’s start with the old desert island question. What would you have to take with you?
A: Has to be a computer, with internet access and endless power source. Then I could read, write, play games, watch rugby – and arrange a rescue when I got bored.
Q: If you had to choose a musical to depict your life, what would it be?
A: That’s tricky. I’m trying to think of a musical in which a child from a working class family ends up going to a really posh university (and struggling to put a name to one.) I’d be the working class kid! Maybe that’s a touch of Billy Elliot?
Q: Which fictional character would you most like to snog?
A: Aragorn. Just because he’s the first fictional character I ever fell in love with. Dashing, reliable, heroic, romantic, strong, handsome – what more could a girl want? (And when I saw the film version I wasn’t disappointed. Vigo was perfect.)
Q: What would be your perfect romantic day?
A: This may come as a surprise from a writer of romances, but my ideal day would involve walking around Cardiff Bay, a light Italian lunch and then rugby at the Millennium Stadium. Or, if funds ran to it, a night at the Cliveden hotel followed by a rugby match at London Irish. Do you detect a theme?
Q: Are you primarily a plotter or a pantser?
A: Pantser all the way. I usually start with one or two characters and maybe a conversation they’re having. All the Cambridge Fellows books started life as conversations and other scenes which were worked up and written out before I ever had a plot to hang them on. Just like doing a jigsaw!
Q: If they were to make the story of your life into a movie, who should play you?
A: Kate Winslet, for the looks (I wish!). Barbara Windsor, for the accent. Audrey Hepburn (Funny Face version) for the mischief and wacky sense of humour.
Q: Do you have an historical crush?
A: Loads of them. Alexander the Great, Antinous, Lord Cochrane, Wilfred Owen, Reggie and Laurie Doherty, Ronnie Poulton Palmer, Duncan Edwards, Prince Rupert of the Rhine…
Q: Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?
A: Absolutely. I’d really like to write about a were-squid; a guy who’s a handsome, gay lifeguard twenty nine days of the month, but come the full moon…dah dah DAH! Humboldt squid. (And believe me, a Humboldt squid is not a creature to mess with.) If you think I’m kidding, ask anyone who knows me well – this would be right up my street! I wrote gay weresloths, for goodness sake!
In the innocent pre-war days, an invitation to stay at the stately country home of a family friend means a new case for amateur sleuths Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith. In fact, with two apparently unrelated suicides to investigate there, a double chase is on.
But things never run smoothly for the Cambridge fellows. In an era when their love dare not speak its name, the risk of discovery and disgrace is ever present. How, for example, does one explain oneself when discovered by a servant during a midnight run along the corridor?
Things get even rougher for Orlando when the case brings back memories of his father’s suicide and the search for the identity of his grandfather. Worse, when they work out who the murderer is, they are confronted with one of the most difficult moral decisions they’ve ever had to make.
Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.