There are days where I pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. One of my favorite aspects of blogging is connecting with authors and having the opportunity to not only read advanced copies of their new novels but to also share exclusive content, created by the authors themselves. Today I’m exited to tell you about a new novel by T.A. Williams called Dreaming of St Tropez. Did I mention there’s also an exclusive guest post written by the author himself? Nope, I’m not dreaming, this is my life!
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Dreaming of St Tropez by T.A. Williams
Dreaming of St Tropez is a wonderful read that will put you in the mood to take a sun-drenched holiday. Love comes in many shapes and sizes and it doesn’t always look the way one might expect. Sometimes honesty goes out the window when someone is trying to impress another, but honesty always needs to be part of your communication if you’re going to make things work at the end of the day. Finding love, friendship, and joy in life is a wonderful thing in a tropical place like St Tropez.
Overcoming past troubles both emotionally and physically can take a toll, but over time the joy of life wins when you’re surrounded with people that are caring and supportive. This story was filled with lots of interesting and likable characters mixed with some surprises along the way. From start to finish this was a thoroughly enjoyable novel that I highly recommend.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
I received a complimentary review copy from the author. My review reflects my own opinion and I was not paid to review this book.
Exclusive Author Guest Post by T.A. Williams
TA (Trevor) Williams talks about the long (and winding) road that led to his latest book – Dreaming of St-Tropez.
If there is anybody reading this who has embarked upon the arduous task of finding a publisher for a new book, I hope you can draw some crumbs of comfort from my story. A little while ago, somebody asked me what I did for a living. I will be 70 next year and I could have answered pensioner, but I realised, with considerable pride, I was able to say writer. That’s right – I really am a writer after all these years. Dreaming of Florence will be my fourteenth published book, but getting here was no easy matter.
I started writing when I was thirteen – 44 handwritten (in pencil) pages entitled The Lake Dwellers – a shameless rip-off of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons. I then got sidelined by the onset of puberty and the discovery of girls and only started again when I was in my twenties. This was a thriller – The Man of Blood – set in the Alps where I happened to be living and working at the time. This was followed over the next couple of decades by another thriller – this time set in the world of professional windsurfing – and a humorous book that I have long since lost, presumably in a house move. Don’t forget, these were written in the days before computers and hard discs.
In those days it was still possible to contact publishers direct (rather than through the filtering system of literary agents we see today), but this often involved sending the whole typewritten manuscript through the post with a hefty stamped addressed envelope so they could return it. Over the years I collected a sheaf of rejection letters (mostly written by girls with names like Columbine or Persephone) the thickness of a telephone directory. Of all of these, the only one to be read twice by a publisher (Collins, as they were then) was the first thriller, but they ultimately decided against it.
I then played around with historical fiction, getting very interested in the Middle Ages, and set about finding a publisher again. By now this meant literary agents and I managed to collect another pile of rejections. Luckily, digital publishing was just starting to come along at this point, offering more possibilities than the old “traditional” route. Finally, in January 2013 (that’s right – I had been trying unsuccessfully for almost forty years!), the penny finally dropped, and I turned my mind to something completely different – romantic comedy. And the very first romcom I wrote was the first book of mine to be picked up by a publisher.
So… is there a moral to this story, I hear you ask?
Well, depending on whether you are an optimist or a pessimist, you have a choice. You can view it as, “Grit your teeth and keep on trying. Sooner or later (in my case later) you will find a publisher”. Alternatively, you can think of it as, “If they keep on refusing what you’re writing, take a look at what you’re writing and be prepared to change.”
Both are probably right. Of course, things are a lot better nowadays. Digital publishing has seen the rise of numerous new publishers much more prepared to take a chance on a new author than the old traditional publishing houses. And, of course, it’s now easy (and acceptable) to self-publish and sell multiple copies (not just to your mum and your Auntie Flo). But if you are set upon finding a publisher for your work and you keep getting turned down, try asking them what they are looking for and, if you can, try your hand at something different.
So, there you have it. It may take time, but you will get there in the end. It could be you’re already writing exactly what the industry requires, but, if not, be prepared to try making a change. But, and I can’t stress this enough – write what you want to write. If it doesn’t feel right for you, then don’t struggle on with it. Go back to what you feel comfortable with, but just be aware that it may take a while. Hopefully not forty years! I wish you the very best of luck for the future.
About the Book
Title: Dreaming of St Tropez
Author: T.A. Williams
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Release Date: May 7, 2018
Book Blurb: The perfect summer escape on the French Riviera. Sun, sea and secrets…
After a disagreement with a billionaire, architect Jess Milton is ‘let go’ from her job. However fortune intervenes – an elderly client asks Jess to dog-sit overweight, but loveable dog Brutus in St. Tropez.
Fed up with the mega-rich, Jess is reluctant to visit the playground of billionaires, but an all-expenses-paid trip and the promise of sunshine seals the deal.
Little does Jess know how much time she’ll be spending with the family living in St. Tropez. The sullen, but very good-looking David and his millionaire father are both welcoming but guarded, haunted by their pasts…
Can Jess bring some sunshine back into their lives – and, just maybe, find love in the process?
A heart-warming, funny and emotional journey for fans of Holly Martin, Tilly Tennant and Jenny Oliver.
About the Author
Author Bio: T.A. Williams lives in Devon with his Italian wife. He was born in England of a Scottish mother and Welsh father. After a degree in modern languages at Nottingham University, he lived and worked in Switzerland, France and Italy, before returning to run one of the best-known language schools in the UK. He’s taught Arab princes, Brazilian beauty queens and Italian billionaires. He speaks a number of languages and has travelled extensively. He has eaten snake, still-alive fish, and alligator. A Spanish dog, a Russian bug and a Korean parasite have done their best to eat him in return. His hobby is long-distance cycling, but his passion is writing.