Tuesday, 28 July 2015

A Very Big House in the Country Blog Tour

For one long hot summer in Devon, three families are sharing one very big house in the country. The Herreras: made up of two tired parents, three grumbling children and one promiscuous dog; the Littles: he's loaded (despite two divorces and five kids), she's gorgeous, but maybe the equation for a truly happy marriage is a bit more complicated than that; and the Browns, who seem oddly jumpy around people, but especially each other.

Today I am joined on the blog by Claire Sandy ahead of the release of her new book A Very Big House in the Country.
What can you tell us about AVBHITC?
A Very Big House in the Country is a summery romp, packed with secrets and revelations and home truths. Three families rent a grand country house for two weeks during a heatwave. As a storm approaches over the hills, the Herreras, Ling-Littles and Browns discover how different they are. And how similar. If it doesn't make you laugh (and maybe get a little teary eyed) I haven't done my job.

And was there any particular inspiration for it?
Being a writer I spend an awful lot of time not writing i.e. noodling about on the internet, pretending to do research. As summer approached I noticed how many articles and blogs etc were about luxury holidays. I saw carefully photo-shopped shots of imposing houses and luxurious villas, bluer-than-blue skies and posher furniture than I have in my own home. I wondered how those same interiors would look after 48 hours of six adults and numerous children and oddly enough there were no photos of that. We're all encouraged to have a lifestyle rather than a life, I think, and I felt it would be interesting to examine how three couples would fare living in such sunny perfection for a fortnight.

What’s your favourite thing about writing these sorts of books?
I love EVERYTHING about writing my books. Getting to know characters who didn't even exist before I conjured them up is a joy, particularly as they soon start to misbehave and do as they please. I love locking myself away from the family and the dogs, and disappearing into a dream world. And I really love the satisfaction of typing 'THE END', even though they don't actually print that in the book and my editor always puts a line through it. 

Who should we be reading next? 
The list is long, so I'll truncate it for you because let's be honest you haven't got all day. Contemporary authors whose books I greedily await include Marian Keyes, Louise Candlish, Kate Furnivall, Chris Manby, Michele Gorman, Lucy Dillon, Lucy Diamond, David Nicholls ... I'll stop there, leaving out various faves. Classic writers I return to include Flaubert, Zola and (she's still very much alive but I consider her a classic) the peerless Edna O'Brien.

A Very Big House in the Country will be out on the 30th July, be sure to check out the other blogs on the book tour to read their reviews of this new release.

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