I’m welcoming author Evonne Wareham to the Nut Press today to talk about her most recent release, Summer in San Remo, which I reviewed here. You can also win a signed copy below.
What three words would you use to describe Summer in San Remo?
Sunny, flirty, enigmatic.
Summer in San Remo is a departure from your previous books which were romantic suspense. Is this breezier read a new direction for you or a chance to let your lighter side out to play?
Both. Writing romantic suspense is my first love, but when my publisher suggested having a go at something lighter – a fun read for the summer – I couldn’t resist the challenge. I enjoyed it and I hope that comes through in the book – and now I want to do it again.
I don’t intend to stop writing romantic suspense – much darker reads – but I will be doing the summer sunshine books too. They will have a touch of mayhem and mystery to them, as well as the romance, to make them just that little bit edgy, and because I can’t manage to stay away from crime completely.
There is some sizzling chemistry in Summer in San Remo. Any tips for writing those scenes?
The big thing about writing love scenes for me is that they need to arise naturally out of the story and the interaction between the characters. There has to be an emotional connection and the pace has to feel right.
I have to say that writing Cassie and Jake was enormous fun. I don’t know if it is because it is a second time around story – they were teenage sweethearts – but the sparks were there from the moment that Jake walked into Cassie’s office. Uninvited, of course, as she had no intention of getting involved with him again, or even breathing the same air, if she could avoid it. A lot of the time I had difficulty keeping up with them.
I’m working on a sequel now, in which they are supporting characters, and I’m glad to say they are still striking sparks.
Are we going to recognise anyone from previous books in Summer in San Remo?
No – because this book is separate from my previous romantic suspense novels. As I have now decided to make it a series, loosely based around Jake’s detective agency, characters from Summer in San Remo will appear in future stories, but there will be a new central romance, with a new hero and heroine for each one – and future heroes and heroines will appear in each other’s books, along the way. The hero of what I hope will be book two – if my publishers like it – has a small part in Summer in San Remo. You might not guess who it is, because I didn’t, until I came to start writing the second book.
Summer in San Remo is the first in what will become the Rivera Rogues series. Your first series. What appeals to you about writing a series?
An author does get very attached to her characters (even the villains). When you are writing a book, you spend a lot of time with these people and it can be hard to let them go. (The villains? Maybe not so much.) I liked the idea of revisiting familiar characters and watching their lives develop over the course of a group of books, and I know readers enjoy it too. The relaxed summer feel to Summer in San Remo seemed to lend itself to the idea.
I’m planning that each central couple will be very different in character, across the books, so their romances will play out in different ways. I can’t envisage writing romantic suspense with just one hero and heroine who recur in each book, which has been suggested. The intensity of that type of story seems to call for the love affair to be self contained, within one book, and I’m not killing off any of my heroines so that the hero can have a new romance either!
I am toying with the idea of a potential series with a group of alpha heroes who are working for the same private security agency. That one is bubbling away on the back burner at the moment.
In my most recent romantic suspense What Happens at Christmas, which will be out in audio and paperback in the late autumn, Devlin, the hero of my first book – Never Coming Home – has a cameo role. I didn’t realise that was going to happen either, until it did! Devlin’s re-appearance was not planned, but when I knew that the hero of that book was going to need some very specific professional help to get him out of the mess I’d dropped him in, there was only one place we could go for it.
And finally, what made you choose San Remo on the Italian Riviera as the setting for this first book in the series? And how does location impact the story?
I wanted somewhere that immediately conjured up sunshine, glamour and a romantic, holiday feeling and ‘Riviera’ seems to do that in one word – it does for me, anyway. I’d spent a very enjoyable holiday in San Remo some years ago, so it was an easy choice, but in the book Cassie and Jake explore both sides of the border, in France and Italy. That is one of my favourite parts of the world.
In this book, and I hope future books in the series, I wanted a sense of escape – for my hero and heroine, and for the reader. I think having a distinctive setting adds to the atmosphere. Of course there are lots of other places around the world that have that ‘Riviera’ tag, besides France and Italy. I’m now wondering what future hero and heroine will find their story takes place on the English Riviera, aka Torbay.
I can’t wait to find out! Here’s to many more Riviera Rogues. Thanks for dropping by, Evonne.
Summer in San Remo is the first in the Riviera Rogues series of books by Evonne Wareham and is published by Choc Lit. It is available as an audiobook, as an ebook and in paperback. You can find it at Amazon UK, Hive (supporting your local independent bookshop) or your preferred book retailer.
I have one signed paperback copy of Summer in San Remo to give away. Tell me your dream riviera spot and the squirrels will pick a winner on Friday.