I'm thrilled to welcome Bella Osborne to my blog today. Bella's latest book, Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay, is out this week. Congratulations, Bella! I've been really looking forward to reading it.
Tell me about the setting for Coming Home to Ottercombe Bay.
Ottercombe Bay is a typical small seaside town on the south Devon coast. It is thriving in summer but just a few locals rattle around come winter. The traditional meets the modern world on Ottercombe Bay beach as half is set aside for the traditional fishing boats that still set sail from the bay daily and half is filled with deckchairs for the many tourists that descend on the small town in the summer months. It’s a small community who look out for each other and we get to know some of the quirky locals during the book.
Was it inspired by a real place?
Ottercombe Bay is a fictional seaside town but it takes a few of its characteristics from a number of places in the West Country including Beer in Devon and West Bay and Lyme Regis in Dorset. I can also pin point it on a map for you if you like? [Yes, please!] Look at a map of Devon and follow the River Otter down from Otterton and where it meets the sea is where I envisaged Ottercombe Bay being located. The derelict railway building was based on the one at West Bay which is now a restaurant.
Do you have a firm idea of the layout? For example, have you drawn maps or diagrams?
Yes, I have drawn a map of Ottercombe Bay and I can picture it like Google Street View in my mind. Is that odd? [Only if I'm odd, too!]
Do you have any special routine, visual aids, etc to get you into the right ‘place’ when writing?
I like to use Pinterest when I’m planning my stories. I’m very visual so it helps me to picture my main characters and setting. Here’s a link to the board I created for Ottercombe Bay https://www.pinterest.co.uk/bellaosborne9/ottercombe-bay/
What’s the first book you read where the setting made a vivid impression?
It was I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith. I longed to live in the Mortmain’s dilapidated castle and swim in the moat.
Have you ever chosen a book purely based on its setting? If so, what was it and why did the setting appeal?
Not really, unless Harry Potter counts because with each book I longed to be taken back to Hogwarts.
Ottercombe Bay was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package.
Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.
With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?
About the author:
Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. In 2016, her debut novel, 'It Started At Sunset Cottage', was shortlisted for the Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year and RNA Joan Hessayon New Writers Award.
Bella's stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She likes to find the humour in the darker moments of life and weaves these into her stories. Bella believes that writing your own story really is the best fun ever, closely followed by talking, eating chocolate, drinking fizz and planning holidays.
She lives in The Midlands, UK with her lovely husband and wonderful daughter, who thankfully, both accept her as she is (with mad morning hair and a penchant for skipping).
For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on Twitter - @osborne_bella
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coming-Home-Ottercombe-Bella-Osborne-ebook/dp/B078QYQRLL/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Coming-Home-Ottercombe-Bella-Osborne/dp/0008258155/
My writing, research and any other randomness that seems like a good idea at the time.