Meet the Author: A Wish for Jinnie by Audrey Davis

Today we travel to Switzerland to chat with Audrey Davis about how an oasis of calm and tidiness, Phil Collins, piles of scribbled notes, Lac Leman and the majestic Alps, the after life, figure skating, the Falkland Islands, an underwater panic attack, the Dragon Khan ride in PortAventura, Spain , and candyfloss come together as part of Audrey’s past and current life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a Scottish-born former journalist, based in Switzerland — the French-speaking part — since 2002. I’d like to say I’ve fully mastered the language, but still provide a few laughs for the locals when I cock things up! My two grown-up sons live in the UK, one in Edinburgh where I studied in the mid-eighties. Although I’m from the west coast, I studied in Edinburgh and it’s probably one of my favourite cities in the world. I took an online Writing Fiction course in 2016, which led to my first novel — A Clean Sweep — being published. I’m indie and proud, although managing all aspects of the publishing/marketing process myself still induces a nervous twitch.

I’m and indie author and publisher, too. So now I know where the nervous twitch comes from!

In which genre do you write?

Romantic comedy. I adored Jilly Cooper’s early books when I was young, and moved on to Jill Mansell and Carole Matthews in my twenties and thirties. Mind you, I was (and still am) partial to gory, blood-soaked thrillers but can’t imagine ever writing one!

How many published books do you have?

Four, including a short prequel to my debut novel. My third standalone novel — A Wish For Jinnie — published on June 22.

Those are all beautiful covers, Audrey!

What does your ideal writing space look like?

An oasis of calm and tidiness, with scented candles burning and reference books, folders and files displayed neatly on shelves. And with a picture-perfect view to enjoy while taking a break from writing. In reality, I mainly write at the kitchen table, surrounded by piles of scribbled notes, random printed chapters and often darting back and forth to check dinner’s progress. It’s chaotic, but at least the kettle (and corkscrew) are close to hand. I do have a small office downstairs, but it currently resembles an explosion in a stationery store. When the weather’s good, I often sit outside under the awning where I can look out over Lac Leman and the majestic Alps.

What an amazing and peaceful looking view you’ve got. I’ll clear my calendar for a tea date whenever the world opens again!

If you could turn into one of your characters for a day, which would it be and why, what would you do?

It would have to be ghostly Gary from The Haunting of Hattie Hastings. I’m not convinced there is an afterlife, but I had a lot of fun imagining what it might be like. In the book he is visible to his wife, Hattie, but not to anyone else. So, I’d be able to wander around unnoticed, maybe popping into people’s houses to see what they’re up to.

What’s the last movie you watched and why?

I, Tonya about figure skater Tonya Harding and her connection to the 1994 attack on her rival, Nancy Kerrigan. We watched it after an episode of the Netflix comedy show, The Kominsky Method, which featured a guest appearance by the actress Allison Janney. A quick online search revealed she’d won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as Harding’s badass and abusive mother. Intrigued, we tuned in and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I had not heard of this movie. Will add it to my list.

List three interesting facts about yourself.

· I visited the Falkland Islands in my twenties, a few years after the conflict. My remit as a local newspaper journalist was to follow Scottish regiment the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on their day-to-day duties in the run-up to Christmas. Highlights included drinking at the famous Upland Goose bar where journalists gathered during the war, and being dangled out the back of a Chinook helicopter. Actually, that one terrified me!

· I’m a PADI qualified scuba diver and have taken the plunge in many exotic locations, including the Great Barrier Reef, Fiji and Vanuatu. In Vanuatu, my husband and I did a deep dive in the SS President Coolidge, a US luxury ocean liner that was sunk by mines in 1942. I’d say this was my only ‘near-death’ experience, as I suffered a panic attack inside the Medical Supplies area. Luckily, our guide calmed me down by sitting me on a sand bank, until I regained my confidence. If I’d shot to the surface without decompression stops, I’d most likely have died.

· I love scary rollercoaster rides, even though my heart’s in my mouth in the seconds before they start, and I’m thinking, ‘I want to get off!’ I haven’t been on one for a while, but a favourite was the Dragon Khan ride in PortAventura, Spain which boasts eight inversions which was a world record at the time. Oh, and I also bungee-jumped in Cairns, Australia and have an ancient video kicking around somewhere showing my cheeks (facial ones) wobbling in abject fear!

Wow! No way I’d get on that roller coaster! Nor, would I bungee-jump. I would toss my cookies during each. Ha!

A penguin knocks on your door and is wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he there?

Excuse me, but I heard there’s a party going down. You don’t get many tequila shots in my neck of the woods. And I’m a bit partial to guacamole too. I brought my own maracas!

What is the most interesting thing that has ever happened to you?

Many moons ago, not long after moving to Switzerland, the four of us (including my two boys) went to the ski resort of Les Diablerets. On the drive, my husband mentioned he’d read in a magazine that the singer Phil Collins had a home there. ‘Interesting,’ I said, with little enthusiasm. Left with our youngest to potter on the nursery slopes, I spotted a man wearing a flat cap and walking a Jack Russell. Moving closer, I realised it was the man himself. Deciding to be bold, I went up to him, stuck out my hand, and said, ‘Phil Collins, I presume.’ Remarkably, he didn’t tell me to get lost, but spent a good half hour chatting about the country, skiing and his recent work on the soundtrack for the Tarzan movie. My husband was mega-jealous when he heard of the encounter!

Just had to throw in a Phil Collins song, since my daughter loves this movie and the music.

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

I try to go to the gym three times a week, although that hasn’t been possible during lockdown. I love cooking and have shelves of cook books and a bulging folder of favourite recipes accumulated over the years. I’ll cook (and eat) pretty much anything, except oysters. Bleurgh!

What do you miss about being a kid?

First and foremost, my lovely parents. Sadly, they both died a long time ago, and never got to meet my two wonderful boys (now in their mid-twenties). Also, the feeling that time was endless, and the holidays stretched on forever, with the promise of building sandcastles on the beach, taking donkey rides and eating candyfloss. As a family we always holidayed in the UK, with my first overseas trip a long (and nauseous) bus journey to Germany as part of a school outing.

It was great having you on MTA and learning more about your background and writer’s life. Plus, now I know what candyfloss is …. We call it cotton candy. Got it! Wishing you all the best. – Camilla

Blurb – A Wish for Jinnie:

What if wishes really could come true?

When Jinnie Cooper 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?

Where to find the books:

A Clean Sweep

Amazon –
Barnes & Noble/Apple Books –
Kobo –

The Haunting of Hattie Hastings

Amazon –
Barnes & Noble/Apple Books –
Kobo –

A Wish For Jinnie

Amazon –
Barnes & Noble/Apple Books –
Kobo –

Connect with Audrey:




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Meet the Author: Maybe Baby by Carol Thomas

Today we travel to to the south coast of England to chat with Carol Thomas about how teaching in primary schools, being a collector of conversation snippets, a snowy woodland, being a volunteer, and The Flumps come to together as part of Carol’s past and current life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I live on the south coast of England with my husband, four children and lively Labrador. I have been a playgroup supervisor and taught in primary schools for over fifteen years, before dedicating more of my time to writing. In the summer of 2017, I was delighted to gain a publishing contract with Ruby Fiction, an imprint of Choc Lit, for my romantic comedy novel, The Purrfect Pet Sitter, the first in the Lisa Blake series. Maybe Baby, the second in the series, was published a year later.

I have a passion for reading, writing and people watching, and can often be found loitering in local cafes working on my next book.

In which genres do you write?

I write for adults and children: My contemporary romance novels have relatable heroines whose stories are layered with emotion, sprinkled with laughter and topped with irresistible male leads. While my children’s books have irresistibly cute, generally furry characters, young children can relate to.

What is an interesting writing quirk you have that we wouldn’t know by reading your biography?

I am a collector of snippets of conversation that make me smile. I note them down and then slip them into my writing. This is especially useful when writing romantic comedy because I feel it adds an element of authenticity to the dialogue.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

Light, bright and airy, preferably with a good view. Some years ago, we looked at houses in Canada as we were contemplating moving there. One house was perfect and had a wonderful office. We visited in winter, and so the view looked out across snowy woodland. I like to imagine myself sitting in that window, writing. We didn’t make the move, so I am often found writing in local cafes; it’s not quite the same.

What are you currently reading?

I have just finished Mhairi McFarlane’s If I Never Met You. I love the author’s completely relatable characters and the very natural way they interact with each other. I also really enjoy the author’s ability to sum up a situation in a single and perfectly apt sentence.

List 3 interesting facts about yourself:

Growing up, I preferred playing with toy cars to reading books.
I hated school and then became a teacher.
I was a teen mum, and the birth of my daughter changed my life and gave me the drive to want to be more and do better.

Where did the idea for your most recent book come from?

Maybe Baby is a romantic comedy and the sequel to The Purrfect Pet Sitter. I wrote it because I had more I wanted to share about the characters. I also like exploring relationships beyond the happy ever after moment – seeing how characters react as a couple when faced with different situations. I have been with my husband for twenty-nine years, and so I appreciate that how you meet new challenges is an important aspect of maintaining a long-term relationship.

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

I am a volunteer at my local Cancer Research shop. Being a writer necessitates many hours spent alone with my characters, I think it’s important to go out and interact with real people too. This role enables me to do that, as well as to support the charity.

I’m also currently working as a Teaching Assistant in a local school. This is because I miss teaching and wanted to get back into the classroom. It has been lovely, and I am fortunate to be working in a great class in a very supportive and welcoming school. But, shh, don’t tell my colleagues about the collecting snippets of conversation thing, or they’ll think I am spying on them 😉

What is the most enjoyable thing you’ve found through writing?

I love the fact that writing allows you to create a fictional world where characters, who become your friends, interact and take on a life of their own. When it is all coming together, when the writing is flowing and the purpose of every character, every scene and interaction becomes clear, it is an amazing feeling.

What do you miss about being a kid?

Honestly, I don’t miss anything about being a child. If I could return to a time in my life, it would be around twenty-six – after I had got my degree and when I first started teaching. It was a wonderful time. I was happy, thin (ah there was a time) young and full of self-confidence.

If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would you choose and why?

I am a child of the seventies, and so there are some genuinely crazy worlds to choose from. Though not a cartoon, I would choose The Flumps, I liked the fact they were all one happy family, and they seemed to have a good pace of life.

What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?

I go to the cinema regularly, generally once or twice a week, this weekend I saw Harley Quinn, as I had seen the first, and I like Margot Robbie as an actor. I also saw Dolittle with my children. I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy it, but it was very good, entertaining and quirky – though it has made me want to befriend a polar bear.

Tell us about your most recent book.

Maybe Baby is the sequel to The Purrfect Pet Sitter (Lisa Blake book #1), published by Ruby Fiction. While each book can be read as a standalone story, Maybe Baby revisits the characters readers have enjoyed in The Purrfect Pet Sitter as they move into the next phase of their lives.

It was wonderful to have you be a part of MTA, Carol. I love that you collect conversation snippets. I used to do that more often, and think I’ll return to that practice. All the best to you! –Camilla

The blurb:

Maybe Baby is the story of what happens after the happy ever after …

Lisa Blake is back with her first love, she’s reunited with her best friend Felicity, and life is looking good; even her pet sitting skills are improving – everybody knows you can’t believe all you read in the local Gazette, don’t they?

Felicity is on the cusp of achieving her perfect wife-mum-life balance; Her husband, Pete, is being wonderfully attentive, and her four children are getting older and wiser (sometimes too much wiser) by the day.

But with secrets to be revealed and discoveries to be made, it seems life is full of unexpected surprises!

Book Trailer:

Where to buy:

Ruby Fiction:

Connect with Carol:

Website and Social Media Links:



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Meet the Author: A Walk in Wildflower Park by Bella Osborne

Today we welcome Bella Osborne to Meeting the Authors as we travel to The Midlands, UK and learn how finding the humor in the darker moments of life, board games, biscuits, Scooby-Doo, and conversations in the toilet weave into Bella’s writer’s life. Grab the large bag of popcorn and get comfy ….

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I have been jotting down stories as far back as I can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that I finished a full length novel. Since then I’ve written four best sellers and been shortlisted twice for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

I live in The Midlands, UK with my family who thankfully, accept me as I am (with mad morning hair and a penchant for skipping).

In which genre do you write?

I write romantic comedy with a bit of a punch. My stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. I like to find the humour in the darker moments of life and weave these into my stories.

How many published books do you have?

A Walk in Wildflower Park was out on 27th June and it is my fifth novel.

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

Apart from feeling guilty that I’m not writing or marketing my books I can usually be found trying out new recipes to the dismay of my family, getting beaten at board games by my daughter or expanding my gin knowledge with friends and family.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing?

I can get through an alarming amount of biscuits. I also learned that I loathe editing. I love writing the first draft when it’s all new and fresh and exciting but rereading my book for the tenth time makes me want to set fire to it.

What is the most amusing, crazy or inspiring thing that has ever happened to you?

I met Katie Fforde, bestselling romance author and president of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, in a toilet and during our conversation I proceeded to jump up and down with excitement as I told her that an editor had just asked to see my full manuscript. Thankfully it all ended well – the manuscript went on to be my debut novel and Katie didn’t take out a restraining order.

If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would you choose and why?

Scooby-Doo! I loved that programme. It had a great mix of fun and mystery and who didn’t want to be part of a cool gang that went around in a van?

What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?

It was ‘Isn’t It Romantic’ on Netflix and it was hilarious. I chose it because I’d heard good things about it and it was a different take on the classic romcom. As a writer of romantic comedies I see this as essential research not an opportunity to veg out on the sofa with a large bag of popcorn (although, obviously I did that too).

If you could ask your pet three questions, what would they be?

Why do you have to join me in the toilet?
Do you know that none of the other cats play fetch?
You know I don’t eat mice, right?

Which of your personality traits has been most useful and why?

Planning. I am a huge planner and this comes in very handing for plotting my novels. I spend a lot of time getting to know my characters and working out the plot before I start to write. It also means I have a legitimate excuse for indulging my post-it note obsession.

Tell us about your most recent book.

It’s titled A Walk In Wildflower Park – a feel good summer read.

When Anna is dumped by her fiancé, she moves in to her own place on the edge of the gorgeous Wildflower Park and pledges to stay off men and focus on her career, but a handsome new colleague seems to thwart her attempts at every turn. And when she receives an accidental text from a mystery man, could it be the new start she needs? Or someone she really shouldn’t be falling for?

Anna’s neighbour Sophie is a stressed-out mum-of-two with a third on the way. Her husband is a constant frustration, and their children are a regular source of newly-invented swear words and unidentifiable sticky surfaces.

Luckily, Anna and Sophie have each other – and Wildflower Park proves to be a sanctuary as they map out a path to find the happiness they both deserve…

Thank you Bella for joining us on Meeting the Authors. It was great fun learning more about you and your writer’s life! – Camilla

Where to buy:

It’s available in paperback from Sainsburys and all good bookshops from 27th June 2019 and also online:

Amazon Kindle US –

Amazon Paperback US –

Amazon Kindle UK –

Amazon Paperback UK –


Connect with Bella Osborne:

Website –

Twitter –

Facebook –

Instagram –

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