A (Yorkshire) Rose by any other name

Welcome to Yorkshire Rose Writers

It is my great pleasure to interview Yorkshire Rose Writers on my blog today. There are so many questions I wanted to ask but had to limit Sharon and Jessica to just FIVE because of space and time. But I advise anyone who wants to know about them to go over to their wonderful blog, or to follow them on Facebook.

So, who are the Yorkshire Rose Writers ?

We’re the Yorkshire Rose Writers, also known as Sharon Booth and Jessica Redland. We met through both being members of the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme. As we both live in Yorkshire, love Yorkshire, write contemporary romance/romantic comedies set in Yorkshire, and are good friends, we decided to join forces online and become the Yorkshire Rose Writers. They say two heads are better than one so we’re looking forward to seeing where our partnership takes us. So far, Sharon has published 13 books and Jessica has published 9 with her tenth due out in spring.

Way to go Sharon and Jessica, tell us more !

We both set our novels in Yorkshire although, funnily enough, neither of us started with a Yorkshire setting…

Jessica: The idea for my debut novel, Searching for Steven, came from a real-life event. At the time, I was living in Reading, Berkshire, but I moved back to the north the following year to be nearer my family and that’s when I started writing. The book was initially set in London with the protagonist moving to the north but ‘the north’ was a very non-specific setting and, the more I wrote, the more I realised my lack of setting was really letting me down. A couple of months later, I met my husband and he was from Scarborough on the North Yorkshire Coast where I now live. I found the love of my life but I also found my setting as all my books are set in a fictional version of Scarborough (with a bit of Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay thrown in there) called Whitsborough Bay. I wanted to keep the setting fictional to give me the flexibility to change things and create parts of the town that don’t exist. Anyone who knows Scarborough will recognise certain parts, though, which are very much inspired by the real setting.

Photo by Lukas Hartmann on Pexels.com

Sharon: I’ve set books in various parts of Yorkshire, including the Dales and Moors. My first series of books, however, are set in the fictional Kearton Bay, which is based on Robin Hood’s Bay. When I first had the idea for what became There Must Be an Angel, we were on our way down to Somerset for a holiday, and while we were there, we visited Glastonbury. I started plotting during that week, so when I returned home, I initially set the story in Glastonbury. It wasn’t long, however, before I realised that the characters who were talking to me had Yorkshire accents …

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Please share your top five writing tips

  • Keep everything! No work is wasted work
  • Write what you love. If you’re not passionate about your characters/setting/plot, readers probably won’t be too
  • Always have a notepad (or even the notes function on your phone) handy for when inspiration strikes
  • Keep a spreadsheet or similar of all the key details of your characters and settings, particularly if, like us, you write a series. This makes sure you don’t name two streets the same, move businesses, or keep calling all your secondary characters Dave
  • Don’t forget your character arc. By the end of your book, your protagonist needs to have changed in some way/learned something. At the start, decide on your arc and how you’re going to achieve it.

Tell us how the writing process works for you –
plotter or pantser

Sharon: I’m very much a plotter, although in ‘real’ life I’m quite disorganised and everything is ‘last minute’ with me. I use a fantastic book called Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody to make a plan before I start writing. Having said that, I do veer off course quite often, but I’m like that clever Sat Nav lady – I just correct the route and carry on.  

Jessica: I’m the pantser which surprises me because, in ‘real’ life I’m actually very organised and a big planner. When I wrote Searching for Steven, I just wrote. I hadn’t a clue what I was doing and I learned my craft along the way. Because it took me a decade to write on and off (including some significant breaks where I didn’t write at all), I think I developed a habit. I tried to plot the sequel, Getting Over Gary, but my characters didn’t like it. They kept doing their own thing – which was not what I’d plotted – so I now just write. I do spend some time developing my characters first, though, including their arc. I know what the plot will be about and how it needs to end but how that unfolds is very much driven by my characters as I go.

Social Media – help or hindrance
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Great question! If we’re honest, probably a bit of both. Writing can be a lonely business so social media is great for engaging with other writers, making friends, and building a ‘community’. But, let’s be honest, if you’re having a tough time it can really knock your confidence to see a Facebook newsfeed full of writers celebrating amazing news – even though you really like them and are genuinely pleased for them. Sometimes we forget that most people only post about the good bits of their lives! Social media can be great for promoting your work, of course, but that also has a downside, because we know that nothing is more likely to alienate potential readers than constant ‘buy my book’ posts.

It’s hard to strike a balance between promotion and remembering the ‘social’ bit of social media. It’s a huge time suck if you let it be. No one can procrastinate quite like a writer, and it’s funny how appealing a video of a cat watching television can be if you’ve reached a tricky part of your WIP. (And yes, we have watched that video!)  It’s part of the reason we joined together. We figured that, if one of us is having a busy week/month, the other one might not be under quite so much pressure, so we can ‘share the burden’. It’s also often easier to promote each other than it is to promote ourselves!

Blurb and link(s) to your current book

Jessica: My current book is a Christmas one, but a Christmas book isn’t just for Christmas is it? And it starts on Christmas Day one year but then is mainly November/early December the following one so not entirely Christmas. Have I convinced you?

Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Café  –

A few minutes of courage might change your life…

Emotionally, Tara Porter finds the festive period a challenge. Christmas Day is a reminder of the family she lost, and New Year’s Eve holds bitter memories of the biggest mistake of her life: marrying Garth Tewkesbury. Shunning invitations to celebrate, she seeks refuge in her flat with only her giant house bunny, Hercules, for company.
Professionally, though, it’s the best time of year. Tara’s thriving café, The Chocolate Pot, is always packed. With the café hosting a wedding and engagement party, it’s shaping up to be the café’s best Christmas ever.
When former nemesis, Jed Ferguson, threatens the future of The Chocolate Pot, Tara prepares for a fight. The café is everything to her and she’s not going to let anyone or anything jeopardise that. 
Tara badly misjudged ex-husband Garth and, since then, has refused to let anyone in. After all, if you don’t let them in, they can’t hurt you. But has she misjudged Jed too? Is it possible that he’s not the arrogant, deceitful man from whom she bought the café 14 years earlier? Can she find the courage to find out for sure?

Sharon: My latest book is the first in my new The Witches of Castle Clair series, set in a fictional version of Knaresborough in North Yorkshire. It’s suitable to be read at any time of year.

Belle, Book and Christmas Candle

Do you believe in magic? 

Sky St Clair doesn’t, and growing up in Castle Clair, a small town renowned for its mystical past and magical legends, she never felt she belonged.
Sky got away from Castle Clair as soon as she could, but when a run of bad luck leaves her homeless and jobless, she has little choice but to accept her sister Star’s invitation to return home for the festive season.
When Star has an accident, Sky finds herself running the family’s magical supplies shop. Wands, crystals, pendulums … really? It’s a tough job when she doesn’t believe in the products she’s selling, but how can she? Magic isn’t real, no matter what her deluded siblings think.
Jethro Richmond doesn’t believe in magic either. In fact, he doesn’t believe in anything much anymore, which is proving to be a bit of a problem for a writer of fantasy novels. With a self-constructed wall around his heart as high as Clair Tower, and his dreams as ruined as the town’s ancient castle, he’s lost all hope of repairing his tattered career. The last thing he needs is to get involved with a family like the St Clairs, and no matter what a certain little black cat seems to want Jethro has no intention of spending any time with Sky or her unusual sisters. 
But this is a strange little town and, as the residents prepare to celebrate Christmas, Sky and Jethro might just discover that in Castle Clair, anything is possible. Even magic

Finally – what are you working on ATM?

Sharon: I’m writing the second in The Witches of Castle Clair series, plotting the fourth and final Kearton Bay novel, and starting to jot down ideas for the fifth Bramblewick book.

Jessica: I’m trying to find a home with a publisher for my tenth novel. I’m being very selective about where to send it, though. I’ve had some superb feedback, no offers … yet. I’m waiting to hear back on a couple of others, but will indie publish it in spring if they’re a no. I’m also part-way through another two books. I hope one will be ready for summer and another for autumn. In theory. Reality is that I’m in the final year of a Masters in Creative Writing through Open University, and I have another five assignments to go on that which will have to take priority. My final big assignment will be 15k words of a new novel and I’m excited about that because I’ve decided to do something a bit different as a challenge. If it works, that may be a 2020 publication.

Thanks so much for inviting us onto your blog, Lizzie. We really appreciate it.  It’s been great fun having you here, I hope we might meet up soon.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Yorkshire Rose Writers

Blog: http://yorkshirerosewriters.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yorkshirerosewriters/

Twitter: @YorkRoseWriters

Instagram: yorkrosewriters

Sharon Booth:

Website/blog: https://sharonboothwriter.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sharonbooth.writer/

Twitter: @Sharon_Booth1

Instagram: sharonboothwriter

Jessica Redland:

Website: http://www.jessicaredland.com

Blog: https://jessicaredlandwriter.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaRedlandWriter/

Twitter: @JessicaRedland

Instagram: jessicaredlandwriter

About Lizzie Lamb

I write contemporary women's fiction mostly based in Scotland with hot heroes, feisty heroines and always a happy ending. Along with three other authors - Adrienne Vaughan, June Kearns and Margaret Cullingford - I formed the New Romantics Press under which our books are published. I have published six books since 2012, the latest being Harper's Highland Fling. I am currently working on #7 which I hope to publish in 2022. In the meantime, do check out my Amazon page: viewAuthor.at/LizzieLamb and click 'FOLLOW' to keep up to date with me and my news.

Posted on February 2, 2019, in Lizzie's Scribbles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 45 Comments.

  1. Many thanks to Sharon and Jessica for appearing on my blog. I really enjoyed learning more about their new joint enterprise and I hope you do, too. Theirs is a tale to inspire wannabe writers and I hope it shows what you can achieve if you’re determined enough. I raise my glass to you ladies.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you so much, Lizzie. It’s been an absolute pleasure to join you today and thanks for the great questions. You’re absolutely right: put your mind to something and you can achieve. And usually you can achieve even more if you have great friends on the journey with you xx

      Liked by 4 people

      • I must admit that I wouldn’t have got this far without New Romantics Press behind me – and my street team: Isabella, Jan and Sarah to name but a few.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. Thanks so much for having us, Lizzie. I’m sure we’ll manage to meet up again this year at some point! Xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So interesting Lizzie, to hear the story behind Sharon and Jessica’s working partnership. With a list of books already published and so much else in common, it sounds a really great idea! Looking forward to following their posts!

    Liked by 5 people

  4. What an excellent article, Lizzie – two of my favourite ladies, who write the most wonderful books!

    Liked by 5 people

  5. I am a great fan of both Sharon’s and Jessica’s books. Yorkshire has always held a special place in my heart since I lived there for a while too many years ago to mention LOL
    Loved this interview! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Fascinating blog from two wonderful writers – highly accomplished, amazingly prolific and loads of fun! Adore Sharon’s novels and now must read more of Jessica’s! Cats watching TV … oh yes, so get that. Or just watching Wellington (one of my spaniels) sleep … totally engrossing! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • These animals rule our lives, don’t they? And why not, that’s why we adopted them in the first place. Reading other authors is hard because we are all time stretched, but so worth it. What is better than a new review ? Cheers us on, n’est pas?

      Liked by 1 person

    • I take it as a great compliment that you read my books, Adrienne, because I love yours! Thanks for all your support. xx

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s such a lovely comment, Adrienne. Thank you so much. I’d love it if you had a chance to read some of my books. I hear amazing things about yours from Sharon so they’re on my TBR pile too and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Adrienne Vaughan and commented:
    Fabulous blog from Lizzie Lamb – not to be missed!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Great to read the honest tale of two Yorkshire lasses. I hope to set a book in Yorkshire one day.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jessie. Really glad you enjoyed it. Ooh, another book set in Yorkshire. Fabulous. You’ll have to keep us posted as, whilst we will try to promo all our lovely supportive writing friends on our blog, we do want to give an extra special mention to anyone from Yorkshire or with books set in our home county x

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Hi Jessie, thanks for joining in with the celebrations of this new venture for Sharon and Jessica. I, too, love Yorkshire and have had many a happy holiday there. I think my fav place is Robin Hood’s Bay – both writers’ novels capture the spirit of the place.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Brilliant post, Lizzie. Lovely to find out more about Sharon and Jessica and their books. I’m a huge fan of all things Yorkshire 🙂 Xx

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Fabulous guest post ladies a pleasure to visit Lizzie’s wonderful blog and read all about the aYorkshire Writers, thank you 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Really informative blog post, very much enjoyed reading your tips and tricks and hearing about what you are both doing. Good luck with everything.

    Liked by 2 people

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