Author Interview: Bella Osborne

I am currently working my way through the wonderful Ottercombe Bay series by Bella Osborne. I’m thoroughly enjoying this gorgeous serialised novel, which is set in an idyllic sounding sea-side town and follows the story of Daisy Wickens. (Look out for my review of Part Two, coming soon!)
I was thrilled to be able to chat to Bella about her latest novel and take part in the official blog tour. Read on to find about Bella's writing past and discover more about her inspiration behind the beautiful Ottercombe Bay...

Hello Bella, a massive, bookish welcome to Bookaholic Confessions! Thank you so much for taking part in this interview. Please could you kick things off by introducing yourself?

Hi Holly, Thank you for having me on your blog! I’m Bella and I live in Warwickshire with my husband and daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. I write romantic comedy for Avon, HarperCollins, which I absolutely love. One of my favourite things is planning holidays, closely followed by drinking fizz and eating chocolate (I’m also very partial to a custard cream). I enjoy cooking although my family aren’t quite as enthusiastic about eating the end results.

I am about to start Part Two of the FABULOUS Ottercombe Bay series after devouring Part One. I love the series so far…Please could you tell us a little bit about the books?

It’s the story of Daisy Wickens who has to return to her childhood home in a pretty Devon seaside town after the death of her much-loved Great Uncle Reg. To Daisy Ottercombe Bay holds only sad memories of where her mother died when she was a child. She doesn’t plan on staying a moment longer than she has to, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy something very interesting in his will – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but there’s one big catch. To get her inheritance Daisy must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.
With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But first Daisy has to face her past before she can make something of her future.

What was your inspiration behind the Ottercombe Bay series?

It started with a newspaper article about a locket and then my imagination wove a story around it and before I knew it I had a feisty heroine, an idyllic setting and an unfolding plot.

I love how you describe the gorgeous-sounding Ottercombe Bay, is it a place that’s based on anywhere you have visited in the past or is it an entirely fictional seaside town?

It is fictional but it takes a few of its characteristics from a number of places in the West Country including Beer in Devon and West Bay and Lyme Regis in Dorset. I can also pin point it on a map for you if you like? Look at a map of Devon and follow the River Otter down from Otterton and where it meets the sea is where I envisaged Ottercombe Bay being located.

I am a big fan of your previous novels and I absolutely love your writing. Can you tell us a bit about your journey to becoming an author?

Thank you, that’s always lovely to hear. Here’s the short version – A chance meeting with a life coach made me pick up writing again as I’d stopped to focus on being a mum. The coach helped me focused on finishing a full-length novel, which was something I hadn’t done before. I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association, on their New Writers Scheme, and at their conference was lucky enough to meet an editor from HarperCollins and the rest, as they say, is history. That was five years, four novels and a lot of custard creams ago.

Do you have any advice for any aspiring authors out there?

Connect with other writers – The life of a writer can be remote at times so having others that know what it feels like can really help. They will also be there to give you a kick up the bum when you are procrastinating and a glass of fizz or a custard cream when things go well.
Keep writing – It may sound daft but you need to have finished something before you can really start submitting to agents and publishers. So make time and do it. No excuses, if you really want to write then something else may have to give.
Never give up – Being a writer, like most things in life, takes talent, hard work and luck. Don’t underestimate the luck part of the equation and remember that today might not be your day but tomorrow might be.

What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a writer?

I’m a project manager by profession so I’ll always be organising something!

Who are some of your favourite authors and which genres of books do you enjoy reading?

I am a romantic comedy reader to the core but I also love being part of a Book Club because it makes me read books I wouldn’t generally pick and that has introduced me up to so many different genres and authors. For holiday reads I will always return to those that never let me down which are Katie Fforde, Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson. I also enjoy books by fellow HarperCollins authors Phillipa Ashley, Christie Barlow and Sue Moorcroft.

And finally, can you tell us a bit about what you’re up to at the moment?
I am currently munching my way through a large amount of custard creams (sorry about the crumbs) whilst I edit my fifth novel which is set around a fictional park near Birmingham and features Anna who since a bad experience at university has avoided surprises by having her life neatly mapped out. But her plans are scuppered when she is dumped by her fiancé and an American muscles in on her new job.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Bella. I’m thrilled to have you on my blog.
Thank you for having me, it’s been fun. Shall I hoover up the biscuit crumbs or will you? J

Many thanks to Sabah at Avon for having me on board the blog tour.

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