Hey dear readers, today I’m taking part in another fantastic blog tour. This time it’s for THE FOREVER HOUSE by amazing Veronica Henry. If you’re a women’s fiction fan, you’re already introduced to her warm, charming stories and you’re thrilled she’s publishing her new book on 18th! Today I have an interview with Veronica where she shares a bit about her new book and later on this week I’ll have it reviewed. But for now I can tell you it’s a gorgeous story, set in a beautiful place and there are some amazing characters you’re going to love. Massive thanks to lovely Lauren from Orion for the chance to be part of the blog tour and to Veronica for taking the time to do the Interview. I absolutely enjoyed it and hope you guys will too. See you soon!
Would you know your forever house if you found it?
Hunter's Moon is the ultimate 'forever' house. Nestled by a river in the Peasebrook valley, it has been the Willoughbys' home for over fifty years, and now estate agent Belinda Baxter is determined to find the perfect family to live there. But the sale of the house unlocks decades of family secrets - and brings Belinda face to face with her own troubled past.
A gorgeous escapist read for anyone needing a hug in a book - perfect for fans of Erica James, Lucy Diamond and Harriet Evans.
Interview with Veronica Henry
1. If you could sum up your new novel, ‘The Forever House’ in just five words, what would they be?
Imagine losing your family home.
2. What is the inspiration behind ‘The Forever House’?
My friend is an estate agent, and she told me about a wonderful house she was selling – a house full of light and beautiful features, even with its own camomile lawn. The owner had lived there all her life and wanted to find the right owner to take it on – she felt very protective of her beloved home. The couple who finally bought it fell in love at first sight and wrote her a letter to assure her they would take care of it and love it as she had. They called it their ‘forever house’. As soon as I heard that story, I knew I had the title for my next book, and the inspiration.
3. The Forever House is set in beautiful Peasebrook and you seem to visit this place in few of your novels. What is it about the place you find so mesmerising?
I love the Cotwsolds. Every time I go there it takes my breath away, with its landscape and architecture and heritage. I was driving through a village just the other day, the buildings glowing gold in the sun, the lawns velvety and there was a wedding about to take place. It felt like a film. So Peasebrook is a combination of all my favourite Cotswold towns. And the great thing is you get all walks of life: from the lord of the manor to the farmer who has worked the land for generations to city dwellers hoping for a slice of a pastoral idyll – so there are myriad stories waiting to be told in the setting.
4. In your latest book we actually follow two stories and go back and forth in time learning more about Willoughby family. Which story did you find more challenging to write?
I loved writing about the 60s – I was born in the 60s so can’t remember them very well but I do remember the music, and I love the spirit of Swinging London. So writing about the Wiloughbys and their antics was great fun. The current story was a joy to write to, as it very much centred around buying and selling houses and the emotion and stress that involves. I think that’s something a lot of people can relate to. The tricky bit was tying the two timescales together in a satisfying way that made sense, and working out how 60s Alexander and Sally become present-day Alexander and Sally.
5. Did you have a definite idea for the ending once you started working on ‘The Forever House’ or did you wait for ‘the characters to decide what the ending will be like’?
I knew that part of the ending had an inevitable sadness to it, but I also had to find a way of making the underlying message uplifting and hopeful and leaving the reader giving a contented sigh. So my characters helped me do that! By investing in them I found a way to reflect joy.
6. Every reader feels fiction differently and will have its own opinion on the message/s behind your book, but what’s the message of ‘The Forever House’ YOU wished to deliver to your readers?
Although I write what is perceived as romantic fiction, and I do finish up with a happy ending, there are always challenges along the way for the people in my books because without a struggle there is no story! But I think we can learn a lot from dark times, and sometimes that is when people find their strength, either inside themselves or from those who are close to them. That is certainly my experience, so I wanted to reflect that. It is also very much about houses, and home, and what that means to people. The quote at the beginning, from Jane Eyre: ‘Wherever you are is my home’ – perfectly sums up the spirit of the book.
7. How important do you think is for an author to also be a voracious reader? Which book/s could you recommend to us & our blog’s readers?
Gosh, it’s absolutely essential. Read widely – out of your genre. Read the classics. Be adventurous. There is no better way to learn. Read with an analytical eye but don’t let it spoil your enjoyment of the book. If you read widely enough you should absorb the tricks of good storytelling by osmosis. You don’t get to be an amazing chef without tasting other people’s food. It’s the same principle.
There are some fantastic thrillers out there at the moment and I was lucky to interview a couple of them recently. Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land and He Said She Said by Erin Kelly are both up-all-nighters – kiss goodbye to anything you have to do once you have started either of them!