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A Memory Lane Christmas: The Winter Promise by Rosie Goodwin

Writing.ie | Magazine | Interviews | Women’s Fiction
Winter Promise

By Rosie Goodwin

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When I decided after much persuasion from my husband to write my first book it meant a huge career change for me. I had worked for social services for many years as a foster carer and a placement support worker and like many authors when I began to submit it to agents and publishers, I had my fair share of rejections. But then at last my first book was accepted and I had my first contract. My first book The Bad Apple was published in 2004 and I’ll never forget the thrill of holding the finished bound book in my hands for the first time.

I have written both contemporary and historical fiction during the years in between, ending with my last seven days of the week series. It was such a lovely series to write and I was so sad when it finished.

But not for long and the result is the first of yet another brand-new Precious Stones series beginning with The Winter Promise. In this there will be six books, each of the main characters having the name of a jewel. In this one we will meet Opal and as always with all my main characters I put her through rather a hard time. I love writing historical sagas. There was such a huge class divide in days gone by and I love doing the research for the era I am writing in.

As any author will tell you, research is so important to set the scene for the book although there is a fine line to walk with how much you include. Too much could lose sight of the story and so there has to be just enough in there for the reader to get a feel of what it was like back then and what was going on in the world.

I decided to write sagas because it’s about the only genre where you can throw a little bit of anything into the story line – murder – romance- intrigue, whatever you like and as any of my readers will know I can be quite cruel to my characters. I love stories with strong plots and twists and turns, and of course no book would be the same without a baddie – I do love my baddies even though I try to ensure they get their comeuppance in the end.

I am now busily working on An Orphan’s Journey, the second of the new series which will be out in February 2021 in time for Mother’s Day in which you will all meet Pearl. I can also tell you that in the third of the series you’ll meet Ruby and in the fourth you’ll meet Emerald.

It’s been a strange year for us all what with the dreaded Corona virus but I have to take my hat off to my amazing agent, my lovely editor and copy-editor and the brilliant team at Bonnier Zaffre who somehow have managed to meet all the publishing deadlines even though they have all been forced to work from home. We have all managed to keep in touch via email and social media but of course it isn’t the same as being able to hop on the train and nip off to London for a lovely get together!

The virus has also meant the cancellation of all my planned events, book signings, talks etc, and I’ve so missed being able to meet my readers although I have been able to keep in touch with many of my them, again through social media.

An author’s life is a solitary and very unglamorous one most of the time when we are locked away in our office with our imaginary characters but I have never regretted it for a moment. There are not many people who can genuinely say ‘I love my job’ but I can, and when I get a particularly good review from one of my readers it makes all the hours locked away worthwhile.

During the writing of a book the characters become almost like a second family and I grow to love them. Readers ask me ‘how did this book manage to make me cry?’ and I always tell them, ‘it’s because I cried when I was writing it.’ If I don’t feel what my characters are feeling how could I expect a reader to?

I never work to the same format; I always try to make each of my books completely different and hopefully a little bit better than the last one. If I became complacent and didn’t put my heart and soul into every one, I would feel like I was letting my readers down.

And now here we are in the second surge of the dreaded virus and I suppose like me most people will be wondering what Christmas will bring. The worst part of the last lock down for me was not being able to see my family and so we can only hope that things will have eased up a little for Christmas and that sometime in the next year we might all be able to return to some sort of normality.

In the meantime, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all ‘A Very Merry Christmas’ and a ‘Healthy and Happy New Year.’
Stay safe everyone.
Very best wishes
Rosie Goodwin xx

(c) Rosie Goodwin

About The Winter Promise:

1850.

When Opal Sharp finds herself and her younger siblings suddenly orphaned and destitute, she thinks things can get no worse.

But soon three of them – including Opal – are struck down with the illness that took their father from them, and her brother Charlie is forced to make an impossible decision. Unable to afford a doctor, he knows the younger children will not survive. So, unbeknownst to Opal, Charlie takes their younger siblings to the workhouse, where he knows they will at least be fed and have a roof over their heads.

Opal is heartbroken and struggles to forgive him. Charlie, in turn, takes bigger and bigger risks to try to support what’s left of the Sharp family and earn Opal’s forgiveness – but he takes it too far and finds himself in trouble with the law. Soon, he is sent on a convict ship to Australia.

As poor Opal is forced to say goodbye to the final member of her family, she makes a promise to reunite them all one day.

Will Opal ever see her family again?

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About the author

Rosie Goodwin is the million copy bestselling author of more than thirty novels. She is the first author in the world to be allowed to follow three of Catherine Cookson’s trilogies with her own sequels. Having worked in the social services sector for many years, then fostered a number of children, she is now a full-time novelist. She is one of the top 50 most borrowed authors from UK libraries. Rosie lives in Nuneaton, the setting for many of her books, with her husband and their beloved dogs.

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