Today I’m delighted to welcome fab fellow author Audrina Lane who lives in the next county to me in Herefordshire in the UK and who I met at a signing event at Hereford library this summer. Her new book Closer to the Heart is out this very weekend so I thought I’d invite her along to tell us about it.
I’m scarily approaching my 42nd birthday in September this year. I have always been an avid reader and started at a young age when my Mum took me to the Library. It must have made an impression as I’ve worked for the Library service in Herefordshire for the last 17 years and I still love it. I live just outside of Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire and share my house with my fiancé Steve and my two black Labradors Rael and Lily. I enjoy a good walk with the dogs and swimming when I can to try and keep fit! House DIY has taken over for the last seven years and still not finished yet and I enjoy watching all sorts of different films and TV series and adore music from classical, progressive rock (my other half’s influence) to my favourite 80’s pop music.
Tell me about your journey as a writer – how you started and how you have developed?
So the writing journey only really started two years ago at the start of 2013. I knew that I was going to be 40 in September and I guess I started to compile a bucket list of things I still wanted to achieve in life. One of which was to write a book! Also in the midst of clearing another room for decoration I found a box file containing my first ever attempt at a novel back in 1992 when I was 19. I read it though and decided that the initial idea was good but I needed to bring it up to date to make it more relevant and suitable for today’s romance readers.
So I started typing in the February and by the end of June the first book was finished and because so many people had played a small part in my writing process I decided to self-publish as it was quick and easy to do on Amazon.
From the first book the story took on a life of its own and turned into a trilogy, I have just finished the last book this year ready for publication in September.
How would you describe your work – it‘s themes and the important things about it?
My work is very much based on my own first romance and relationship, hence the flashback diary entries to 1988. In fact the lead character is called James (after my first boyfriend) and the first kiss scene is my first kiss. I guess memories of a first love never die. I then worked on the basis of what would happen if you had the chance to meet your first love again after 24 years apart, would it work?
Obviously this is where the imagination kicked in with the story. I also wanted to highlight the differences between a long-distance relationship back in the 80’s when there was no internet, no mobile phones and the only way to stay in touch was letter writing. I then juxtaposed this with the lead characters daughter having a similar relationship in 2012 with phones and the constant ability to stay in touch 24/7.
I also wanted to explore the themes of how relationships change and grow with age. Most importantly I was getting tired of reading only romances where the characters were in their twenties, why not look at how 40 year olds can also have a love and sex-life. But I guess I really wanted to still include younger characters hence the book has two couples and two love stories. I also incorporated my love of music and dancing within the stories to really take people back to the time of the 80’s.
Tell me about your current book – what is it about and what makes it a great read?
The current book I have just finished writing is called “Closer to the Heart” and is the final instalment in “The Heart Trilogy”. I guess my readers would tell you that they can’t wait to get stuck into this book as I left the last book on a bit of a cliff-hanger ending. I am always amazed when readers talk to me about my characters and how much they have bonded with them. The story brings the characters to a point in their lives when they are happy and content. I’m struggling to say too much here as the book is not out yet!!
It also deals with the malevolent force of James’ ex-wife who has caused the two couples so much strife throughout the series – safe to say she will get her comeuppance!! I guess what makes it a good read is the twists and turns in the plot. I also tackle the issue of Dementia and how the main character Stephanie is faced with it in her mother. So I guess that means it’s not your average romance story – I’ve decided that the phrase I use to describe my whole trilogy is ‘Realistic romance’ as real life does not always come with a Happily Ever After!!
Tell me about your journey to publication, who is your publisher or did you decide to self-publish and why?
I decided to self publish, firstly because I had people waiting to read the first book when it was finished and this seemed like the easiest option. I never realised how hard and constantly you have to work when you’re not just the writer but the editor and the publicist as well!!
I have just reached the point of getting an official editor to look at my first novel and give it a good overhaul before I commit it to a paperback copy. That’s not to say that I have not looked at getting a traditional publishing deal. So far I am sitting on about 10 rejections which my series currently in with another main stream publisher – so who knows I will have to wait and see. In the meantime I am more than happy to write and publish at my own pace. The only person I did employ was a designer for my covers and I was lucky enough to find a local chap to do the honours for a reasonable price.
Where can I buy a copy of your book?
The books can be found on Amazon, although I do have my first novel in the series “Where did your Heart go?” available as a free download directly from my website.
Here are the links on Amazon.co.uk for the first two books:
Where did your Heart go?
My latest book is on sale on my website from today!
Or follow me on Twitter: