here. I was able to ask Leah some questions about the inspiration for the book and also what she has been reading herself:
1. How did you research the Gaiety Girls?
I researched the story of
the Gaiety Girls first through their postcard images online and then some
biographies especially one of a famous beauty: Lily Elsie: a working class
girl, child artiste who was spotted by George Edwardes , the impresario for
her looks and talent on stage. She married a wealthy heir as did many of the IT
girls of that era. She was the inspiration for Phoebe Faye.
2. What was your inspiration for this book?
The inspiration for
this book was the idea that one lost postcard could change lives down the
generations. Also I was inspired by those brave women SOE agents who
put for Callie.
3. Where did the idea for the animal sanctuary come from?
There's an northern animal
sanctuary not far from me called : Only Foals and Horses. The Brookes Donkey
sanctuary has always touched me. Now animals provide therapy for both man
and beast. Cruelty to any dumb animal makes me physically sick but they only
got going in the UK circa 1960s. That is why there was one around to help
4. Could you describe your typical writing day?
My typical writing weekday
begins with the usual chores around a house followed by sitting down to
write 3 pages in my Journal of whatever comes into my head. This sort of
meditation releases the " must dos" of the day and any frustrations
fears or ideas that pop up. I then go to my "plotting shed" in the
garden with just a pen and paper and write for 2 hours. I may do researches in
the afternoon, read, shop, play out with friends or grandchildren after
that. I try to turn up at the blank page most days when I have a deadline.
5. Could you recommend any books that you have enjoyed recently?
I've just finished Milly Johnson's: The Tea shop
round the Corner It is a warm, compassionate funny and
I love well researched historicals. I can
recommend Catherin Czercawska's The
Physic Garden . For any body who loves
their garden and history you just have to read The
Morville Hours. by Katherine Swift.
Many thanks to Leah Fleming for answering my questions and to Diana at Ruth Killick Publicity for organising this post. Please take a look at the blog tour poster at the top of my page to see where the tour stops next.