Guest Post With Cass Grafton
This week I am very pleased to welcome the lovely author, Cass Grafton, onto the blog for the first time. Cass writes feel-good contemporary romances set in Cornwall and her new novel, Escape to Polkerran Point, will be published on February 22nd by Canelo.
Cass, welcome. I'm looking forward to hearing all about your new book. It's over to you!
When Research Becomes a Guilty Pleasure
Thank you so much, Jan, for inviting me onto your blog to talk about the second book in the Little Cornish Cove series, Escape to Polkerran Point.
I had a fabulous time creating the fictitious fishing village of Polkerran and its rather special community of locals and then writing my first book, New Dreams at Polkerran Point. Despite having plenty of memories from holidaying extensively in Cornwall during the nineties, ‘I just need to do some more research’ became the perfect excuse to travel down from Yorkshire as often as I could. I drew a map of the ‘village’, populated with houses and the names of who lived where, the village hall, the church, shops, pubs and beaches.
Lauren is a Yorkshire lass who’s forged a successful, high-flying career in a multinational company. A party girl at heart, she’s taken a long time to commit to a relationship, but almost as soon as she moves in with Kit, her world comes crashing down.
A restructure at work, an unexpected pregnancy—which immediately ends her fledgling relationship—and, all of a sudden, Lauren is unemployed, homeless and having a baby.
Needing time to regroup, she flees the north for the comfort of a few weeks with her best friend, Anna (whose story is told in the first book in the series). Anna lives in Polkerran Point, where she runs a bed & breakfast in her cliff-top home.
And herein began my two main dilemmas. Firstly, it’s more than 30 years since I was unexpectedly pregnant, and secondly, although I live with someone who’s had a career similar to Lauren’s, they are male and never had to make the transition from global, jet-setting exec to being a work from home pregnant consultant.
I am eternally grateful to the lovely ladies I found online who were happy to share their present-day experiences on how it all works these days, along with pregnancy apps and the all-important timings for things like gender scans etc. It was a stroll down memory lane with a twist—not quite as much fun as a G&T with a twist, but close!
I also talked extensively with the daughter of close friends, who had experienced some of what Lauren went through, as she had transitioned from a successful career with several high-profile multinationals to managing her own consultancy and working from home with a little one in the wings. These insights on the pros and cons of such a change were incredibly helpful in making Lauren credible and relatable.
I’d love to say writing the next book was easier, but it features the regular use of boats and has a musician as a major character. As someone who only ever learnt to play a recorder (substantially more than thirty years ago) and knows as much about boats as she does walking on the moon, writing the upcoming Christmas at Polkerran Point has been a whole new adventure.
As for book four, I’m already planning to spend the whole of March in Cornwall as I prepare to start writing again. After all, if there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that research is important!
Escape to Polkerran Point is published on 22nd February 2024, and although it’s part of a series, it can be read as a standalone.
Thank you, Cass. It was interesting to learn that you were able to find ladies online who were willing to share their pregnancy experiences with you. Research is what makes the story authentic and the characters come alive on the page when a writer takes time over this. I think your book covers are stunning, by the way. Here is the blurb for your new novel:
Can fake dating turn into something more with a baby on the way?
High-flying exec Lauren Kirkham is having a bad week. Unexpecedly pregnant, out of work and– when dumped by her boyfriend – with nowhere to live. She needs a respite, and goes to visit her friend Anna Redding in Polkerran for a short stay. Polkerran’s local handyman Daniel Tremayne is busy building his own ‘grand design’ on one of the cove’s cliffs. With the TV crew due to turn up to film, expecting a happy couple, he urgently needs a fake live-in girlfriend since he's also split with his ex.
Can Lauren and Daniel solve their mutual
dilemmas by joining forces, and if so, will their hearts emerge unscathed?
A heartwarming and fun Cornish romance,
perfect for fans of Cressida McLaughlin, Jessica Redland and Phillipa Ashley.
Praise for Escape to Polkerran Point
‘A beautiful read set in Cornwall.
Lovely and feel-good read with a great ending.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reader review
‘I love a sweet cozy romance and this book
has all the perfect ingredients. I love how it has a fake dating trope… the
gorgeous scenery and descriptions don’t hurt either.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reader review
‘I loved this second book in the
Little Cornish Cove series. The characters are relatable and
believable, the community spirit was wonderful and the descriptive writing was
sublime.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reader review
Escape to Polkerran Point Buy links – one link for Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Google Play, Waterstones, Bookshop.org, Hive
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/cassgraftonwriter/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/CassGraftonWriter
Thank you for reading. I'm sure you found what Cass had to say as interesting as I did. Writers, how do you go about researching for a new book? Readers, how can you tell if an author has spent time on research before writing a book? Please comment and share your thoughts. Thanks.