Welcome to Day 20 of the Romancing September Across the world Tour. Today we are going to meet author Hazel Osmond and her book “Playing Grace”. After her interview here on my blog, head over to Georgia in a few hours and catch up with Hazel on Stephanie’s blog where they will consider writing romance in today’s society.
Let’s find out more about Hazel;
1. Where is your home town?
I lived in a load of places when I was growing up, but I suppose Bath, in the West Country, UK, is my home town as far as being the place that shaped me the most when I was younger. Now though, I’ve lived in the North East of England for over thirty years, so my home town is Newcastle upon Tyne, UK – bold, vibrant, friendly. I love it.
2. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been an advertising copywriter for over twenty years, but only started writing short stories and novels seven years ago.
3. Have you always written romance?
So far!! But I have a children’s book more or less finished and my short stories do not always have romances in them.
4. Where is your book ‘Playing Grace’ set?
In London, against a backdrop of major art galleries – some of them based on real ones, some of them made up.
5. How does the title of the book fit to the main characters?
Grace is pretending to be someone she isn’t to hide a big set of secrets from her past – so she’s playing a role. Tate, the American guy who explodes into her life senses that there is more to her than meets the eye and sets about trying to tease out the real Grace – so in a way, he’s playing her.
6. How would you describe the relationship between Grace and Tate?
I think to start with Grace is very much keeping him at arm’s length and he’s being as ‘in her face’ as possible to break down the wall. But there’s always an attraction there and as the book progresses, they both learn a lesson about honesty that fundamentally changes the relationship into something more tender. I really enjoyed playing about with the idea that what you see is not necessarily what you get.
7. How steamy are the love scenes? Do you find them easy to write?
Ah, now there is quite an erotic scene, but also a lot of sexual tension that I hope is very steamy even though no items of clothing are removed … I don’t think you should rip off the characters’ clothes unless, from a psychological point of view, that’s what they would have done then – I think bunging a sex scene in to stir up interest is wince-making. That means I usually find the scenes easy to write because by the time they occur, I’ve got a really good idea of how the characters would act – so I’m not getting bogged down in how Part A meets Part B, but the whole physical and emotional flavour of what they’re doing.
Tate is also very good at saying things that have a real erotic charge to them.
8. I love the fact that you bring humour to your book, does getting the humour right come easily to you?
It seems to, but maybe the reader should be the judge of that!
I don’t think humour is a barrier to taking life seriously – it’s a way of stepping back and observing it. I cannot envisage writing anything that didn’t have humour in it somewhere – and I find people who can laugh in the face of fate are the bravest people around.
9. Is the book a stand alone novel or will there be a sequel?
So far, all my books have been stand alone ones.
10. I believe you are busy writing more for your fans, what can we expect to see in the near future?
Next year will be my fourth book – ‘The Mysterious Miss Mayhew’ – it’s told from the point of view of a man returning to the village he grew up in with his young daughter after his marriage has split up – and what happens when a mysterious young woman also turns up in the village. It’s set in Northumberland where I live because I like to do one novel set in London, followed by one set locally. Tom, the lead character has been lovely to write – I kind of fell in love with him while I was writing. (Don’t tell my husband!)
Thank you Hazel for being our guest today, and Good Luck with your next book. Here’s a link to Stephanie’s blog http://stephanie-hurt.com/