It's publication day for the paperback edition of 'The Wedding Date', and it's hard to explain just how exciting it is to see it in print. This will be my tenth (which is totally amazing, and unbelievable) book with Harper Impulse, and for me it's the perfect book to be hitting that milestone with.
When my editor and agent agreed that a wedding book sounded like a good idea, I was thrilled. Who doesn't love a summer wedding? They are romantic and beautiful, but can also be totally stressful and prone to disaster, because everybody wants the day to be perfect! Which meant I knew straight away that this book had to be a romcom. I also knew that I wanted this book to be romantic, to make people smile, but to be so much more. I wanted it to be about how far you'd go for your best friend, and also about being true to yourself.
My main character, Sam, was in my head immediately, she was like a best friend from the start. She's funny, prone to mishaps, has a mother who is hilarious (in a totally over the top way) but has a total heart of gold.
After being dumped by her horrible ex, and surviving the 'crying, eating too much pizza, and drinking too much wine' aftermath, Sam realises that he wasn't 'the one', or even 'the nearly one'. She'd changed for him, she'd forgotten her dreams, she'd tried to turn herself into the woman she thought he wanted her to be, rather than being herself - and this was a really important aspect of the book for me. It's important to make compromises for your other half - but how many women stop being true to themselves? For me, 'the one' loves you for who you are and lets you be that person, and I knew straight away that this was something Sam had to discover in The Wedding Date. I also knew that meant I needed a totally adorable hero, and from the reader comments so far, I think I found him!
The setting for the book was a no-brainer for me. If you're going to be trapped in the middle of nowhere (which Sam is) with all your family and closest friends, plus a man you hardly know who is supposedly your boyfriend, then where better than Scotland? There are men in kilts, a romantic castle, a lovely loch and a programme of outdoor pursuits that are guaranteed to lead to disaster.
I absolutely loved writing this book, it just came together beautifully because the characters were so special, and I had great fun including my own dog Harry in a cameo role!
You can find out more about Zara on her website www.ZaraStoneley.com. She also spends far too much time on social media – Twitter Facebook You can follow her travels in Spain and Cheshire on Instagram, and explore the inspiration behind her books on Pinterest.
’The Wedding Date’ is available now from Amazon and all good retailers.