2016 Blog Tours Colette Dartford Guest Post Twenty7
Blog Tour: Learning How To Speak American - Guest Post
Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Learning to Speak American, Colette Dartford's debut novel. It was published yesterday by Twenty7 and to celebrate it, Colette has stopped by to talk about the inspiration behind this beautiful story. Colette, all yours:
The Inspiration Behind Learning to Speak American
by Colette Dartford
My inspiration for Learning To Speak American was the idyllic Napa Valley in Northern California, where the story is largely set. My husband and I celebrated a wedding anniversary there and fell in love with the beauty of the place and its warm, welcoming people. So much so that when we found a derelict house for sale, we impulsively snapped it up and spent the next two years transforming it into a wonderful contemporary home. It was while we were living there that the idea for my debut novel began to percolate. The hot kiss of sunshine, vineyards decorated with silver streamers that glistened and danced in the light, sylvan hillsides and distant mountains, made me think that if you couldn’t find happiness and healing here, maybe you couldn’t find it anywhere.
This is the premise of Learning To Speak American. The protagonists, Duncan and Lola Drummond, take an anniversary trip to the Napa Valley to try to mend their broken marriage. They lost their only child two years before and their different ways of dealing with it have driven them apart. Lola is reluctant to travel five thousand miles and endure two weeks of her husband’s undivided attention, but his persistence is rewarded as her veil of sadness finally begins to fall away. When they come across a wooden shack that reminds Lola of a treehouse her father built, Duncan seizes the opportunity and buys it. He hopes a project might help her look to the future rather than remain imprisoned by the past, and that restoring the house might somehow restore their love for one another.
Things are never that simple of course, and the Drummonds face many challenges in their search for redemption. But one thing is certain – if I had never lived in the Napa Valley, I would never have written this book.
About the author:
Learning to Speak American, is Colette Dartford’s debut novel and is based on her experience of renovating a derelict house in California’s Napa Valley. Having bought and renovated the house, Colette lived there with her husband for many years before moving back to the UK. Colette wrote the book in California where it was a quarterfinalist in Amazon’s first novel award. Before becoming a writer, Colette worked as a Political Research Consultant in public policy for many years and has an MPhil in Political Science. Her second novel, The Sinners, will be published by Bonnier in 2017.
Follow all the stops on the Blog Tour for more fantastic content and reviews: