Summer In The Orchard by Fay Keenan
Published: 3rd January 2019
Series: Little Somerby #3
Sophie Henderson loves her job at Carter’s Cider in the picturesque Somerset village of Little Somerby, but with summer dawning before yet another picking and pressing season, and her boss David showing no signs of wanting to hang up his cider jug, perhaps it is time to move on.
She’s all set to hand in her notice when Alex Fraser, an intern from Vancouver, comes to Little Somerby to learn everything he can about the cider business. With Sophie as his mentor, attraction between them starts to grow alongside the apples.
For Alex, however, being in Little Somerby is about more than cider, and as the summer grows warmer, and his relationship with Sophie blossoms, can he find the courage to tell her the truth before it’s too late?
About the Author
Fay Keenan was born in Surrey and raised in Hampshire, before finally settling back in the West Country. When Fay is not chasing her children around or writing, she teaches English at a local secondary school. She lives with her husband of fourteen years, two daughters, a cat, two chickens and a Weimaraner called Bertie in a village in Somerset, which may or may not have provided the inspiration for Little Somerby.
A day in the life of a ‘Ruralmance’ author!
I thought that it might be nice to share with you an insight into what it’s like to be an author, so here’s a breakdown of my typical (by which I mean mostly true but partially embellished for dramatic effect) ‘working from home’ day. I’m lucky enough to work from home five days a fortnight (I’m a secondary school English teacher for the other five days) and my authoring days go something like this:
Wake up. Curse myself for not getting my backside out of bed half an hour earlier as school run will now be more rushed than ever. Thank lucky stars for amazing husband who has sorted breakfast for the children, brought me a bucket of tea in bed (he’s well trained like that) and allowed me time to adjust to the fact that oh-lord-it’s-morning-again before he leaves the house for work. Honestly, the man’s a saint. Stagger out of bed, shower, dress, dress the five year old who still refuses to do up her own buttons during the week (weekends of course, are another matter), and hustle children and dog out of door.
Walk dog and children to school (sometimes I cheat and drive, but the dog likes the car so it’s fine). Park dog a decent distance from school gate so he can’t say a sniffy hello to all and sundry (he’s a Weimaraner; he likes to be loved). Deposit children at classroom doors and then collect dog. Walk dog over the fields by the school. This is the best therapy as the fresh air gets me thinking, and the Somerset countryside is so beautiful. On a good day I’ll strap on the bungee lead and make the dog jog with me, but more often than not it’s a gentle meander for us both.
Get home eventually after stopping at the vet (no reason other than the dog likes to pop in, put his paws on the counter and demand a treat). Put on some washing/clear away breakfast dishes. Enjoy the first of a succession of coffees which will sustain me through the day. Have my own breakfast. Ruefully think that it would have been nice to have had that a bit earlier, but mornings suck. Check social media while breakfasting and do some tweets etc.
Sit at desk and crack open Scrivener, which is the best thing ever for novel drafting. Feel better that my word count is higher than I remembered, then realise that a lot of it will end up in the trash at the editing stage. Check twitter again. Write some words. Feel very excited about current manuscript when something occurs to me plot wise that I hadn’t thought of. Feel less excited when I realise that trying to put the epic, cinematic scene that’s playing in my head into words is rendering the scene completely turgid. Think that the button refusing five year old could write it better. Or even the Weimaraner, who is lying in the sun behind my desk. Consider crediting him as co-writer on the book cover. Make more coffee and have something snacky to sustain me. On a good day, this is something healthy. On a bad day, it’s an awful lot of biscuits.
Continue writing, while sporadically checking social media. I’m quite good at combining the two, so I don’t worry too much about getting distracted. Realise I’ve spent half an hour looking at gifs of Keanu Reeves/Adam Driver/some other random gorgeous bloke and resolve to switch off the router. Don’t switch off the router. Coffee.
Lunchtime! On a good day it’s something Slimming World friendly, which makes me feel super virtuous. On a bad day, it’s more biscuits. Read a book with lunch, and feel simultaneously impressed by and jealous of the quality of Everyone Else’s Prose. Consider more biscuits. On a good day, I’ll resist. Coffee.
Clock watching a bit now as have to leave house for school run. Feel a bit tired. Have a snooze with the dog, who quite enjoys a little afternoon nap. I maintain that half an hour’s kip is an essential part of working from home. Sleep for an hour and wake up with my face imprinted on the cushion, feeling rather groggy. Everyone on the school run will now know I’ve been sleeping on the job. Oops. So much for being a professional working at home type.
In the three quarters of an hour before the school run, frantically write more words than I’ve managed all day, but at least have doubled my word count. Kick myself as I realise I’ve had a brilliant idea just at the point I must leave and get the children. Resolve to write the idea down. Don’t.
Collect sprogs. Realise I’ve not actually spoken to anyone other than the dog all day, which is why their chatter seems so flipping loud. Tea, bath, bedtime stories. Just about enough time after dinner with The Husband to check through what I’ve written that day. Go to bed, and just as I’m falling asleep, have a blinding flash of inspiration about how to resolve that hanging plotline. Resolve to remember it as too knackered to root out a pen and pencil. Fall asleep dreaming of brooding cider farmers and family secrets.