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 Rosie Hendry to Sunday Brunch
Welcome, Rosie. What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch?
Some lovely cheeses, salads, apples, grapes and freshly baked bread.
Would you like a pot of English breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz?
A pot of peppermint tea for me please!
Where shall we eat brunch – around the kitchen table, in the formal dining room, or outside on the patio?
Outside if the weather is dry or if not around the kitchen table.
Shall we have music playing in the background, and if so do you have a favourite piece of music?
No, we’d be talking too much to listen to music!
Which of your literary heroes (dead or alive) are joining us for Sunday Brunch today?
Milly Johnson, Cathy Kelly and Erica James. I’ve met all three and they are lovely. It would be such a treat to have brunch and a good chat with them.
Which favourite book will you bring to Sunday Brunch?
The Honey Queen by Cathy Kelly, which she has already kindly signed for me.
When you are writing do you still find time to read for pleasure? And is there a book you would like to read but haven’t had time for …yet!
I read every day and often have two books on the go, one in paper or hard back format, the other as an ebook on my kindle. I’d like to read more of the classics, such as Thomas Hardy and Dickens as I haven’t read many of them. I did A level English literature where we had to pick books apart and analyse them in such detail that it has put me off classic books for so long.
Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?
I often get ideas while I’m doing research and come across wonderful gems of real-life social history which are inspirational. Personal histories in books or recorded interviews are a wonderful place to discover things that don’t make the history books. I stumbled across the idea for The Mother’s Day Club while doing some research for another book. When I read a woman’s account of how she was evacuated as an expectant mother on the day war was declared, it was one of those spine-tingling moments perfect for storytelling. It was such a powerful image, and I’d had no idea that expectant mothers were evacuated, so I knew it would make a great story.
Have you a favourite place to settle down to write and do you find it easier to write in winter or summer?
I write in various places, sometimes sitting or standing at my desk, other times in the garden or out and about. I’ve written in the car and sitting by the sea. It depends if I’m writing by hand or straight onto my computer. I can write year around, although there’s more of a temptation to go outside in the summer.
When writing to a deadline are you easily distracted and if so how do you bring back focus on your writing?
Sometimes it’s hard to focus, especially if it’s a tricky scene that won’t flow well. After the first few chapters I don’t write in sequence and this helps to keep me focused. I choose a scene to write which appeals to me that day. As a planner I have the book plotted out and the scenes pinned on a board so I can pick one that suits me to write. That helps the work to flow more easily. That said, there are some days when I get stuck and find it best to go out for a walk and come back to it afresh and hopefully the words will flow.
Give us four essential items that a writer needs?
Imagination, resilience, self-belief and a love of writing – you just have to do it because the stories keep on coming to you.
What can you tell us about your latest novel or your current work in progress?
I have just finished a Christmas novella – A First Christmas at Rookery House – which is now with my editor. The story takes place in December 1939 and focuses on Hettie and expectant evacuee mother, Gloria. It was fun to get to know them and explore their back story in more depth. It should be out sometime in November.
When VAD nurse Evie narrowly avoids being killed in an air raid during the Blitz, it propels her to make a life-changing decision to break free of her troubled and unhappy life. She escapes to the Norfolk countryside to start afresh, with a job at the newly opened Great Plumstead Hall hospital, and a wonderful new home at Rookery House.
The community of Great Plumstead welcomes more evacuees to the village – mothers and children bombed out of their London homes. Sisters Prue and Thea, along with members of The Mother’s Day Club, help the new arrivals settle in, while continuing their work for the war effort by holding knitting bees, socials and doing WVS work.
Evie is happy in her new life – she loves living at Rookery House and enjoys her job at the hospital, despite working for the difficult Matron Reed. But when a patient arrives who knew her in her former life, Evie’s new-found freedom and happiness is in danger. Will the secrets of Evie’s past be revealed, and the problems from her old life return to trouble her once more?
More about Rosie
Award winning author Rosie Hendry lives by the sea in Norfolk with her family. A former teacher and research scientist, she's always loved reading and writing. She started off writing short stories for magazines, her stories gradually becoming longer as her children grew bigger.
Listening to her father's tales of life during the Second World War sparked Rosie's interest in this period and she's especially intrigued by how women's lives changed during the war years. She loves researching further, searching out gems of real life events which inspire her writing.
When she's not working, Rosie enjoys walking along the beach, reading and is grateful for the fact that her husband is a much better cook than her