Friday, 7 February 2020

Friday Fiction Feature: A Dozen Second Chances

This week’s Friday Fiction Feature showcases Kate Field’s A Dozen Second Chances

Does anyone remember the TV show Ready Steady Cook? Each episode, two chefs were given a bag of ingredients they hadn’t seen before, and were challenged to use them to prepare a meal. It was a chaotic process, not helped by having to answer the host’s questions and chat to the audience member who had brought the ingredients, but the chefs always managed to produce an impressive meal at the end of the show.

Planning and writing a book often seems like an episode of Ready Steady Cook to me. I’m not a natural planner, so I don’t begin with a tray of perfectly prepared ingredients or a recipe giving a step-by-step guide to what I’m going to write. It’s a more spontaneous, chaotic process, starting with random ideas, frequently hindered and interrupted by real life, and it usually feels like a miracle when a book appears at the end of it!

Several raw ingredients came together to become A Dozen Second Chances. I’d written the opening pages of a potential book about a mother who faces an empty nest when her child goes to university, but hadn’t known where to go next with the story. Another idea was bubbling away about a couple whose relationship is challenged when they take on guardianship of a young child. A friend mentioned that she was having a ‘be kind to myself’ day, and the phrase stuck in my head as something I could use one day. I saw Aidan Turner interviewed on a chat show, and my romantic male lead came to life…!

These ideas simmered for a while until I saw a way they could blend together, and the story of Eve and Paddy took shape. Like the meals on Ready Steady Cook, I hope readers will find A Dozen Second Chances a warm, comforting and ultimately satisfying book!

Here’s the blurb for A Dozen Second Chances:

What are the chances that twelve little tokens could change a life?
Seventeen years ago, Eve Roberts had the wonderful life she’d always dreamed of: a degree in archaeology, a gorgeous boyfriend, and exciting plans to travel the world with him, working on digs. But when her sister Faye died, the life Eve knew ended too. Faye’s daughter Caitlyn came to live with Eve, her boyfriend left, and she quickly gave up on her dreams.
Now approaching her fortieth birthday, Eve faces the prospect of an empty nest as Caitlyn is leaving home. Caitlyn gives Eve a set of twelve ‘Be Kind to Yourself’ vouchers, telling her that she has to start living for herself again, and that she should fill one in every time she does something to treat herself.
With her very first voucher, Eve’s life will change its course. But with eleven more vouchers to go, can Eve learn to put herself first and follow the dreams she’s kept secret for so long? Because life is for living – and as she well knows, it’s too short to waste even a moment…

A Dozen Second Chances

Social media links:
 Twitter: @katehaswords

Kate writes contemporary women’s fiction, mainly set in her favourite county of Lancashire, where she lives with her husband, daughter and mischievous cat.
She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Kate’s debut novel, The Magic of Ramblings, won the RNA’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers.

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