I’m delighted to be taking part in the tour for Cristina Hodgson’s romantic suspense novel, Valentina.
Cristina Hodgson is chatting to us today about her characters, the scene she found the hardest write and much more.
There’s also a tourwide giveaway of a signed copy of Simply Anna which is open Internationally. Don’t miss it!
Chantelle Rose is back. She has lived a fairytale. But will she ever get her Happy Ever After?
To find true happiness, she must discover who Robbie and Lionel really are. Their past holds the key to her future.
Her quest follows a trail that takes her to the depths of the Pampas lands of Argentina.
There, the beautiful Valentina awaits – and holds the key.
But who is Valentina? What is the mystery surrounding her?
And why is she so important to both Robbie and Lionel?
Will Chantelle discover the truth? And, more importantly, will she discover her destiny and the fidelity in her own heart?
Available to purchase in digital and paperback formats.
Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
Please summarise Valentina in 20 words or less.
A story of love, loss, learning and yearning, with two stories about two women crafted into one entertaining tale.
Please tell us about the characters in your book.
Chantelle: Despite being somewhat bonkers, she has a kind heart and even when she makes errors, she doesn’t intend to hurt anyone, just her impulsive nature gets the better of her and often leads her to trouble. But I think her errors make her more endearing and, perhaps for some, easy to relate to. She’s a “go-out-and-get-it” type of gal, which I love. She’ll take a risk before playing safe.
Valentina: Despite her heart-break, she’s not someone you find pitying, rather admiring. A strong, courageous woman. Someone who I would love to have as a best-friend.
Which scene was the hardest to write Cristina?
It wasn’t a scene as such, because I am a panster and I don’t think ahead when I write, I made a HUGE plot error in this novel. It was so huge I realised I would have to scrap the entire story and start again. (When I became aware of this boo boo I had written over 50 thousand words!) Basically I had set the story in the wrong country…I know, how is that even possible!? After leaving the manuscript for about a week, too stressed to write and too devastated to scrap it and start again, I realised that I could actually use the error to my advantage by adding in an additional twist. Thank goodness for plot twists and creativity! (Phew, that time away saved you!)
Did you do any research for your book? What resources did you use?
A greater part of this novel is set in the province of Mendoza, Argentina. So I did do a lot of research about the area, mainly using Wikipedia, and other references easily found on Google. Some trivia I discovered whilst researching, though I didn’t actually use the information in the end in the novel, is that the oldest oak tree in the UK is 1048 years old! And still going strong, even if it’s a little stout around the middle. Not that this release is about gardening or anything, but it’s an interesting bit of information even if you don’t have green fingers.
Panster or plotter?
Panster, as much as I try to plot. I can never keep to the structure. Something I have to work on because it’s much more time-effective to plot chapters before writing them. But my characters just run wild in my mind at the moment I’m afraid. This could be that in my normal day-to-day I’m a bit over-organised and I guess when I sit in front of the computer screen to write, my rebellious creative side takes over and pays to heed to structure what’s-so-ever!
I do need to start with some-sort of flow chart or something though, even if it’s just to keep track of what my secondary characters look like. I’m also terrible with my character’s names. The first that pops into my head will do, the problem is I seem to have a thing for names which start with “R” “S” and “G” so I named all my main characters and secondary characters with names that start with those letters. Which is a huge error as it makes it very confusing for the reader to keep track of who is who. So when my lovely editor suggested I re-name the characters, I agreed. But now I confuse myself. I mean “Who the hell is Flavia and Milena?” (Originally Sophia and Salma and I already have a Sally, Santiago and a Sav).
Which authors have influenced your writing?
Enid Blyton, I think I read all the famous five books, those were the books that hooked me on reading.
S. Lewis, for The Chronicles of Narnia.
Edward Stratemeyer under Carolyn Keene for the Nancy Drew Series.
And then when I was older all the Daphne du Maurier and Agatha Christie books.
I guess it comes as no surprise I like to add a bit of mystery into my own books.
Have you joined any writing groups Cristina?
I’ve joined several writing groups on Facebook and if I have to recommend just one, it would have to be 20booksto50k. It is the most helpful writer’s group I’ve come across. There are thousands of members and all are willing to lend a helping hand in anything writing-related. For any aspiring authors, I recommend you check it out.
Finally, if your book is part of a series, what’s in the future?
Yes, this book is part of a series. Though I never actually intended it to be that way. But Chantelle keeps giving me ideas! Lol. I actually have five books in total. Two full-length novels which form part of the Chantelle Rose Series. Another short story, “Simply Anna,” currently free on Amazon. Then I have two other unpublished works, one recently written and is going through the editing stages now to be released at the end of the summer, this third book also forms part of the Chantelle Rose Series. Then I have another unpublished novel, it’s actually the first book I ever wrote, over twenty years ago now. This novel has a much more serious story-line, and I’d like to re-write it for publication at the end of the year.
Thank you for being my guest.
Wishing you success with all your writing projects.
Cristina Hodgson, mother of two, born in Wimbledon, London, currently lives in southern Spain. Cristina had a long career in sport, reaching national and international level and still actively participates in Triathlon races and enjoys outdoor activities. In her spare time she also enjoys reading and writing. She won a sports scholarship to Boston College. After a period in Boston, she returned to the UK and graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in PE and Sports Science.
For more updates from Cristina Hodgson, follow her:
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Website : www.cristinahodgson.com
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The tourwide giveaway of a signed copy of Simply Anna by Cristina Hodgson is open Internationally.
Please read the organisers Terms and Conditions on the Rafflecoper.
How could a dinner date with the handsome Niccolo possibly go wrong? Or perhaps, how could it possibly go right for Anna, who suddenly finds herself behind the wheel of a probably stolen car, driving down a dark and eerie country lane in the company of a complete stranger?
This certainly isn’t her idea of romantic.
What is Niccolo’s real motive? Are his feelings genuine, or is she just a pawn to be used in his game strategy, whatever that might be?