I’m delighted to be taking part in the tour for The Promise of Tomorrow by AnneMarie Brear organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
AnneMarie Brear is in my hot seat today chatting to us about her inspiration for The Promise of Tomorrow, about her characters and much more.
Charlotte Brookes flees her lecherous guardian, McBride, taking her younger sister with her. After a year on the road, they stumble into a Yorkshire village where the Wheelers, owners of the village shop, take them in. This new life is strange for Charlotte, but preferable to living with McBride or surviving on the roads.
Harry Belmont is an important man in the village, but he’s missing something in his life. His budding friendship with Charlotte gives him hope she will feel more for him one day, and he will marry the woman he yearns for.
When McBride discovers where Charlotte lives, his threats begin. Harry fights to keep Charlotte safe, but World War I erupts and Harry enlists.
Left to face a world of new responsibilities, and Harry’s difficult sister, Charlotte must run the gauntlet of family disputes, McBride’s constant harassment, and the possibility of the man she loves being killed.
Can Charlotte find the happiness that always seems under threat, and will Harry return home to her?
Perfect for fans of Dilly Court and Rosie Goodwin.
Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
I had an idea of two sisters walking the roads without family or money and what might happen to them. From that small idea the story grew. Charlotte became a loved character straight away. She has everything I admire, strength of character, loyalty, is fiercely protective, loving and determined. So when she meets Harry I needed him to see all those qualities and how she was the one for him, even if Charlotte didn’t know it at the time. After being strong for so long, Charlotte finds it tough to let go and rely on someone else. Then when she does do that with Harry, he goes off to war!
I wanted to show the push and pull of a relationship when outside influences change the way the characters think and feel and how they adapt and cope. I love how Harry thinks he has it all worked out and then suddenly everything changes when war is declared. Also the secondary characters are just wonderful. Harry’s difficult sister Petra was brilliant to write.
Do your characters have a biography AnneMarie?
My characters evolve naturally on the page as I write. Beside my keyboard I’ll have a pen and notepad to write down each character’s name as they appear along with their eye and hair colour, age and parents names, etc.
Can you tell us more about your characters in The Promise of Tomorrow?
Charlotte is strong, capable and loving. She is determined to find a better life for her and her sister, Hannah, since they’ve become orphaned and penniless.
Harry is kind, a leader and industrious, but he always wants a family, too and he believes Charlotte is perfect for him.
There are lots of secondary characters too. Petra, Harry’s difficult sister, Bertram his bumbling cousin, the Wheelers, who take Charlotte and Hannah into their home and hearts.
If you could choose to be one of your characters in your books, who would you be?
I’d be my Victorian character, Kitty McKenzie, as she goes through so much from living in a cellar in York, England to ending up marrying a wonderful man in colonial Australia. Her journey is full of twists and turns and along the way. Her adventure, her life is so interesting.
If your book was optioned for a movie, who would you cast AnneMarie?
I actually would prefer unknown actors for my characters as I think well known actors come with previous preconceptions by the public. So I’d be keen to see new actors break into the spotlight and make the character their own.
Do you have a most creative time of day?
Mornings are the best times for me to write, but working full time I need to write whenever I can find the time, so it might be an hour in the evening sometimes as well.
Is there a favourite place you go to for inspiration or a favourite activity?
For inspiration I like touring old English country estates like you see on Downton Abbey, etc. England is full of beautiful old manor houses with wonderful gardens. I’m always dragging my husband around these places and imagining what they were like in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. To have been rich in those days and live in such houses with balls and garden parties must have been such fun. Being able to see these houses, I can imagine my characters walking the halls and strolling the grounds.
Panster or a plotter?
I’m a panster. I start with an idea and simply begin at the beginning. I never know the ending, or how the plot will twist and turn and I enjoy not knowing. I like that my characters’ surprise me and take me on a journey.
Have you joined any writing groups?
I’m a member of a great critique group. I’m also a member of Romantic Novelist Association, Romance Writers of Australia and the Society of Authors.
Finally, can you share with us what you’re working on now?
Currently I’m editing a Victorian novel set in York, which will go off to my editor soon, and hopefully will be released early next year. I’m also writing a new story set in colonial Australia, which involves a shipwreck, sheep stations and a handsome man who can’t always get what he wants!
Thank you for being my guest today.
Wishing you success with all your writing projects.
Australian born AnneMarie Brear writes historical novels and modern romances and sometimes the odd short story, too. Her passions, apart from writing, are travelling, reading, researching historical eras and looking for inspiration for her next book.
Connect with AnneMarie Brear
Don’t forget to check out the other hosts on tour.
Read all posts in the historical fiction genre on Jera’s Jamboree.
Snuggle up under a Parkview Creative blanket.