|Adrienne Chinn - Author|
Hello Adrienne – Thank you for joining me on Arabella’s Blog and chit-chat today. it was great to connect with you through the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Such a great and supportive group of authors and affiliate, and all with books and the art of writing at the heart of everything they do. But before we get to know more about your latest Historical Romance Timeslip release, The English Wife, here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers and followers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.
Arabella: How did you manage to get your first novel published and what did you learn from the experience?
Adrienne: It took a long time! I started writing it on a novel writing course at the Faber Academy in 2011 and kept at it on weekends and holidays over the subsequent years. Then, when I had what I thought was a good draft, I began the rounds of sending query letters to agents in the UK, USA and Canada. I must have sent out over 200 over a three-year period! I went back to square one and hired a fantastic writing mentor, Laurence Daren King, who worked with me on a total rewrite for a year. Then, I met up with a writing friend of mine I’d met on the Faber course, crime novelist Amanda Robson, and she suggested I send the novel to her editor at Avon UK. I did, and several months later, while I was standing on the platform at Clapham Junction Station on a Friday afternoon, an email pinged onto my phone from Avon, offering me a 2-book deal. Only seven years after started writing it!
My biggest lesson from all that was to believe in myself and just keep at it.
Arabella: If you could choose, which would it be: A walk in the woods, a walk along a beachfront to dip your toes in the sea, or a day shopping for clothes?
Adrienne: Walking in nature definitely, in the woods, fields, mountains, or on a beach! All of the above.
Arabella: Who or what inspired you to write your latest release, The English Wife?
Adrienne: I was born in Newfoundland, Canada, which is a ruggedly beautiful province on the east coast, and the people there are so funny and hospitable. My mother was the only girl with eight brothers, and they all could spin a yarn. One of my uncles, Gus, was a soldier for the Newfoundland army in WW2, based near Norwich. At that time Newfoundland was a Dominion of Great Britain, not part of Canada, and it had its own money, government and military. Newfoundlanders were British citizens. In Norwich he met the granddaughter, Stephanie, of a local vicar over Sunday lunch at the vicar’s house, and it was love at first site. They married and she joined him in Newfoundland after the war as an English war bride. So, I thought it was interesting to explore a war bride story as one of the story strands.
Then, of course, there was the now well-known story of the international flights that were diverted to the small airport at Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11. I was born in Grand Falls, which is near Gander, and heard about the way Newfoundlanders took the stranded passengers into their homes almost immediately. Now, of course, the story has been made into a musical, Come From Away. I thought it would be interesting to have one of my characters be on one of those flights. So, that’s how I came up with Sophie’s contemporary story.
Arabella: Where do you read? Sofa or bed or ____?
Adrienne: When I’m at home I read outside on a lounger on nice days, after I’ve done my daily 1,000 words of writing. I also read in bed at night, but usually only manage a couple of pages before I pass out! I’m a very slow reader because I love to savour a novel, and I tend to read about 4-6 books at a time; it takes me ages to finish them all.
I always take a couple of paperbacks with me when I travel – I read quite a bit on airplanes and by swimming pools! I definitely prefer paperbacks. I love the feel of the pages in my hands, and I’m always flipping back to re-read sections, admire the cover, see what other books the author has written, who they dedicated the book to… I find reading a paperback or hardback a real, tactile, pleasure.
Arabella: Some authors write at first light, others need a mug of coffee or a glass of wine before putting pen to paper. When writing, are there any “essentials” you need to help the words flow?
Adrienne: I am neither a morning person, nor a night owl. I sit squarely in the middle of the day. Currently, I’m at home all the time, so I’m spending the morning reading/writing emails, puttering in the garden, going to the shop if I need to. Then, around 10:30 I spend 10 minutes playing Jewel Legend (the only game app I allow myself otherwise I’d be an addict), then I usually write a haiku or short poem which I post on social media (I started writing these about eight years ago as a writing exercise and now have hundreds – I plan to self-publish a poetry book later this year). Then, around 11:00ish, I get settled on my bed, prop my laptop on a pillow on my lap, and start my writing day. I love working on my bed because I can spread all my scribbled notes around me.
Arabella: You’re halfway through the work-in-progress, you’re about to kill off the hero and there is going to be no happy-ever-after. In other words, you’re stuck! If you had to contact an “author/publisher/editor friend” for guidance, who would it be?
Adrienne: Haha! Sounds like the book I’m currently writing! I often talk to my sister, Carolyn, who lives nearby when I’m stuck. She works in museums, and is also a very keen amateur playwright, actress and theatre director. She has very sound instincts, and she can usually help unstick me.
Arabella: The T.V. is on and you’re in control of the remote. Which is it to be: A quiz programme…An afternoon of sport…A family soap…A romantic film you always wanted to see but missed when it was shown at the cinema?
Adrienne: Romantic film, hands down.
Arabella: Do you have any great writing, publishing, or marketing tips you’d like to share to “want-to-be” authors starting out on their writing journey?
- Believe in yourself.
- Work hard. Enjoy the process.
- Get used to failure. Failure is your friend. It tells you you weren’t quite ready.
- Get better. Take courses, read a lot, read outside your genre, experiment with writing other forms (poems, short stories, plays, non-fiction).
- Watch a lot of good movies – they are great ways to learn pacing, drama, scenes, characters, dialogue and atmosphere.
- Read the bad reviews great authors have received. You’re not the only one.
- Don’t give up.
Thank you for joining me on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat, Adrienne. It was lovely to discover some of your writing techniques, and although you seem to manage, I’m not sure I could work from my bed. I find writing hard work at the best of times and I’d be worried about dropping off to sleep in the middle of writing a passionate love scene 💓💓💓 and missing the romantic ending. 💓💓💓
And for those of us (me included) who didn’t know…
Haiku = A Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world.
Adrienne - All the best for your latest release, The English Wife, and wishing lots of happy-ever-after writing.
About Adrienne Chinn
|Adrienne Chinn - Author|
Adrienne Chinn was born in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, grew up in Quebec, and eventually made her way to London, England after a career as a journalist. In England she worked as a TV and film researcher before embarking on a career as an interior designer, lecturer, and writer. When not up a ladder or at the computer, she can usually be found rummaging through flea markets or haggling in the Marrakech souk.
Book Blurb The English Wife
VE Day 1945: As victory bells ring out across the country, war bride Ellie Burgess’s happiness is overshadowed by grief. Her charismatic Newfoundlander husband Thomas is still missing in action.
Until a letter arrives explaining Thomas is back at home on the other side of the Atlantic recovering from his injuries.
Travelling to a distant country to live with a man she barely knows is the bravest thing Ellie has ever had to do. But nothing can prepare her for the harsh realities of her new home…
September 11th 2001: Sophie Parry is on a plane to New York on the most tragic day in the city’s history. While the world watches the news in horror, Sophie’s flight is rerouted to a tiny town in Newfoundland and she is forced to seek refuge with her estranged aunt Ellie.
Determined to discover what it was that forced her family apart all those years ago, newfound secrets may change her life forever…
Release date: June 25th, 2020
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/English-Wife-Adrienne-Chinn-ebook/dp/B07RKFXDQG/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2B8WEF8NVAGP4&dchild=1&keywords=adrienne+chinn&qid=1591227712&sprefix=adrienne+ch%2Caps%2C186&sr=8-1
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/English-Wife-Adrienne-Chinn-ebook/dp/B07RKFXDQG/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2B8WEF8NVAGP4&dchild=1&keywords=adrienne+chinn&qid=1591227712&sprefix=adrienne+ch%2Caps%2C186&sr=8-1