Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Come Date Me In Paris - a romantic short story with delicious French #recipes #WRWbuzz

Letterbox Love Stories - the first anthology of the World Romance Writers group - will be released later this month - and we can't wait! For the past few weeks we've been meeting some of the nine international authors whose stories will appear in the collection.
Today it's the turn of Helena Fairfax who lives in Yorkshire, in the north of England.
Good to meet you, Helena!

What genre do you normally write, Helena?
Mainly contemporary romance, but I also have a couple of romantic suspense novellas which were great fun to write.

Please tell us about your story for the Letterbox Love Stories anthology.
Alice - the heroine in my story - wins a place on a blind date show called "Come Date Me in Paris". It's the most popular show in France and, this being Paris, the contestants have to cook a gourmet meal for each other. Only trouble is, Alice can't cook. In a bit of a panic, she asks her chef neighbour Edmond for lessons. Edmond is looking after his mother's poodle, Sweetie, and the deal is that Alice will walk the poodle in return. Sweetie turns out to play quite a large part in the events that follow...!
At the end of the story I give the recipes for the delicious meal that Edmond shows Alice how to make - with a French chocolate dessert to die for!
Chateau in the Bois de Vincennes - photo courtesy of Pixabay

Why did you choose this setting?
Paris is such a romantic city. Everyone knows the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, but I thought it might be nice to show other parts of the city that aren't so well known, but which are equally romantic. Edmond and Alice take a picnic in the Bois de Vincennes, which is an enormous park with a wood, a lake, a zoo - and even a chateau! - right in the middle of the city.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
 I live very near the Yorkshire moors and the town of Haworth, which was the home of the Brontë sisters. I walk the moors every day with my rescue dog, and I absolutely love to watch the changing seasons and the wildlife. I can really see how this wild landscape inspired the sisters in their own writing.
What is your idea of the perfect holiday?
 I love to visit the coast, especially the seaside at Cornwall (home of Poldark). The coastline is so rugged, the temperature in this part of England is often much warmer than elsewhere, and it's wonderful to walk on the beach with my dog and watch the wild waves.
The Cornish coast

What sources do you use for inspiration in your writing?

I have a lot of my best ideas while reading other books, watching TV programmes or films. I often wonder what would have happened to certain characters if they'd taken a different path, and my "What if...?" ponderings can take me down the path to a completely different story. It's very strange how the mind works, and where the imagination leads!

What do you do when you aren’t writing?
As I mentioned above, I love to walk on the moors, and I take a long walk every day - rain or shine! I also do a lot of knitting, I love to garden...but my main pleasure is to read, read, read!
Where do you write, and why does that spot work for you?
I write in my sitting-room with my dog curled up next to me. My dog is a rescue dog and she suffers from separation anxiety, and so likes to be with me most of the day. The place I write is comfortable which is important if you are writing all day. I have to be careful not to get repetitive strain injury.

If you had to marry someone from film, books, or television, who would that be?
Oh, that's such a difficult question! I'm loving the TV series The Musketeers at the moment, and I totally fell in love with the character of Athos in Dumas' novel. But I'd only marry Athos if I got to join in all the adventures. It would be no fun at all waiting at home for him to come back! 

Do you believe in love at first sight?
I think it can happen. My father-in-law saw a photo of my mother-in-law when she was sixteen and he was nineteen. He knew this was the person he wanted to marry. They've just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary :)
What an amazing achievement!
Thanks so much for dropping in today to introduce yourself, Helena. It's been lovely to meet you!

Here is the blurb to "Come Date Me in Paris" - Helena's story for the Letterbox Love Stories anthology
When Alice receives a letter telling her she’s won a place on a TV blind date show, she should be excited - only trouble is, the show involves cooking for your date…and Alice can’t cook. Forced to throw herself on the mercy of her chef neighbour, Edmond, Alice asks him for lessons. But will she be cooking up a romance…or cooking up disaster?
helena fairfax

You can find Helena on her website/blog Helena Fairfax, on Twitter @helenafairfax, on Facebook, or sign up to Helena's newsletter to receive a FREE novella.

If you have any questions for Helena, or any comments at all, please let us know by visiting us on Facebook or at the WRW Reader's Group. We'd love to hear from you!