Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Welcoming Jennifer Bibby to the blog!

Today I am delighted to welcome a new guest to the blog. Just like me, Jennifer Bibby has had her debut novel published as a Digital Original with Books and the City. THE CORNISH HIDEAWAY is a fabulous escapist read and Jennifer has joined us to talk about her love of Cornwall and tell us more about the book. Welcome Jennifer!

 The Call of The Sea

Water has always inspired me – from the turquoise Venetian canals to the power of a stormy sea, however, The Cornish Hideaway is the first time I decided to set a novel on the coast. Freya and Angelo are characters who have travelled with me since 2004 – originally residing in Renaissance Tuscany (where Freya was formally known as Alessandra.) My lack of historical knowledge (and laziness over the research) made me fast forward the novel five hundred years and over a thousand miles to modern day England. The characters shifted around the country from uprooting small village to seaside town town but no-where felt right until I took a trip to St Ives with a friend in October 2014 and promptly became another writer to fall prey to the Cornish charms.

St Ives was enchanting, with its winding streets full of fishermans cottages, the independent shops and cafes lining the harbour selling tasty treats especially all the tempting varieties of pasties! Relaxing with a cream tea whilst taking in the luminous sea views, the beaches scattered with tiny boats was bliss. This helped me create Lola’s charming little vintage cafĂ©. With its luscious cakes, floral tea cups and sea view it’s the perfect place to indulge in a scone whilst watching the world go by. Or indulge in a bit of local gossip!

The other tempting thing about Cornwall is the fact that it’s a very long way away from almost everywhere, therefore the perfect place to escape to lick your wounds. It was always important that Angelo was on the run from his past, but it turned out Freya was also in the need of a safe haven following the collapse of her life in London. Cornwall felt far enough from both their previous lives for them to start building new foundations.  Freya and Angelo had always been artists; he the jaded master, she the keen amateur and in Cornwall there would be no way they would fail to be inspired by the dramatic Cornish scenery. The home of Alfred Wallace, The Tate and the Barbara Hepworth museum, St Ives has always drawn artists in and Freya quickly finds herself unable to resist picking up her paintbrushes after failing previously swearing to never paint again.

The story had always been set in a small, tightly knit community so it was easy to imagine a village nestled, almost forgotten, along the rugged Cornish coastline and Polcarrow was born. After years wandering around the UK, Cornwall provided the ideal home for my host of colourful characters.  Although I have not had the fortune to return to Cornwall, I always manage an escape to the sea – the sound of the waves, the smell of the salt in the air, the glistening sunlight, and I hope a trip to The Cornish Hideaway will provide you with a seaside escape.

Meet the author

As a lifelong lover of stories, Jennifer Bibby spent her teenage years wowing various teachers with her historical epics before finding her feet exploring the everyday lives of modern women through literature. In addition to being a bibliophile she loves classy cocktails, cake and medieval history. She's happiest by the sea and loves to travel, and firmly believes that dinosaurs improve everything. 

The Cornish Hideaway is her debut novel.

Connect with Jennifer

No comments:

Post a Comment