Posted by sibelhodge on Thursday, March 24, 2011 Under: Author Interviews
I'd like to welcome Daphne Coleridge on my blog today. Not only is she a talented writer, but she's also a fab artist!
I am both a writer and artist and paint the pictures for my own books as well as writing them. The Artist’s Model and Purple Lake are both English romances which also reflect the eccentric and exciting world of artists which I love. Three Mysteries and The Claresby Mystery are quirky mystery stories, each with their own twist in the tail, and set in an English manor house in the twenty-first century. My favourite cover is that to The Clareby Mystery, which I painted from a park one sunny English afternoon last summer.
Briefly describe your journey in writing your first book:
The Artist’s Model was very much based on my own experiences as an artist. I wanted to portray some of the colourful, eccentric characters I had encountered – which I did with Lionel Andrew, who still makes me smile – and also the fascinating world that artists inhabit. I also wanted to write an English love story with some of the elements of the fairytale in which a rich man unexpectedly finds the possibility of happiness and understanding with a kindred spirit but has to battle with circumstances and duty in order to consummate this desire.
What is your latest novel?
I am currently writing more Claresby mystery stories with the characters that appear in Three Mysteries and The Claresby Mystery. I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of creating an intriguing murder or mystery and letting my English investigator, Rupert Latimer, untangle what usually turns out to be a quirky and eccentric tale with a twist.
What inspired you to write the book?
My eccentric friends and imagining stories which include them!
What’s your favourite part of writing a novel?
My favourite part of writing a novel is the actual process of writing once I have worked out the plot. I find it as much fun to write a book as to read one as I watch characters develop before my eyes and the story unfold. Often my writing takes on its own life and leads me places I wasn’t expecting it to go.
Are there any aspects of writing you struggle with?
I can’t say that I love editing. Once I’ve written a story the enthusiasm is exhausted and having to re-read it is simply a job. The only time I enjoy re-reading my own books is when I pick them up after a year or so and can enjoy the story afresh.
Where do you get your ideas from?
My friends and my life.
What factors influenced your decision to self-publish?
Creative freedom in both painting and writing is of huge importance to me. One of the joys of self-publishing to me is that I can write the stories I want without having to try to conform to whatever trends mainstream publishers are pursuing at the time. I think self-publishing has improved the variety and individuality of the written works available and I enjoy this as much as a reader as a writer.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Write the stories you want to tell and enjoy them – this enthusiasm will be reflected in your work.
What's next in the pipeline?
I’m rather enjoying my Claresby mystery stories and have at least a couple more in my head.
Do you think your books would translate well to the big screen? If so who would you like to see play your lead characters ?
My Claresby mysteries would make an excellent BBC television series and I rather fancy Christopher Eccleston as Rupert Latimer.
Tell me three random things about yourself.
I have written a legal thesis.
I love Impressionist paintings.
I’m a terrible cook.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I love to paint alla prima – taking my easel, palette and oil paints out into the countryside and just capturing the scene in front of me. On a warm summer’s day with a bottle of wine and some bread and cheese in a basket, there is nothing I love more.
What are you reading at the moment?
I am about to read Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. I read it years ago and remember falling for the villain, Brian de Bois-Guilbert. It is a wonderful medieval romance with a masked knight, unrequited love, thwarted love, family feuds, tournaments, abduction...I think I’d better go and read it...
About The Claresby Mystery
It is a beautiful summer’s day and Laura Latimer has revived the ancient tradition of Claresby Fair and invited famous artists Sebastian Fullmarks and Floyd Bailey to attend. However, the discovery that one of the guests is dead in their bed and strange hieroglyphs have been scrawled on the bedroom wall threatens to disrupt events. Is the explanation to be found in the suitcase which has remained unopened since Thomas Mortimer, Laura’s ancestor and Lord of Claresby Manor, returned from Egypt in the 1890s? The Black Widow of Claresby – A new vicar has been appointed in Claresby. Veronica Dahl is dark, voluptuous and beautiful; but strange rumours have followed her from her previous parish. What was the real reason for her younger husband’s mysterious death? Who is the odd, reclusive man who lives in a caravan but visits the vicarage at night? And why do parishioners start to disappear?
Two mysteries set at Claresby Manor; these follow on chronologically from “Three Mysteries”, but each stands alone as a complete story. Each story is about 8000 words long.
I have to say, Daphne, I'm loving the cover! You're obviously a talented artist, as well. I always wanted to be able to draw, but my attempts end up looking like a big, blobby mess!
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