Interview with Lucy Oliver, author of Summer in Rye

Publisher: Musa Publishing

Publication Date: December 13, 2013

Book Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: A tragedy brought Eva Brookwell and Samuel Shaw back into each other’s lives. But will lies from the past destroy their chances of a future? 

Left penniless after the death of her philandering father, Eva Brookwell takes a job as a governess at Rye Hall, but didn’t expect to find her young charges scarred and blinded from smallpox. Rye Hall is an unhappy house with a tyrannical master and Eva is forced to turn to her pupils’ uncle, Samuel Shaw for help. 

Eva and Samuel had once been engaged, until his lies drove them apart. Still in love with him, Eva knows she could never trust him again; however he is her only ally in the dark and disturbed household she now lives in.

Interview: Q. Please tell us about the inspiration for your current release.

I was on holiday in Pembrokeshire and whilst visiting a stately home, tried to imagine the people who could have lived there. The characters at Rye Hall appeared one by one, the first being my heroine, Eva Brookwell.  I liked Eva due to her humour and integrity, even though she was a pretty poor governess!

Q. How did writing this book affect you?

I found reaching small pox very emotional. It was deadly disease, which left the survivors with long term problems. Most were scarred and a large number, like Anna, were left blinded. The vaccine programme, the first of its kind in the UK, saved thousands of lives.

Q. Is there anything you haven’t written about that you would like to in the future?

I’m primarily an historical writer and would like to write a book set in WW1. My great-uncle died at the Battle of the Somme and it would be nice to honor his memory.

Q. Which of your characters would you want to be and why?

It would have to be Eva! There is a shortage of nice characters in Summer in Rye. I am very fond of her though, she had a quirky turn of phrase and the courage to face the situation she found herself in.

Q. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

I would love to be able to play the piano, but sadly doubt I have the aptitude to learn!

Q. What are you currently reading?

The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler, a thought provoking book.

Q. All of the books you’ve read, which book has impacted you the most?

I read the C.S Lewis books as a child and they influenced me to be a writer. I used to feel in a daze after finishing one, because I became so absorbed in the world he created. Books provide so many things, but as a child, they were pure escapism.

Q. What gives you the most joy in life?

My children, I have two wonderful boys.

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I hope you enjoy the book! Summer in Rye is a Victorian novella set during the time of the small-pox vaccination programme, in the dark and violent world of Rye Hall.

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