On this quiet Sunday morning why don't you put the kettle on, make your favourite breakfast, and settle down for Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo
I'm delighted to welcome writer, Cass Grafton
☼Good morning, Cass! Happy Sunday!
I’m very excited about joining Jo and Jaffa for Sunday brunch today; thank you so much for having me!
What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch?
Bacon! They don’t have back bacon as we know it here in Switzerland, so it’s our first go-to food whenever we are home in the UK.
Would you like a pot of English Breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz?
Bucks Fizz, please!
Which of your literary heroes are joining us today?
Well, as you didn’t specify a limit, I’ll say—in no particular order—Agatha Christie, Marian Keyes, JK Rowling, Jane Austen, Jilly Cooper and if there has to be a boy—no offence, but I do love a girlie get-together—JRR Tolkien.
What’s the title of the book nearest to you?
The Penguin Classic Baby Name Book - for research purposes, honest!
What’s the oldest book on your book shelf?
An early edition of Fanny Burney’s Evelina, dated 1810.
Which book do you really want to read but haven’t had time for …yet!
Too many to list, Jo and Jaffa! My TBR wish-list is longer than the yellow brick road!
Do you have a guilty reading pleasure, and if so will you tell us about it?
It’s not so much a guilty pleasure, more of a confession. I’ve been a bookworm since childhood, but now I’m writing, I find it really hard to make room in my mind for reading. Shocking, isn’t it? I just get so close to my characters, they talk to me, they are my constant companions even after I’ve written ‘The End’, so getting into someone else’s story whilst writing my own is incredibly difficult.
I’m not happy about it, but I don’t know how to resolve it either!
If the house was on fire which book would you rescue?
My cherished ‘Peacock’ edition of Pride & Prejudice.
Do you have a reading/writing playlist on Spotify, or a favourite CD to listen to when reading/writing? And if so will you share with us a favourite song or piece of music that makes you feel happy?
Yes. If I’m writing historical fiction, I listen to a playlist of soundtracks from movie adaptations of classic novels. More recently, I’m writing contemporary romance, so every season I create a new playlist of current tunes I love. Some of them I discover through my daughter’s posts on Instagram stories. My MC is usually much younger than me, so it helps me feel their character more.
A recent favourite that always makes me feel upbeat is Dance Monkey by Tones & I.
Do you have a favourite place to settle down to read/write?
I love to read when I’m travelling. As for writing, I have a desk under a window looking out over our small Swiss town of Rafz, and I’ve never had a problem writing there. Well, perhaps sometimes, when what’s happening outside distracts me. August can be the worst, because it’s grape-picking time up in the vineyards, and I love watching the line of tractors and trailers with their vast buckets of grapes lining up at the small weigh-station opposite.
Give us four essential items that a writer absolutely needs?
On a practical side, something to write on and with; imagination; writing time; writing friends.
What can you tell us about your latest novel, or your current work in progress?
My latest release, The Cottage in a Cornish Cove, is the first in a series of contemporary rom-coms set in beautiful Cornwall.
My main character is Anna, who was orphaned as a baby and raised by indifferent relatives, so much of her happiness as a child came from the long summer holidays spent with an elderly family friend, Aunt Meg, in Polkerran (also known as ‘the Cove’).
With Aunt Meg’s passing, Anna relocates to the Cornish seaside village where she was once so happy, hoping to perhaps open a B&B—and perhaps cross paths with Alex Tremayne again, a local boy she used to have a major crush on and who only had to walk past Anna to make her heart pound.
Anna settles into her new life, busy making preparations to open her business and also working part-time for the reclusive and, to be honest, somewhat exasperating, Oliver Seymour. To her delight, Alex then returns to Polkerran and, what is more, seems to have finally noticed her.
Then, just as Anna thinks everything she’s always wanted is within reach, a shock discovery puts her new life under threat, and she is in danger of losing everything she’s only recently gained.
How can Anna hold onto the home she loves so much, and which of the two men in her life will come to her aid in her time of need?
Other than that, I have a few works in progress, including the second in my Cornwall series, another co-write with Ada Bright of our time-travel romance series and a new uplifting women’s fiction novel with a quirky heroine.
Though to be honest, my TBR pile really ought to be my work in progress!
An avid bookworm since childhood, Cass Grafton writes the sort of stories she loves to read heart warming, character driven and strong on location. Having moved around extensively and lived in three countries, she finds places inspiring and the setting of her novels often becomes as much a part of the story as her characters.
She leans heavily towards the upbeat and insists on a happy ever after. As one of her favourite authors, Jane Austen, once wrote, ‘let other pens dwell on guilt and misery’.
Cass loves travelling, words, cats and wine but never in the same glass. She has two grown up children and currently splits her time between Switzerland, where she lives with her husband and imaginary cats, and England, where she lives with her characters.