The Little Bookshop by the Sea – Eliza J Scott | Publication Day Push | Author Q&A | #TheLittleBookshopByTheSea | @ElizaJScott1 @Stormbooks_co @rararesources

Welcome to your happy place…

Each morning as bookseller Florrie Appleton cycles along the promenade of her seaside hometown, watching the surfers far out in the bay, breathing in the fresh salty air, she counts herself lucky. She has a small but picture-perfect cottage overlooking the sea, a group of friends she can always rely on, and the job of her dreams at her favourite bookshop. But when tragedy strikes, her little slice of heaven is in danger of being lost forever.

To save the bookshop from closure, Florrie finds herself thrown together with the elderly owner’s handsome grandson, Ed Hartes, who has a habit of making butterflies dance in her stomach. But the only romance Florrie has time for lies within the pages of her favourite novels, and her instincts are telling her to be wary. There’s something Ed’s keeping from her, and she can’t face another heartbreak.

When Florrie stumbles upon a mysterious stash of yellowed letters in the storeroom, it seems Ed isn’t the only one with secrets. The old bookshop is full of stories waiting to be told, and they aren’t only in the pages of the books….

The perfect uplifting, feel-good read for fans of Jessica Redland, Jenny Colgan and Phillipa Ashley.

My thanks to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite and to Eliza for kindly answering my questions. The Little Bookshop by the Sea is book 1 in the Micklewick Bay series and is published by Storm Publishing. Available in ebook, audio and paperback (1 May 2024).

Q & A

It’s a pleasure to welcome you to the blog Eliza. Would you please tell us a little about your background and without giving anything away, a brief introduction to The Little Bookshop by the Sea.

Hi there, Karen, it’s a pleasure to be here! Huge thanks for taking part in the blog tour of The Little Bookshop by the Sea and for the Q&As

So, I live in North Yorkshire and I’m a hybrid author, which means I self-publish but I’m also signed to a publishing house. In this case it’s Storm Publishing who have taken on the rights for my Welcome to Micklewick Bay series, while I’ve self-published my Life on the Moors and Heartshaped series.

The Little Bookshop by the Sea tells the story of self-confessed bookworm Florrie Appleton who works at The Happy Hartes Bookshop. She suddenly finds herself thrown together with the owner’s grandson, Ed, in an unexpected set of circumstances. Her usually quiet, calm life is turned upside down…

Which comes first, plot or characters? Do you plan in detail or just see where the story takes you?

It can be either depending upon what idea pops into my mind. For The Little Bookshop, it was quite simply because I’d always wanted to write a story about a bookshop by the sea! I tend not to plan in great detail, though I do know how I’d like the story to end. It’s fun finding out how my characters get there! And the ending will always be a happy one.

Based on your own experience, what’s the one piece of advice you would give to someone trying to get their novel published? Looking back to getting your first novel published, is there anything you wished you had done differently?

I self-published my first eight or so books after attending a seminar run by successful indie author Dave Gaughran at the Festival of Writing in York. What he said was very compelling so I thought I’d give it a go. It’s hard work but it can pay off and I don’t regret it for a second. Having said that, I’m loving being signed to Storm, everyone there is so supportive. As far as advice is concerned, I’d say read lots of books in the genre you want to write, and write every day, even if it’s only a few hundred words. And if you’re struggling to find a publisher to take you, don’t rule out self-publishing, there are lots of resources out there to help you.

Is there any part of the writing process which you enjoy the most (or find the most difficult) – i.e. researching, writing, editing?

I love the thrill of starting work on a new manuscript and getting to know my characters as their story develops. I have to say, there’s nothing I really dislike.

What was the best money you ever spent for your writing career?

Without a shadow of a doubt, my Apple MacBook Air and Vellum publishing software. I find my MacBook a joy to use, and Vellum allows me to convert my manuscripts to ebooks and paperbacks at the push of a button. It takes seconds and it’s brilliant!

What’s your worst writing distraction?

The kettle and the need for lots of cups of tea as I write! Ginger biscuits too. They’re always calling me!

What does your workspace look like? Do you have a favourite place to write?

Yikes! I wouldn’t dare share a photo of my workspace as it currently doubles-up as a bit of a storage room where those things you no longer need seem to find their way, before being bagged up for the charity shop. I’m on a mission to get it cleared, insulated (it’s very chilly!) and decorated this year. I do like writing there though as it’s peaceful and I have all the bits and bobs I need close to hand.

Are you a re-reader of books, or a one-time only reader?  If a re-reader, is there one book that you would always return to?

I used to re-read my favourite books, especially as a child, but with my Kindle giving me access to so many books, I don’t have the time to read anything more than once. If I did have time, it would be Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

Are there any authors whose books have made an impact on you? What type of book do you enjoy reading for pleasure, and what are you reading now?

Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights was the first book that I can remember making an impact on me. I was in my teens and couldn’t put it down. My bookshelves have quite an eclectic range of books from romance to historical fiction through to biographies, all of which I enjoy. I’m currently reading – and very much enjoying – the paperback of A Villa with a View by Julie Caplin who is one of my favourite authors. My Kindle read is The Legacy of Halesham Hall by Jenni Keer which is full of fabulous twists and turns.

Thank you for the wonderful questions, Karen, I had great fun answering them!

Eliza J Scott lives in North Yorkshire with her family and has wanted to be a writer as far back as she can remember. She is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heartwarming stories based on romance and friendship with a generous dollop of community spirit and a hint of humour. She has written and self-published ten novels and has been an Amazon UK Kindle bestseller.

When she’s not writing, Eliza can usually be found with her nose in a book or working in her garden doing a spot of plot wrangling (of the writing variety), and battling against the weeds. The weeds, unfortunately, are currently winning but Eliza is undeterred. Roses are amongst her favourite flowers and she doesn’t need much of an excuse to visit a plant centre where a new rose always seems to mysteriously find its way onto her trolley much to her husband’s astonishment.

Eliza also enjoys having a catch-up with friends over tea and cake, as well as bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop – for yet more tea and cake!

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