Here at Olympia we love hearing from our authors, getting an insight into their lives in writing and asking them what their advice would be to future authors. This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Rose Staveley-Wadham about her book!
What has been the biggest highlight in this journey so far?
Most definitely hearing the news that Olympia Publishers wanted to publish my book. It was the culmination of three years of hard work and I promptly burst into very happy tears.
How much research did you do on this book?
I didn’t have to do a large amount of research for The Red Dress. The setting, Hartlands, is based on place I used to visit when I was growing up, so it was more about getting back in touch with those memories rather than doing any factual type of research.
How many hours a day or week did you write?
To write The Red Dress I went away on retreat to Spain for three and a half weeks. I wrote every day for about three hours, starting after a lie in and a walk through the village to the shops. I didn’t see anybody for the whole time I was out there, it was literally just me and the book!
Did you edit anything out of this book?
Yes, quite a bit actually! I had another character whose perspective the book was partly from, but I decided to concentrate on the relationships of my main characters. That’s the real thrill of The Red Dress, feeling completely immersed in the world of Hartlands. I didn’t want anything to distract from that.
What was the first reaction you had when you held your book for the first time?
I would have to say complete disbelief. It all felt very surreal, and it still does!
What was the hardest part of the book to write?
Honestly, when I was writing the The Red Dress it really just flowed. I think it was something to do with being alone up in the beautiful mountains in Spain, and the book and I were really on this journey together.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
There’s two bits of main advice I would give aspiring authors: read, read, read and read! Read everything and anything. The more you read the more you absorb how to tell a story, you won’t notice it at the time but it will pay dividends when you come to write. And when you come to write, don’t be afraid of the blank page. Get something down! I think it’s so important not to overthink what you’re writing, you can always go back and edit, it doesn’t have to be perfect on the first try.
What is next for you, as an author?
I can’t wait to get cracking on my next novel. It will be set in West Sussex (where I’m from) like The Red Dress, and it will be something of a murder mystery. I have a real passion for true crime so it will be exciting to explore that in my writing. And who knows, perhaps go on another writing retreat?
What was your experience like with Olympia publishers?
It’s been a great experience. Olympia Publishers are so helpful along every step of the way. The world of publishing can be quite daunting but they really know what they are doing, and their assistance has been invaluable.
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