Monday 11 April 2016

Guest Post: Victoria Walters on creating the town of Talting

TITLE: The Second Love of My Life
AUTHOR: Victoria Walters


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In the Cornish town of Talting, everyone is famous for something.

Until recently Rose was known for many things: her infectious positivity; her unique artistic talent; and her devotion to childhood sweetheart Lucas.

But two years ago that changed in one unthinkable moment. Now, Rose is known for being the young woman who became a widow aged just twenty-four.

Though Rose knows that life must go on, the thought of carving out a new future for herself is one she can barely entertain. Until a newcomer, Robert, arrives in Talting for the summer...

Can Rose allow herself the chance to love again?

Creating the town of Talting
by Victoria Walters

When I was starting to write my novel The Second Love Of My Life, I knew I had to set the story in a special town. My main character Rose is grieving after losing her husband Lucas and I knew she needed to live in a place that would have kept her there all her life, a place she would find difficult to walk away from. I also knew that at the start of the book Rose is really struggling and the people in the town would be an important support for her and would help show the reader what she was like before, and what she could be like again, so readers would root for her on her journey.

I was inspired by the TV show The Girlmore Girls. The town in that show, Stars Hollow, is full of quirky characters but it’s a tight-knit community and everyone knows everyone and looks out for each other. I knew that I wanted my town to be like this too. I chose Cornwall as my setting because let’s be honest it’s gorgeous there and it allowed for a nice contrast between Rose’s sadness and the beauty of her surroundings. The novel starts as we’re moving towards summer and a tourist town meant I could bring in a new character without needing much of an explanation, in summer the town is thriving but when winter comes, it’s just the locals there.

My own hometown in Surrey helped too as some of the events that happen in my own town happen in Talting such as annual town fair and a tree-lighting ceremony at Christmas.

The characters though really make the town I think. Rose wonders in the book if she truly belongs in Talting now that her husband has gone and she has to remember why she loves the place. Her best friend Emma is such a support to her as well as her husbands parents, her boss at the bar she works in and even the gossipy café owner all help to remind her that she belongs there and she can find love there again.

I have heard from several reviewers that they loved Talting and would like to live there themselves. This makes me so happy because that’s how I feel too! I wanted to create a town that would pull you in and hopefully it does that. As for the name Talting – it just popped into my head! Now I can’t imagine it being called anything else.

The Second Love of My Life is out now.

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