To celebrate the release of Carol Thomas’ new romantic comedy novel, The Purrfect Pet Sitter, published earlier this week by Ruby Fiction, I am happy to welcome Carol, a fellow CHINDI author on to my blog. The book arrived on my kindle at midnight on Monday and I look forwards to reading it.
First of all, can you tell us a little about The Purrfect Pet Sitter?
The Purrfect Pet Sitter tells the story of twenty-nine-year-old Lisa Blake, who suffers a loss that causes her to return to her hometown, of Littlehampton, rebranding herself as ‘the purrfect pet sitter’ – which may or may not be false advertising!
But being back where she grew up, Lisa can’t escape her past. There’s her estranged best friend Felicity and her first love, Nathan Baker, who, considering their history, is sure to be even more surprised by her drunken Facebook friend request than Lisa is. As she becomes involved in the lives of her old friends, Lisa has to learn how to move forward when the things she wants most are affected by the decisions of her past.
It is great to discover a novel set locally, why did you choose to set your story in Littlehampton?
I have lived in Littlehampton my whole life and worked in a local primary school for thirteen years, and so it is a place I know well. The beach is lovely, and we have access to some beautiful countryside just ten minutes down the road, so it was an ideal setting for a pet sitter out and about with her four-legged friends. In my novel I present a fictionalised version of Littlehampton, drawing on the area, and some of the surrounding small towns and villages, around for inspiration.
Your first novel was self-published, how do you feel that contributed to you getting your publishing contract with Ruby Fiction?
I am very proud of my first novel, Crazy Over You, and I learnt a great deal through my self-publishing journey. I am a director of the Chindi Authors’ group, known for celebrating and helping independent authors, and have made some great friends and supportive writing colleagues through this connection.
Self-publishing helped me build my author platform, especially my online presence. It also taught me about the process of publication and marketing – I’m still learning, but it gave me a good start. The things I had learned also helped when it came to presenting myself, and my work, professionally to the lovely people at Ruby Fiction. Of course, I had to have a good story too, and I am delighted that their tasting panel of readers, decided they liked The Purrfect Pet Sitter; hearing the news that they wanted to publish my novel, was a very special moment!
This summer the Chindi Authors will be hosting events as part of the Littlehampton Festival, is there an event you are particularly looking forward to?
I am not a Crime Writer (unless you are including crimes of the heart) but I always enjoy listening to other authors, discussing where they get their ideas and inspiration from, so the Crime Writers’ panel will be a must for me.
You’ve worked exceptionally hard on the Littlehampton Ghost Tour book (thank you Rosemary), and I have written a story for the book, so I am hoping that is a big success. I am also looking forward to getting my hands on a copy and reading about the spooky settings I never knew were in my hometown!
And I will, of course, be attending the self-publishing panel. Although I’ve been at many of these events before, there is always something new to pick up and learn.
Thank you for sharing your writing journey with us Carol, and I wish you every success with The Purrfect Pet Sitter
To find out more about the Chindi Authors’ events happening in Littlehampton this summer check out my blog post: https://rosemarynoble.wordpress.com/2018/04/23/chindi-events-at-the-littlehampton-festival-july-2018/
Buying Links for Carol’s novel, The Purrfect Pet Sitter
View the book trailer: http://tinyurl.com/TPPS-booktrailer