My Friday Read this week is The Spark Girl by journalist and historical romance author, Fiona Ford. This is Fiona’s first saga, set in World War 2, and she’s busy writing a follow up story. Look at the super cover. Nostalgia alert!
A knock on the door early one morning shouldn’t be cause for concern but it is 1941, Britain is at war, and Kitty Williams’ fiancé is far from home fighting Hitler with the Navy.
As Kitty’s heart is shattered into pieces hearing the news she had been dreading, resolve kicks in and she becomes more determined than ever to do her bit for the war effort.
Signing up to the Women’s Army is just the sort of challenge Kitty needs and on meeting new recruits Mary, Di and Peggy, she is happy to learn that the challenge won’t be a lonely one. But it also won’t be easy and when bombs start to fall on her home town of Coventry, and supposed allies turn against her, Kitty must find the strength she never knew she had to save her family, fix her broken heart and help her country to victory.
Fiona Ford was born in Cornwall and grew up in Bath. As well as having a thirst for books Fiona had a huge interest in history and adored listening to her grandfather talk about his time in the navy during World War Two. Although Fiona went on to develop a successful career as a journalist, she never forgot her passion for the past.
Now, Fiona has combined her love of writing with her love of days gone by in The Spark Girl, the first in a series of wartime sagas.
I asked Fiona to tell us more about herself
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Absolutely. When I was very little I used to be an avid Roland Rat fan from TVAM. I used to spend hours making up stories about him running the country with Margaret Thatcher! Thankfully those stories never made it to print.
Has any author inspired you?
So many. As a child I was a voracious reader and loved Roald Dhal like a lot of children. My favourite book was Danny the Champion of the World and I read and reread that book what seemed like a million times over, I thought the writing was so perfect, so clever and descriptive it took me away to another place, just like any good story should.
What do you like writing most?
I’ve spent almost 17 years as a journalist but it was always novels that held a special place in my heart. So I have to say that getting to combine my two passions; history and writing to create wartime fiction is an absolute delight.
Do you have a special place for writing?
I have an office and a coffee shop around the corner where everyone there is very good at bringing me lots and lots of coffee.
Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Definite plotter. I plan everything, it’s like a road map and means that so far I haven’t suffered from the dreaded writer’s block.
Is your writing ever inspired by your family or real life incidents?
A bit yes. The Spark Girl, my debut saga which is out now, tells the story of Kitty and Joe. Joe was actually my grandfather’s name, and like Joe in my book he served in the navy.
What are you writing at the moment?
I have just put the finishing touches to book two of my wartime sagas, The Spark Girl’s Promise which sees us look at Peggy’s story who we meet in The Spark Girl.
What inspired you to write this book?
My granddad. As a little girl I loved hearing his stories about wartime and couldn’t wait for him to get this huge envelope full of black and white photos he had taken from his travels on board the HMS Illustrious. Together we would pore over them for hours and he would tell me stories about his time during the war.
What time of the day do you write best?
First thing in the morning.
What are your hobbies?
I love running and go out about four times a week along the Thames path near my home. Sadly I’m also a big eater so the running isn’t just a hobby, it’s a necessity!
What advice would you give to other writers?
Keep going. So many people ask me how to be a writer as if I have some magic formula to getting published. There is no formula other than just to write, write and write even when you don’t feel like it. You’ll get there, but you have to keep going.
Great advice, Fiona!
You can find out more about Fiona here
Goodreads: Fiona Ford
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