Today I am pleased to welcome Author Laura Wilkinson to the Love of a Good Book!
Can you describe the Redemption Song in one sentence? Probably not. But here’s an elevator pitch:
What we need most is often what we run from.
A horrific accident leaves two people dead. A grieving young woman hiding from the world … A good man gone bad, eaten up by betrayal…
Broken lives, lies and loss in an enchanting seaside town. Love is what they need most, but will they risk it?
Saffron and Joe are the two main characters of Redemption Song, please can you tell us about them?
Saffron is a young doctor (24) – although she’s not quite qualified because she dropped out of her foundation year after a terrible accident. At the story’s outset she is vulnerable and raw; grieving, lonely, blaming herself, feeling trapped in the small seaside town she’s withdrawn to in order to support her mother. Also, she’s frightened and unsure of herself and what she will do with the rest of her life – if she can ever return to medicine, helping people. Saffron is loving and caring and although she doesn’t realise it initially, she’s a survivor. She learns to forgive and move on.
At the start, Joe is an enigma. He’s also a stranger in the town, a handsome loner who keeps himself to himself. He’s suffered betrayal and loss, and he’s hell bent on revenge, though it’s obvious he is principled, kind, and caring and incapable of violence. Nothing about him quite fits. During the course of the narrative, he opens up his heart to Saffron and the wider community but he still keeps a huge part of himself secret. I love Joe.
If you could choose one of your characters to spend the day with, who would it be and why? Much as I love my central characters to bits, they’re pretty intense, so I’d probably chose to spend an entire day with Ceri – Saffron’s best mate. Also, I know Joe and Saffron inside out whereas Ceri is more unknown to me so it would be brilliant to get to know her better. Ceri is lively and fun and down to earth, and while she’s not educated, she’s super bright and she has a HUGE heart. Also, she likes a drink so we could go down the pub together.
Are any of the characters in the book anything like you? No, I’m far too dull to be in a novel and one of the many things I love about writing is the opportunity to explore other lives, to walk in others’ shoes and view the world through a different lens to my own.
What can we expect next, any more books in the pipeline? I’ve another novel contracted for Accent Press, scheduled for publication in March 2017. Skin Deep is another love story, though not a conventional one – to put it mildly! It follows beautiful artist Diana and Cal, a lonely boy. Both of them are seeking love and purpose, trying to find acceptance and their place in a world fixated with image. It explores obsession, concepts of beauty, and the legacy of parental exploitation. The message is that true beauty comes from within. And if this makes it sound a little grim – it’s not. It’s full of wonder and joy, and love. Skin Deep is written, though there will be more work on it with my editor, Greg. Alongside this novel, I’m writing a brand new one. It’s very early days (15k into a first draft and no title yet) so I’m loathe to say too much other than it’s about addiction and love.
What’s your writing routine? I’m not big on routine – I get bored really, really easily – other than to turn up frequently (every day when in the thick of a novel) and write. A lot.
You are trapped in a book shop (isn’t that living the dream), what section would we find you in and with which book in hand? My reading taste is eclectic so you might find me in different sections depending on my mood. It’s probably easier to say where you wouldn’t find me: Sci-fi, Fantasy and Procedural Crime. Most often you’d find me in contemporary fiction and no doubt I’d have a stack of books in front of me. I might have Maggie O’Farrell’s next in my hand, or Jenn Ashworth’s forthcoming, Fell.
The best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Don’t give up the day job! I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to spend half my working week writing, but I enjoy the editing and mentoring I do the rest of the time. My bank manager does too because, in common with the vast majority of authors, I couldn’t support my family on earnings from my books alone.
Who or what inspires you? The world around me and ordinary people in it; those known to me and those who aren’t. So-called ordinary people are the most fascinating ever. We all have stories; those we chose to share and those we don’t. Beneath every apparently straightforward event are people battling with desires and demons. This is what story is all about; an author’s job is to unearth the emotional core.
Name one of your favourite places in the world? New York City – I adore its energy, its diversity and the sense that anything’s possible there.
Apple or Android?
EBook or paperback?
Paperback every time.
Sweet or savoury?
Sweet – I love cake (and wine).
Staying in or going out?
Hot or cold?
Laura writes short stories and contemporary novels; love stories with grit. After a degree in Literature, she moved from her homeland of Wales to London where she worked as a journalist. Now she lives in Brighton with her two boys (Ginger1 and Ginger2) and her husband (the BigFella), a bluegrass musician. She loves a bargain, jeans, pretty dresses and high heels.
As well as writing, she works as an editor/mentor for Cornerstones and The Writing Coach, and runs workshops on the art of fiction. She’s spoken at festivals and events nationwide, including London Metropolitan University, GladLit, University of Kingston, and The Women’s Library.
To buy the e-book: https://Mybook.to/RedemptionSong
To buy the paperback: http://mybook.to/RedemptionWilkinson
If you’d like more information about Laura and her work visit:
Facebook: Laura Wilkinson Author