Welcome to Day 24 of #RomancingSeptember
Our guest today is Lorrain Jenkin and her book Chocolate Mousse and Two Spoons
Where is your home town?
I’ve moved around a bit, but I always consider Lyme Regis in Dorset to be where I had my formative years. I’ve just returned from a visit there to see my parents and think that maybe I didn’t realise how lucky I was to grow up in such a beautiful place – but then, who does at eighteen years old? I now live in a village in Mid Wales which I also love – and this time I DO appreciate the view of the mountains through my windows every day.
How long have you been writing romance?
I started getting the itch to write “properly” in about 2003 when I decided that I was going to write a book, rather than just enjoy scribbling. I hadn’t particularly decided upon romance as a genre, I just started writing and was quite surprised at what came out!
What is your favourite sub-genre of romance?
My tastes have changed over the years. When the children were young, my brain could only cope with the lightest fluffiest of romances, things that could be enjoyed whilst reading only three pages each week. However, as my brain has re-emerged (to a degree) I’m back into things that require a bit more concentration. I’ve just finished Jane Eyre and am now working my way – for obvious scything reasons – through the Poldark series.
Where is your book set?
Chocolate Mousse and Two Spoons is set between Lyme Regis and a fictional Mid Wales town – talk about writing about what you know… I did that simply because I can picture the towns in great detail and also I know the people – and they are different between the two places. Lots of people have said to me that they got a real feel for the locations within the book, so I hope I did the two areas justice.
Introduce us to Lettie.
I love Lettie – she’s got a bit of me in her, only better. She waitresses in the restaurant I used to work in, and lives in a house that I used to walk past every day. I like the fact that she makes mistakes like the rest of us, but she keeps battling in and isn’t afraid to have a few adventures along the way…
What do her housemates suggest she does?
When we meet Lettie, she is just breaking up with a rather nasty boyfriend, and her housemates persuade her to put an advert in the Lonely Hearts classifieds and – amazingly in hindsight – she does! The book was written in the days before social media had taken its grip; it all seems rather quaint now.
Tell us about Doug.
Ah, Dougie… I have lost count of the number of women who have asked me whether Doug is based on an actual man, and if so, do I have his phone number. I’ve mostly lived in the countryside and so Doug is the archetypical country-girl’s hero: tall, dark, handsome and with his own chainsaw. He’s been a bit burned in life and so is a little out of practice where the ladies are concerned, but he’s in the pub one night and the bar-chick flies a newspaper at him and tells him to apply to a certain classified advert – and the rest is down to fate! It’s also just dawned on me that I now have the same dog as Doug – spooky, eh?
Your book has plenty of fun characters. Which is your favourite and why?
I usually say it’s Skinny Twat simply because I am so proud of the name. Actually, it’s Big Eve. The character is based on a woman I served once when working in a sea-front chippy. She was quite large and had a thin pink vest on with no bra. Her hair was greasy and parted down the middle, and she eventually bought large chips and a battered jumbo sausage. I watched her walk up the hill, scoffing her chips as she went. Suddenly her sausage fell out of her wrapper and rolled down the gutter. I watched in delight as she ran after it, scooped it up, brushed a few fag ends off and carried on eating. I was also pleased that I could lip-read what she said! Big Eve is kinder and nicer than this woman was, but it’s her I had in mind when I was writing.
Tell us what you’re working on at the moment.
I actually have two books on the go at the moment and dip between them depending on which storyline is inspiring me most at the time. I also have a third sitting in a publisher’s office, having done two rewrites, waiting for that magical Yes (or possibly, but less magical No). I have a bit of a quandary at the moment in that when I wrote Chocolate Mousse, I was in my early thirties and it felt fine to be writing about thirty-somethings having fun and going to the pub. But now I’m mid-forties, I’m wondering if I should actually be writing something different – maybe something concerning ironing piles and the problems with grout. It’s no wonder I’m struggling…
Where can readers find out more about you?
I would like to say between the covers of Hello magazine, but I can’t. The next best place is probably my blog – www.lorrainejenkin.blogspot.co.uk . I also tweet on @lorrainejenkin, and I’m always please to get contacted on Facebook.