Message From The Author

Jill Mansell

Genre: General Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Romance

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Author's Message

Hi, and thanks so much for inviting me to chat to you! Writing Staying at Daisy's was a particular joy for me because the settings were real - which, let me tell you, makes things a LOT easier. Basically, I wrote about the Manor House Hotel at Castle Combe, because it's my favourite place to visit, and changed the name to Colworth Manor to protect the innocent. In our family, whenever we're in the mood for a celebration, we head twenty miles down the motorway and have an amazing lunch at this hotel. So, what could be nicer than using it as the basis for a book and effectively—in my imagination—spending a whole year there? With fantastic sparky characters and lots of drama and intriguing goings-on? Let me tell you, it's a lovely way to earn a living!

Because that's the great thing about hotels—anything can happen in them. I write feel-good fiction, romantic comedy with added drama, so my aim is to make people laugh and cry. And the catalyst in this story is an organ transplant, which I know a fair bit about because I used to work in a neurological hospital, testing the electrical activity in patients' brains. When brain death occurred, organs could be donated to others desperately in need of them. I was always interested in the stories of the relationships that occasionally formed as a result of transplant recipients eventually meeting the families of their organ donors. 

But this book isn't only just about that. I like to have lots going on in my novels, and a hotel in a fabulous village turned out to be a great setting. I was lucky enough to speak to a lot of hotel owners and their staff… And wow, some of the stories they had to tell were utterly mind-boggling! There are hotel guests, for example, who get caught out doing things they shouldn't be doing. There are narrow escapes. There was one woman who went into labor and gave birth rather rapidly in the breakfast room. Another was caught having dinner with her her OTHER husband (Oops!). There were dead bodies needing to be discreetly carried downstairs into waiting ambulances whilst a wedding reception was in full swing. And then there was the couple who stole the entire contents of their hotel room, including two pairs of full length velvet curtains and two ten foot curtain poles...

So you see, we novelists can make up extraordinary scenarios, but they will always have what happened in real life too. My characters are good fun, likeable, and entertaining to spend time with. I like to make my readers laugh and cry. And I won't nag, I promise, but it would be lovely if you think you might give Staying at Daisy's a try!

- Jill Mansell

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