It’s a pleasure to welcome to the blog, Carol Warham. Carol is the author of ‘Resolutions‘. This is her debut novel and is set in Yorkshire. Resolutions was published by Tirgearr Publishing (You can read an excerpt from the link) on 9 August 2017 and is available to buy in ebook format.
by Carol Warham
RESOLUTIONS takes place in a picturesque old mill town, in the midst of the rolling heathland (known as moors) of West Yorkshire. It sounds like an idyllic and atmospheric location for a good story, doesn’t it?
However, I didn’t originally set the story in this location. Far from it, in fact, as far as over four thousand miles away!
The idea for the story came from a location in Orlando, Florida, when, some years ago we holidayed there as a family. One of the places we visited was the town of Celebration. This is a master-planned community built by Disney. It was fashioned on the ‘ideal’ of the American small town. The name captured my imagination, I loved it. My mind started to work on other similar names that could be used for towns, and so the town of Resolution was born.
I now had a problem. There was no way any town in West Yorkshire, or any part of Yorkshire for that matter, would have such a name. The solution, to me, seemed simple enough, I would base the story in the U.S. How wrong could I be?
I took a lot of advice from writers who read my first tentative chapters. Every one of them agreed, I did not have the American idiom of speech, or the feel of the location. I had placed a UK town with UK residents in America – it did not work!
The next piece of advice I was given was to keep the plot but re-locate to an area I know well. This caused me a great deal of anguish. While I accepted the original location was not working, I wanted to keep the name of the town. By now I had a plot that centred around the place, New Year and the keeping of resolutions. I resisted moving it for some time.
Eventually I knew I had to accept that the move was inevitable. I brought my story to the mill town close to where I live, Holmfirth (Last of the Summer Wine town), and renamed it. A hotel in the town plays a significant part in the plot, and so, the town of Yeardon and Resolution Hotel were created.
I have never looked back. From that moment the story flowed. I knew the streets and the surrounding scenery. I went out and took photos of the places I mentioned in the novel and inspiration met me at every corner. I spent one day walking miles and miles deciding – that’s Maggie’s house, this is where Ben and Carly walk, here is the slippy cobbled street she walks down. I had lots of fun, and, what’s more, I couldn’t have done this four thousand miles away!
Earlier this year I received the wonderful news that Tirgearr Publishing accepted Resolution and I would join the ranks of their authors. As I started to spread the news, it became clear that many people loved the idea of the book being set in the Holme Valley, our local area. It generated a lot of interest with the local press, the libraries and other groups. I’ve been invited to interviews, to give talks and appeared in the local newspapers. None of this would have happened if I’d have left the story in its original location. In fact, I honestly doubt if it would have been published.
I have learnt that setting is just as important as the characters and the plot. In fact, the location can be a character in its own right.
I’m now starting my second novel, and yes, I’ve learnt my lesson. The location for this novel is set firmly in Yorkshire.
| About the Book |
Carly Mitchell returns to the small town of Yeardon in Yorkshire almost a year after running away on her wedding day. Now she wants to try to make amends with Steve, his family, and the townspeople who had prepared a huge party to celebrate her New Year’s Eve wedding.
She intends to stay only for a few days at the Resolution Hotel, owned by Steve’s parents. However, her plans change when Steve’s father is taken ill, and she feels obliged to step in and help with running the hotel. This also means having to deal with Steve’s antagonism since he has never forgiven her for humiliating him.
A further complication comes in the form of Ben Thornton, the local doctor, to whom Carly feels an immediate attraction. They enjoy getting to know each other and falling in love, until a famous model from Ben’s past arrives in the town, and stays at the hotel.
Steve attempts to get his revenge on Carly by driving a wedge between her and Ben, and by threatening to reveal what he knows about Ben’s troubled past unless Carly leaves town.
The resolution lies in Carly’s hands as she struggles between wanting to flee from the town again and wanting to stay with the man she has grown to love.
| About the Author |
Writing has been Carol’s love since childhood. She started by making small comics for her dolls, progressed to training as a journalist for a short while. Once the family had grown up she settled down to writing and having published short stories, poems and holiday articles.
In recent years she has been a judge in the short story section for the HysteriaUK competition and also for the RNA’s romance novel of the year.
Earlier this year, she represented her book group on BBC Radio Leeds, talking about books and the work on her novel.
Carol lives in Yorkshire, surrounded by some beautiful countryside, which is ideal for her other passion of walking, often with a dog called Sam. This lovely area is the location for her first novel, Resolutions.