Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Laura E.James Guest Post: Chesil Beach, Coincidences and Chris Frampton

Today I am pleased to welcome Laura E.James to The Love of a Good Book, thank you Laura for such a wonderful guest post. 

Laura lives in Dorset with her family. Laura was twice a runner-up in the Choc Lit Short Story competitions. Her story Bitter Sweetappears in the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Anthology. Truth or Dare?, Laura’s debut novel, was shortlisted for the 2014 Joan Hessayon Award. Follow Me Follow You is Laura’s first Choc Lit novel published in paperback.

Twitter: @Laura_E_James

When I was putting together my Follow Me, Follow You 12 Days to Launch Teasers and Tasters for my site,www.lauraejames.co.uk, I uncovered a couple of interesting coincidences. Well, I thought they were coincidences …
I came across on old photograph of a young Laura Jamessitting on Chesil Beach. It dates back to 1986 when I was nineteen, the age Chris Frampton, the hero in Follow Me, Follow You, is when he and Victoria first get together.
This might not seem such a coincidence as I now live in Dorset, but when I was nineteen, I lived in Hertfordshire.
There is a second photo ‒ that of our son standing on Chesil Beach, in his blue coat and red wellies. He was aged four at the time of the photo ‒ the age little Seth Noble is, Victoria’s son. I adapted the photo and used it for the book trailer, which can be seen here:http://youtu.be/wWrG6tXmsIY
We were living in Weymouth by this point, but it’s clear Chesil Beach is an area to which I return again and again.
Chris and Victoria are drawn back to the beach, despite the memories buried there. Going home is comforting, familiar; safe. Sometimes, connecting with your roots is the best way to encourage growth, as long as you tread carefully.
Portland is a small place, only 4.5 miles in length, with an estimated population of 12,500. It’s mostly stone ‒ Portland stone ‒ which has been quarried and used for building, most notably St Paul’s Cathedral. Rabbits are referred to as bunnies on Portland, something Victoria mentions in Follow Me, Follow You. When my husband and I lived there, we were told to call them woofers, although I’ve yet to find a record of this as an alternative. It’s believed rabbits would emerge from their holes in the quarries just before a rock fall, and because landslides caused the deaths ofsome quarry workers, the appearance of rabbits became synonymous with bad luck.
The island has a Henry VIII castle, built in the 1540s to protect against Spanish and French invasion, and until recently, there were three prisons on the island. I recall a prison ship, too, but that was decommissioned a few years ago.
In 2012, Weymouth and Portland was the focus of the Olympic Sailing events. An area was redeveloped to house the sailors. My son met two Olympians from the Croatian sailing team. His grin was as wide and bright as one of their sails that day.
We visited the island recently to participate in the annual stone stacking event. It was a magnificent day with the late summer sun glinting off the surface of the sea, and the gentle breeze teasing the waves into ruffles, creating a white collar for the coastline.
Families were busy building rock and pebble towers, some simple in design, others more ambitious, but each spectacular set against the stunning backdrop of Chesil and the English Channel.
We rounded the day off with a sit down and an ice cream, watching the activity on the beach. Dogs ran in and out of the waves, children giggled and whooped as the cold water rushed around their ankles, couples snuggled together, making comfy beds from the golden stones, and kayakers paddled past, searching for excluded coves in which to rest. Glorious.
With its rich and intriguing history, its breath-taking landscape and its air of mysticism, it’s no wonder I’m inspired to write about Chesil.
And it’s no coincidence I return to the area again and again.

Follow Me Follow You
Can a first love last forever?
Victoria Noble has pulled the plug on romance. As director of the number one social networking site, EweSpeak, and single mother to four-year-old Seth, she wrestles with the work-life balance.
Enter Chris Frampton, Hollywood action hero and Victoria’s first love. His return from LA has sparked a powder keg of media attention, and with secrets threatening to fuel the fire, he’s desperate to escape. But finding a way forward is never simple. Although his connection with Victoria has lasted the test of time, has he been adrift too long to know how to move on?
With the risk of them breaking, will either #follow their heart?

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for having me here today and hope you're finding time to enjoy the excellent weather :-)