The story of Rosy Bennett is compelling with well-drawn characters and vivd emotions. Rosy’s life is lost when her young husband dies suddenly but her heartbreak leads her to a more solid and substantial life. Here is my review on Amazon.
I wanted to learn more about the author and how she came to write her lyrical and evocative book and so without further ado:
Jan Birley: I wrote The Lost and Found Life of Rosy Bennett several years ago. I have always written. Bad, angsty heartbroken poetry at 17. Stories followed and in my twenties I wrote a bad novel – subsequently binned. Nothing was published.
If I’m being generous, late middle age is where I’m at – so happening upon Rosy Bennett, felt like meeting an old friend. One whom I had always known was there; she was simply waiting to be discovered.
Although I’m a country girl, I lived in London for many years and married David at 31. We have three sons and when they were all tiny and trying, I wrote a short story. David basically said don’t give up the day job.
I was mortified and any confidence I might have had in my writing abilities shrivelled like rashers in a hot pan.
But when I wrote about Rosy a couple of years ago, he could not have been a better champion and because he’d been so brutally honest before, I respected his opinion and began to believe that ‘hey, maybe I can do this.’
I don’t know where Rosy came from. I know that I have my stories mapped out; I know how they will end. But when I come to write about my characters, they do things I hadn’t expected. It is unnerving. I don’t feel as though I am writing, more as though I am transcribing conversations I’m merely listening to. Is this weird?
Alpacas are the most arresting of creatures and to write about Rosy, I went to an alpaca farm where I stepped into a world I hadn’t known existed. I would love to have some of these special creatures. We are lucky enough to have a house in Tuscany and plenty of space but nobody to look after them when we’re not there.
Three years ago, we moved from London and now live in the glorious Dorset countryside. We are in the middle of Sherborne, a small, ancient town and from my study window I can see topsy-turvy roofs, some thatched and some tiled with our eighth century Abbey in the distance, flanked by wooded hills. It is heaven and quintessentially English. Plus David is now Mayor and so I am Mayoress of our town which gives me such an insight into the tapestry of other people’s lives.
My love of writing stems from books and I have read non-stop from being a very small girl. If I don’t have a book to read, I feel as though a part of me is missing. I have almost finished my second book. It is about a woman, an interior designer, who lives in London and takes on a commission in Italy where, of course, nothing turns out as it should.
I am at my most happy when writing, often accompanied by a glass of wine, some sunshine and our dog. It is the most enormous fun … Jan Birley
Thanks to thanks to the book recommendation and support from Hello Chick Lit.
I am a writer, blogger, book reviewer, and bon vivant and encourager. I have lived my entire life in Tropical Ohio. My goal is to make friends with everyone in the world. I am writing a fiction series, The Golden Age of Charli, that presents the problems and praises, and the love and laughter of family life and retirement.
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