So what kind of book is it? People ask this and I always shuffle in a slightly embarrassed manner and say oh er well um it’s sort of chick lit. Because we’re not supposed to read chick lit any more, I don’t think. We’re allowed to read intelligent romantic fiction, and those books you buy because they’re on the Booker long list (the ones you stuff on the bookshelf and never get round to). But chick lit, or romantic fiction, or girly fluff (which is basically what it is) isn’t the done thing. But y’know what? I LIKE girly fluff. When I was at university studying English Literature, I horrified everyone in a seminar by confessing my favourite author was Jilly Cooper. So much so that I have to confess right here that I named my second child after one of her characters.
I also adore Mary Wesley, but when I said that I wanted to name my daughter Calypso after The Camomile Lawn I got a very definite no. Still cross about that.
So what’s it about? The observant amongst you will note that if this was an elevator pitch we’d have to be travelling to the moon for me to say all this stuff. I’m not very good at the brief-summing-up bit.
It’s a book about a girl who leaves a crap relationship and goes to work on an island off the West Coast of Scotland. It has a seal called Flora (which is how the title, which started as a terrible joke and just sort of stuck, came to pass) and a wise old woman called Morag, and a castle and an evil cow called Fiona and Highland dancing and horses and whisky and intrigue and giggling and a gorgeous spaniel puppy called Willow. And a couple of handsome men and accidental snogging.