“The eloquence of the words, conveying the bittersweet agony of finding love and knowing it can never endure.”The Haunting Of Hattie Hastings – Audrey Davis
It’s been a couple of years since I first read The Haunting Of Hattie Hastings – one of my absolute favourite books I’ve come across on my book reviewing journey. (See my review of it here!) I loved it so much that I quickly bought a paperback copy, which now sits proudly on my book shelf. Over this time, I’ve kept in touch with the lovely author, Audrey Davis, and it only made sense to get to know her a little more!
I asked Audrey a few questions about her life as an author and what we can expect from her in the future. I urge you all to take a look at Audrey’s current works and to keep an eye out for her latest…out in June!
- When did you know you wanted to become an author?
I’ve always loved writing. As a child at primary school, I won a few prizes for short stories, then in my teens I decided I wanted to be a journalist. A very different kind of writing, but dreams of becoming an author lingered at the back of my mind for many, many years.
- Where did the idea of The Haunting Of Hattie Hastings come from?
I think I’ve given a variety of answers to this one! Let’s just say the title came first (I’ve always been a sucker for alliteration), but beyond that I had no idea what the story would be about. It took shape slowly, with the characters of Hattie and Gary developing first, and subsidiary ones nudging their way in like queue-jumpers in a supermarket. Obviously, with the word ‘haunting’ it needed to have a ghostly element, but as each chapter unfolded fresh ideas popped into my head. It was originally published as a novella trilogy, and I literally didn’t know from one book to the next where it would all go. You could say ‘the voices in my head’ guided me …
- I personally loved Gary’s character in this book! Which is your favourite character in all the books you’ve written and why?
Aww, thank you! I must admit to having a soft spot for Susan in my debut romantic comedy A Clean Sweep. Although it’s primarily a light-hearted read, her plight (lonely, overweight and pining for a lost love) struck a chord with a lot of readers, and even made some of them cry. And I had a lot of fun with Clarence in The Haunting of Hattie Hastings, because in an otherworldly realm, you can write anything you like!
- Rom Coms are clearly your special talent! Have you ever thought about writing a book in a different genre?
I have, but I’m not sure I’m brave enough. I love a good psychological thriller/domestic noir book, and have squirrelled away a few notes along these lines. My main concern would be reining in my tendency to look for comedy everywhere. Perhaps one day, but for now I’ll stick to what I’m (hopefully) good at.
- You have a new book on the way, hooray! What can you tell us about this book, or is it a closely guarded secret at the moment?
It’s not a secret, although I’m keeping the final cover under wraps for now. It’s called A Wish For Jinnie, and will be published – fingers crossed – on June 22. Here’s the provisional blurb:
What if wishes really came true?
When Jinnie is dumped by her fiancé, and exiled to a job in an antiques shop in a sleepy Scottish village, little does she know a battered old lamp is about to shake up her life.
Genie Dhassim grants wishes. But he also wants a few of his own to come true. Letting him explore the outside world proves nerve-wracking as Dhassim has an uncanny knack of putting his pointy-slippered foot in it.
As Jinnie grows closer to her employer Sam, Dhassim discovers his time on earth is running out.
Can both Jinnie and Dhassim find true happiness? Or are those wishes that cannot be granted?
- Which of your books did you find the easiest/hardest to write?
I’d say my current one! Meaning, it’s the hardest so far. It’s another romantic comedy (surprise, surprise), but with much more of my ‘own’ life experience in it. It’s absolutely not autobiographical, although it’s set in Switzerland where I’ve lived since 2002. There are no ghosts or genies, just ordinary people facing the conflicts and challenges we all experience at some point. All laced with a liberal dose of humour and a dollop of poignancy. I’m over halfway through the first draft, which will need an awful lot of work before it ever sees the light of day.
- Which books and authors do you admire?
I was a massive fan of Jilly Cooper’s early books, such as Imogen and Harriet. They were my first experience of romantic comedy novels, and led me on to the likes of Jill Mansell and Carole Matthews. I’m terrible at remembering author names, but in other genres those that spring to mind are anything by Mark Edwards, Sibel Hodge and the incredible Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes.
- Tell us about the books you have available at the moment (and where we can buy them from!)
A Clean Sweep, available as both eBook and paperback from Amazon. Universal buy link here: getbook.at/AudreyDavis.
Kobo Store: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/a-clean-sweep-5
Also available as an eBook from Apple and Barnes & Noble: https://books2read.com/u/mv5Bx2.
The Haunting of Hattie Hastings, available as above. Buy links here: https://books2read.com/u/49Zv7d
- What do you like to do when you take a break from writing?
Sit in the sun, reading (and probably snoring gently, as I have a tendency to nod off). I enjoy cooking and – during these troubled times – I’ve become a whizz at conjuring up meals using leftover bits and anything edible I can unearth from the freezer. I’m also a fan of online puzzles, and usually start the day with a couple of crosswords, a jigsaw and several cups of coffee
- What is one piece of advice you’d give to new authors who are just starting out?
Have fun! Don’t get stressed about word counts, or grammar, or making sure your story is ‘perfect’ from the start. Just write what you want to write, because it should be a pleasure, not a chore. Yes, if you want to publish your work, it needs to be polished and as perfect as it can be. Until that point, enjoy creating your story, because it is your story, and only you can tell it. Yes, there will be days when the words flow like cement and inspiration seems out of reach, but dreams can come true (just like wishes). The first time I held a paperback of one of my books was a truly amazing moment, but it didn’t happen overnight. Keep believing … and keep writing!
About the author.
Audrey Davis is the author of romantic comedy, A Clean Sweep and its short prequel, A Clean Break. She originally released The Haunting Of Hattie Hastings as a novella trilogy between September 2017 and July 2018. Audrey lives in Switzerland with her husband and enjoys shopping, cooking, eating and drinking red wine. And – of course – reading and writing. She gets quite giddy with excitement when readers make contact, so show your support, read and review her books or get in touch through Facebook or Twitter.