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The Secret Cove in Croatia by Julie Caplin - Book Tour

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The Secret Cove in Croatia
Sail away to beautiful Croatia for summer sun, sparkling turquoise seas and a holiday romance that’s forever…

When no-nonsense, down-to-earth Maddie Wilcox is offered the chance to work on a luxury yacht for the summer, she can’t say no. Yes she’ll be waiting on the posh guests… But island-hopping around the Adriatic sea will more than make up for it – especially when Nick, her best friend Nina’s brother, is one of them.

Sparks fly when they meet on board and Maddie can’t believe self-entitled jerk Nick is really related to Nina.
But in a secret, picture-perfect cove, away from the real world, Maddie and Nick discover they might have more in common than they realise…

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Author Q&A
1. What is the first book that made you cry?
I started reading at such an early age, I could read before I went to school, that I can’t actually remember. I was quite a precocious reader and by the time I was twelve I was reading adult books. I guess it was probably something like Black Beauty or Lorna Doone both of which I read very early on. By the age of twelve I was reading authors like Ray Bradbury, Agatha Christie, Arthur Hailey, Shirley Conran (yes that one!) and Danielle Steel.
2. How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
It really depends on my deadlines and how long I have to write the book. I hate missing deadlines and really like to be well ahead of them.  It’s taken me a while to work out what works best for me in terms of writing process, but I think I’ve finally cracked.
I like to write a very quick, dirty first draft, which takes five to six weeks. So I’ll block out six weeks, where I will write like fury, limiting social engagements and being very disciplined with my writing time.
I’ve found because I’m working on the story on concentrated burst of time, I’m thinking about the characters and the story constantly.  It’s quite exhausting and by the end of the period, I’m burned out, but I find the thread of the story is much easier to pick up each day. 
Of course, this is only a fraction of the work involved. I may have spent a good couple of weeks thinking about the story before I actually start writing. I might make lots of notes but I tend to keep everything in my head.
Once I’ve done the first draft and recovered, I give myself a week or two off with no writing at all and let the story percolate in my head. Then I’ll spend another month rewriting and polishing the first draft before it goes to my editor.  Then I’ll get back structural edits which usually mean more rewriting and polishing.  But every book is different and some are harder to write than others.  
3. How do you select the names of your characters?
Rather bizarrely my characters pop into my head complete with names. I rarely have to think about it at all. It’s more often that I end up with too many characters with names beginning with the same letter which can be problematic as it’s sometimes confusing for the reader. 
I was half-way through writing The Secret Cove in Croatia, when I realised that I had a Melody and a Maddie which was too confusing. Maddie’s name was set in stone because she’d previously appeared in The Little Paris Patisserie, so I changed Melody to Nicole but then I realised I had a Nick and they were together so that would have been a disaster. I changed her name to Cara, but then almost immediately realised that she was best friends with a Cory! Fourth time lucky I called her Tara and that stuck and thankfully it suits her.

4. What are your top 5 favorite movies?
My absolute favourite move is The Fisher King with Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges, it’s full of pathos, and tells the story of the power of redemption with some incredible flights of fantasy. For me this film epitomises the concept of the need for a reader or viewer to enter into a willing suspension of disbelief.
Persuasion, is a hot favourite. I adore this story of unrequited love with Sally Hawkins who plays poor pining Anne to perfection and an extremely dashing Rupert Penry-Jones who makes a perfect Frederick Wentworth.
Just like Heaven, with Reese Witherspoon and a young Mark Ruffalo is a particular favourite of mine. I love the’ grumpy hero who is redeemed by love’ trope and the girl in a coma who is saved by love.  It’s an absolute classic romance.
I have to include Grease, I think it was the first film I saw with friends as a teenager and it was such a feel good film with so many fantastic songs, it has had a lasting impact and still has the power to make me smile.
Near where I live there’s a wonderful cinema The Rex, an original 1930s cinema which has been beautifully renovated. Each month’s schedule includes an eclectic mix of mainstream, art house and foreign films.  I’ve seen some really interesting films there, but this one has stayed with me. It’s a Belgian semi-silent film called Rumba, which is a quirky number described as how optimism and humour can overcome fatality. If I summed up the plot it would sound odd and not terribly appealing but it’s one of those totally heartwarming films that has to be seen.

5. What fictional character would you want to be friends with in real life?
Elizabeth Bennet would absolutely be my best friend. No contest.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read Pride and Prejudice but I think it’s extraordinary that it was written over two hundred years ago but still has such resonance today.
6. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
My biggest piece of advice for aspiring writers is to write more than book. Don’t assume the first one is good enough to be published and don’t be tempted to self-publish because you can’t get a deal. It could be that your first book isn’t good enough.
You wouldn’t expect to enter the Bake Off with the very first cake you ever made.  I see publishing in the same light.  There is no short cut to learning your craft you need to keep writing. I wrote five books before I was published and with each one I learned more and more. Even though I’ve now written thirteen books, I still read up on writing technique and attend courses and seminars on writing because I believe you never stop learning and always have the capacity to improve.   

7. What book do you wish you had written?
There are two actually, I read The Flatshare recently and thought it was such a good idea, as an initial hook but what real made it for me were the conflicts and the problems that the main characters had. I thought it was extremely well done.
The other is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. I thought it was such brilliant, brilliant characterisation. Eleanor is such an unlovable character to start with but from the outset I was completely intrigued by her.


Author Bio –
Jules Wake announced at the age of ten that she planned to be a writer. Along the way she was diverted by the glamorous world of PR and worked on many luxury brands, taking journalists on press trips to awful places like Turin, Milan, Geneva, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam and occasionally losing the odd member of the press in an airport. This proved fabulous training for writing novels as it provided her with the opportunity to eat amazing food, drink free alcohol, hone her writing skills on press releases and to research European cities for her books.
She writes best-selling warm-hearted contemporary fiction for HarperImpulse.
Under her pen name, Julie Caplin, her twelfth novel, The Secret Cove in Croatia published in ebook format this July.

Social Media Links –
Twitter @JulieCaplin


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