My debut novel, A little of Chantelle Rose, which was released just recently, was actually written thirteen years ago. After graduating from Loughborough University with a degree in PE and Sports Science, I travelled and worked in various jobs. One of which was as an extra in a British produced gangster film which was filmed in Nerja, Spain. It goes without saying that my sport mechanics and kinetic energy knowledge wasn’t put to maximum potential in this part-time job. But it was certainly a fun and unique experience, but most importantly it gave me an idea.
Up to the age of about ten, I was always asked “So, is you right half the English half or the Spanish half?” I’ve never found this question very funny, but I guess my legs are my definitely part of my English heritage, going on the simple fact that they are always the palest part of my body. And “Do you dream in English or in Spanish?” I’m actually usually too exhausted to dream and remember, so I can’t answer that one. But I can confirm that when I swear, it’s definitely in English. FFS comes out much more naturally in my mother tongue. What I can’t do is sit through a English documentary which as been dubbed into Spanish. My brain tries to pick out the English words that have been semi silenced over the Spanish translation and I have to really concentrate if I’m to make head or tail of what’s being said as my brain goes into overdrive filtering the two languages at once and I risk blowing a fuse in my own head.
Please welcome the talented Sue Barnard, bestselling author and my brilliant editor. Thank you for joining me Sue. Before we talk a little about your work and projects, I believe you have some questions for me.
Hi, Cristina. Well, this is a momentous day for both of us! Obviously I know a fair amount about the book, but for the benefit of new readers, can you summarise it in just a few words?
It tells an urban fairy tale. It’s about a young London girl who through a series of hilarious, if bizarre, circumstances is propelled to Hollywood glamour, lovers, confusion, menace and a truly startling conclusion. Its twists and turns will grip the reader – and make them laugh, too! At least that’s what I hope!! 😉
I studied at the Ursuline High School, Wimbledon, throughout GCSE’s and A-levels. This year is the school’s 125 year anniversary and I’m honoured that they asked me to share my story in their alumnae showcase. I hold very fond memories of my time at the Ursuline High School. I hope that the young ladies who are currently there now, and who are on the first chapter of their life story find a little inspiration from my journey. A short video. How to make dreams a reality.
I graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in PE and Sports Science. I hold very fond memories of my time at Loughborough and I feel honoured to be able to offer some advice back to the University and current students. A short video for budding authors.
Here’s a short video I’ve just done, if you watch it you’ll see why I’m surrounded by three puppies. Puppies that were found abandoned by the local police. They think I’m their mum, bless them…
The alarm clock goes off. 5.30 a.m. I really need another 10 more minutes of sleep (well at least a couple more hours to be honest). I struggle to peep open my eyes and not to fall back into slumber again. Somehow, I loosen myself from the warm bed covers and reach for my housecoat as I fumble to put my slippers on in the dark. I make my way down the dark corridor and amaze myself on a daily basis that, up until now at least, I manage to make my way down the darkened stairs in my sleep-like trance without tripping and landing headfirst on the marble floor (carpet would at least cushion my landing, but I live in Southern Spain where you only have a carpet on the floor if it’s red and have royalty coming).
So it’s coming up to that time of the year again. St Valentine’s day. For some, a day to just crawl under the the duvet and hide. For others a day to proclaim their love to the four corners of the world. The feast actually originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honouring one or more early saints named Valentinus, and is recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world, although it is NOT a public holiday in any country. So why do we all go mad on this day? For better or for worse, there is always a buzz around St Valentine’s day. I could understand it if we actually had the day off work!!
The reality is, each year in Britain, we spend around £503m on cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts for Valentine’s Day. Traditionally these were sent anonymously, but nowadays we often make it clear who is sending each ‘Valentine’. (After all you’re not going to spend a bomb on expensive gifts and let someone else get the credit for it!) More