A ‘busy and wonderful’ year for a north Northumberland author is about to be capped off by the publication of her third novel.
The Cosy Christmas Tea Shop, by Caroline Roberts, is out in e-book format from tomorrow, to be followed by the paperback on Thursday, November 3.
Caroline describes the romantic comedy as a ‘lovely festive story set in a Northumberland castle tea rooms, inspired by Chillingham Castle’, which is close to her home in Chatton. “Readers have loved the Northumberland setting,” she added.
It is a sequel to Caroline’s last book, The Cosy Teashop in the Castle, which has been a great success, selling more than 80,000 copies and even getting to the number-one spot on Apple’s iBooks store.
Reflecting on her fledgling career, Caroline said: “So my dream of becoming a published author really has come true, more than I could ever have imagined after 10 years of writing and trying and finding a way through the submission rejections.
“With perseverance, patience, working hard and learning along the way, you really can achieve your dream, even if you are a middle-aged mum!
“This year has been busy and rather wonderful.
“I was chosen to take part in Read Regional, part of New Writing North, with my debut novel The Torn Up Marriage, travelling all over the north to libraries from Gateshead to Cumbria to Wakefield to Manchester, and have done 11 author talks – pretty amazing for someone who previously hated public speaking.
“Despite my fears, I learnt fast and I really enjoyed chatting with the audience. It was great to support the libraries too.”
But while she has travelled all over the north this year, it is Northumberland that has a place in Caroline’s heart and inspires her books.
She said: “My beautiful home county of Northumberland inspires my writing and is the setting for all of my published novels.
“The beaches and countryside of the North East are just stunning and as I’m walking my dog, I’m often thinking up plots for that location.
“I have just been offered a further two-book deal, again with Harper Collins, both to be published in 2017. The first is a poignant love story which I have set on Bamburgh beach.”
The Cosy Christmas Teashop, The Cosy Teashop in the Castle and The Torn Up Marriage are available from Amazon and most e-book stockists. The paperback of The Cosy Christmas Teashop, out next month, should also be available from Sainsbury’s and North East-based Waterstone’s stores.
Caroline’s debut work, The Torn Up Marriage, which is set in and around Alnwick, was published in March 2015, and nominated for a Romantic Novelists Association award, whose shortlist is made up of authors whose debut novels have been accepted for publication after passing through the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme.
A year later, in March, her second novel was published and its success means it has been quickly followed by its follow-up with another two books to follow next year.
“It is all about having the courage to strive for your dreams; something that I have done in recent years, when into my 40s, I decided to try to get the novels I had been writing over the last 10 years published,” said Caroline.