Grab a cuppa and pull up a chair as author Angela Barton stops in for a chat on Nesie’s Place. We’ll hear about her special anniversary gift, meet her two writing companions and learn about the bittersweet inspiration and research that drove her latest release, Arlette’s Story.
FD: Welcome, Angela! Before we get to Angela, the author, many visitors to Nesie’s Place are avid readers, So, tell us your favorite genre to read?
AB: Romantic fiction with a strong story and historical fiction. (19th or 20th century)
FD: Do you venture into other genres other than your preferred?
AB: Definitely. The book I’m reading at the moment doesn’t fall into either of those genres.
FD: And what are you reading now?
FD: These Dividing Walls by Fran Cooper. It’s a story about the separate lives of people living in an apartment building in a forgotten corner of Paris.
FD: I’m a coffeeholic, shock of shocks, but what’s your favorite beverage to read with?
AB: Always a cup of tea, preferably with chocolate biscuits to hand.
FD: How long have you been writing, Angela?
AB: I’ve been novel writing for eleven years but dabbling for decades!
FD: Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?
AB: Hybrid. I’m published by Choc-Lit’s new imprint called Ruby Fiction.
FD: Choose a team – Pantser or Plotter?
AB: I’m a plotster! I have an idea for a story and generally, know how I’ll want it to end. I plan what I think will be a strong starting point and what characters I’ll need to tell that story for me. Then I generally sit at my MacBook and the characters begin to boss me around and tell me what to write.
FD: LOL! Gotta love those bossy characters! How long did it take you to write your first book?
AB: It took six months to write but another year to edit, re-write sections and polish.
FD: Editing! The bane of an author’s existence! LOL! Angela, what’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre?
AB: Although my debut novel is historical romantic fiction, I’ve also written two books in the genre of contemporary romantic women’s fiction. I do like to include hard-hitting issues though, such as obsessive compulsions, a life-threatening illness, miscarriage, fraud and crime (shoplifting) caused by grief. I’m halfway through my fourth novel which is another WW2 historical romance.
FD: Do you have any advice for new authors?
AB: Always have your completed manuscript assessed by a professional body before submitting to an agent or publisher. I used the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s, New Writers’ Scheme. I can’t praise them highly enough and I have no doubt that their suggestions turned my fish soup of a novel into a seafood bouillabaisse that was worthy of publication.
FD: Where do you get the most writing done?
AB: My husband built me an insulated garden writing room for a special wedding anniversary and that’s where I wrote my three novels
– in the company of my two spaniels, Harlyn and Brook.
FD: Wow, what a beautiful place to write! *Waves to Harlyn and Brook*
FD: Angela, are you totally addicted to social media or could you live without it??
AB: Now that my book is to be published, an addiction is growing!
FD: Tell us what inspired you to write Arlette’s Story.
AB: My inspiration for writing Arlette’s Story came while visiting Oradour-sur-Glane’s museum and martyred village in France. On 10th June 1944, this once thriving and beautiful small town was visited by two hundred Germans who set about murdering, looting and destroying. The village stands as a memorial to those who died that day, exactly as it was left seventy-four years ago – as if frozen in time. I was so moved while walking around the crumbling village. I could see inside houses where the metal remains of everyday life lay littered amongst the debris. Bed frames, log burners, ovens, Singer sewing machines, children’s toys, picture frames, and bicycles. Objects that fill our own homes today. I felt compelled to help keep the memory of what happened alive in some small way, so I vowed to myself that I would tell the story from a survivor’s viewpoint.
I thoroughly enjoyed researching Arlette’s Story. I’d regularly become deeply absorbed in a huge factual tome and lose a whole day! I was fascinated reading about Vichy, The Resistance, the demarcation line, sabotage against the Germans etc.
FD: Would you share a short excerpt with us?
AB: Of course!
Kommandant Steiner reached inside his desk drawer and brought out another packet of cigarettes. He tapped the packet onto the palm of his hand before sliding a cigarette out of it.
‘Maybe we could come to an arrangement.’
Arlette frowned. ‘I don’t understand.’
He placed the slim cigarette between his lips and lit it, squinting as the grey smoke swirled into his eyes. He blew a long trail towards the ceiling. ‘We’re adults. We’re both alone in difficult times. Perhaps one favour could be repaid by another.’ He stared at her, once again drawing deeply on his cigarette but this time opening his mouth to let the cloud of silver smoke linger around his lips. Before it had time to escape into the room, he sucked it back over his tongue, inhaling it deep into his lungs.
A muscle twitched beneath his right eye.
FD: Ok, I don’t like him already, and now I’m definitely looking forward to this read! Thanks for the excerpt, Angela, and many thanks for stopping by Nesie’s Place today.
AB: Thank you so much for this interview/blog post. Without bloggers like you, we would be at a great disadvantage. Huge thanks!
Scroll down and get your copy of Arlette’s Story today and remember to leave a review for Angela. It only takes a few words to make an author’s day!
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One woman’s struggle to fight back against the enemy in order to protect the ones she loves.
When Arlette Blaise sees a German plane fly over the family farm in 1940, she’s comforted by the fact that the occupying forces are far away in the north of the country. Surely the war will not reach her family in the idyllic French countryside near to the small town of Oradour-sur-Glane?
But then Saul Epstein, a young Jewish man driven from his home by the Nazis, arrives at the farm and Arlette begins to realize that her peaceful existence might be gone for good …
Amazon UK | Amazon US
Angela Barton was born in London and grew up in Nottingham. She is married with three grown-up children. Passionate about writing both contemporary and historical fiction, Angela loves researching for her books and is an avid reader. Having signed publishing contracts for three of her completed novels with Ruby Fiction, Angela is excited to be working alongside such a friendly and supportive publishing team. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and Nottingham Writers’ Studio.
Having recently moved to France, Angela (alongside her husband, Paul) is now a lavender farmer, creating products from the oil that’s distilled. Angela says she’s looking forward to spending more time writing in the company of her two spaniels while sitting on her veranda overlooking the breath-taking countryside of Charente.
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