The House on Sunset Lake – Tasmina Perry
Published by Headline Review
ebook & Hardback: 25 August 2016 | Paperback: 23 March 2017
Five minutes with Tasmina Perry
What is your average working day like?
In my dreams, I have a leisurely breakfast with my husband after my son goes to school, write 1500 words before lunchtime, then go to the gym and do my research in the afternoon. The reality is messing about on the internet for an hour, settling down to some writing, but getting constantly distracted by emails. As such, I often end up writing quite late at night when my ten year old has gone to bed. My husband has watched so many box sets on his own because I’m trying to finish my daily word count!
Are you a planner or do you just write away?
I used to be a lawyer and a journalist, and I think both careers have made me a real planner when it comes to writing my books. I spend weeks planning a novel before I start writing – I need to know exactly where each chapter is going otherwise I just stare at a blank page like a startled rabbit! I have notebooks full of flow charts, character sketches and have a folder on my desktop of locations and actors I mentally cast.
Your books are often set in beautiful locations. Why?
I was a journalist for many years and got to travel the world, seeing things and staying in places I wouldn’t have ordinarily got to see. They were such amazing experiences it seems a shame not to try and write about them all!
But if they say you should write what you know, I also think you should write about what you love. I’m obsessed with travel – when I was little my favourite book was an atlas and I collected thousands of stamps from far flung locations, so setting books in lovely locations is a way of tapping into that.
I also started my first book on honeymoon as I wanted an escapist beach read and had read most things the airport bookshop had an offer, so again, beautiful locations is my way of transporting the reader.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
All sorts of places. Most of it is from talking to people; I am a real chatterbox, I love meeting people and random conversations really can throw up the best stories. Gold Diggers came from meeting a girl who would only go out with high-net worth individuals, Private Lives is based on a media law firm and the work that some friends of mine do. The Last Kiss Goodbye was even based on a photograph I saw at a National Geographic exhibition about the first successful summit climb of Everest. I get asked about inspiration a lot from people who want to write novels themselves, and I always say: carry a notebook and talk to people.
Casa D’Or, the mysterious plantation house on Sunset Lake, has been in the Wyatt family for over fifty years. Jennifer Wyatt returns there from university full of hope, as summer by the lake stretches ahead of her. Yet by the time it is over her heart will be broken, her family in tatters, her dreams long gone.
Twenty years later, Casa D’Or stands neglected, a victim of tragic events. Jennifer has closed the door on her past. Then Jim, the man she met and fell in love with that magical summer, comes back into her life, with a plan to return Casa D’Or to its former glory. Their reunion will stir up old ghosts for both of them, and reveal the dark secrets the house still holds close…