So, Happy Bank Holiday Monday everyone, I hope you all have a great day. Today I am revisiting a book a read a little while ago – the wonderful “The Summer We All Ran Away” by Cassandra Parkin. Recently nominated for the Amazon UK Rising Stars Award, quite rightly so in this readers opinion, this was a lovely heart warming story with a myterious heart. You can see my review shortly, first however Cassandra kindly agreed to answer a few questions for me and here is what she had to say.
The Summer We All Ran Away has so many terrific characters – do you have a favourite?
I’m so glad you like them – I am very fond of them all too, having spent quite a long time in their company. I don’t know if I have a favourite, exactly, but I do rather like writing about lost boys, and both Jack and Davey satisfy my need there. And I do have an especially soft spot in my heart for Pris – she’s so tough and rude and cynical, but also very sweet underneath it all.
Did you always know their full story or did it evolve as it was written?
When I started, I definitely had an overall direction in mind, but the story evolved quite significantly as I wrote. I think most writers have the experience where suddenly, your characters start arguing back – they won’t do what you want, they won’t say what you want, they have their own agenda and suddenly, you’re not in control of the story any more. Once that happens, you know you’re definitely getting somewhere.
You have recently been shortlisted for the Amazon UK Rising Stars award – Can you put into words how that feels?
It still hasn’t really sunk in yet, to be honest – I keep checking back on the page to make sure that it really is “The Summer We All Ran Away” on there! I’ve loved so many of the previous Rising Stars nominees – Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus”, S J Watson’s “Before I Go To Sleep”, Elizabeth Haynes’s “Into The Darkest Corner”. Being one of the twelve nominated novels for 2013 is just amazing.
Are you working on another book? If so can you tell us anything about it?
After revelling in a glorious, decadent country mansion, I thought it would be interesting to try writing a story that’s set in the smallest possible space. So my next novel, “The Beach Hut”, is about a grown-up brother and sister who build an illegal beach-hut on a Cornish beach in the autumn, and the impact that their arrival has on a widowed pub landlord and his daughter.
Favourite Author to read (A difficult one I know!)
Oh my goodness – that’s such a hard question! The author whose books I always, always take with me wherever I go is Jane Austen – I haven’t left home without at least one of her books since I was about fifteen years old. She’s a writer you can go back to over and over again, at any age and at any stage of life, and still discover something new.
Favourite comfort food
I love chilli, nice and hot and with far too much garlic to be remotely civilised afterwards. It’s my Meal Of Shame – I make it when my husband’s away and I know I don’t have to meet anyone the next morning. I also really, really like chocolate raisins to eat while I’m writing, because I can pretend to myself they’re healthy.
One thing apart from people you would rescue from a burning building?
Thank you kindly to Legend Press and Cassandra Parkin for the copy of this novel via netgalley.
In an abandoned house in the West Country a small eclectic group of people gather – including young Davey, escaping from life , who is welcomed into their midst with one caveat – he asks no questions. 30 Years previously, Musican Jack Laker is writing a comeback album…and in abandoning one girl for another sets into motion a wave of events that will ripple through the years until they reach Davey’s shore..
I have posted this review under Fiction – you might also consider it as a mystery novel but for me it was all about the beautiful characters and flowing almost poetic prose – sometimes its hard to put a book into a single genre. Cassandra Parkin has created some wonderfully witty and heartfelt folk here – I loved each and every one of them from the hilariously honest Priss (my favourite) down to the less than likeable but still intriguing Evie. As you follow events both in the past and the present, you will get inexorably caught up in their world…a world as harsh as it is breathtaking. The house is almost a character in itself – there is a definite atmosphere about it and you know it is hiding secrets…but what those secrets are it refuses to tell.
The story unfolds over both the time periods in a charmingly delightful manner – it is gentle yet fascinating. You care less about what they may be hiding from than you do for the people themselves and what they might do next. The Summer We All Ran Away is the closest I’ve come expressively speaking to Agatha Christie – you feel like you are reading an age old tale yet in a modern setting. Of all the wonderful books I have read lately this is the one that has made me feel true nostalgia for those early days of my reading life – when wide eyed I would emerge from a story and suddenly realise it wasnt real. But it feels real when you are in it…doesnt it?
Find out more about Cassandra here http://cassandraparkin.wordpress.com/
You can follow her on Twitter here https://twitter.com/cassandrajaneuk
Find out all about Legend Press and their other titles http://legendpress.co.uk/
Purchase Information for the book http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Summer-All-Ran-Away/dp/1909395315/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1377498941&sr=1-1
Happy Reading Folks!