Blog Tour: The Chic Boutique on Baker Street - Author Interview with Rachel Dove

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Chic Boutique on Baker St., Rachel Dove's debut novel with Mills & Boon. Rachel is the proud winner of the 2015 Flirty Fiction Competition with Prima Magazine and Mills & Boon. And to celebrate Publication Day this week, she has stopped by to talk with us about her book. 

1) Hi Rachel and welcome to Alba in Bookland. First, could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi and thank you! I am a qualified adult education teacher, and I live in Wakefield, West Yorkshire with my husband Peter, our boys Jayden and Nathan, our dog Max and our cat Tilly. 

2) Your debut, The Chick Boutique on Baker Street, is a heart-warming romantic story about a woman who leaves her old life in London behind to set her dream boutique in an idyllic village in Yorkshire. What inspired you to write this story?

I love Yorkshire life, and the appeal of living in a small picturesque village. My husband had just opened a new business on a parade of shops, and there was a dog groomers next door, so when I saw the competition in Prima, I sat down to write and the idea just arose from there. 

3) Do you have your own secret dreams?

Yes, lots! I always wanted to be a teacher and an author, so over the last two years, both my dreams have come true after a lot of hard work! My dreams now are things like writing more books, buying a bolthole in the sticks somewhere, and seeing the world before my boys grow up and go off to have their own adventures. 

4) Tell us a bit about the location of your book, I always love that little village atmosphere where everyone knows everyone.

Westfield is a creation of mine, and it comes from a mixture of where I live, and Haworth, a place I love. Westfield is all mapped out in my head, and I have so many characters clamouring for attention in my head! Westfield is a very tranquil place, full of quirky characters. It's a beautiful place year round, with many different things to offer in different seasons. 

5) Also, there's a sexy vet on the book! I think vets and firemen are the sexiest professions. What made you choose a vet for your story?

A fireman, now there is an idea....

I wanted Ben to have a job that mattered, something that would show his caring side, his sense of community and family, and show off his intellect too. A village vet is integral to village life, and with my love of animals, it seemed to be the perfect role for him. The research was fun too!

6) You won the Prima Flirty Fiction Competition. What did it mean for you?

It meant everything. It was an amazing feeling, and I will forever be humble and grateful for everything that has happened since. It's been a whirlwind, but I am really proud of how Chic Boutique came out, and I can't wait for it to be out there in the world. 

7) How does your writing process work? Are you a planner or do you prefer to just write and see what the characters do?

I do a bit of both, and I find that I work out scenes and plot points when I am not actually writing. It tends to happen when I am on the school run, or cooking tea. That's when the characters often pipe up and say their piece. I write when and where I can, fitting around the children. 

8) And finally, are you working on your next book already? 

I am! I have been working away since January, and have lots of ideas for others, too. I intend to keep writing books as long as people want to read them!

Thank you Rachel for sharing with us a bit more about The Chic Boutique on Baker Street and its setting in Westfield. 

About the book: 

Title: The Chic Boutique on Baker St.
Author: Rachel Dove
Published: April 21st 2016 by Mills & Boon

Blurb: Amanda is making the idyllic escape to the countryside to find a new life. Ben is picking up the pieces of his life after his wife left. Could a chance encounter outside Amanda's 'chic boutique' set them on the road to renewed happiness? Shop owner Amanda leaves London behind for life in the country and find's love with local vet Ben in this fun, addictive winner of the Prima Flirty Fiction competition

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