03 October, 2018

A Day to Remember by Katharine O'Neill Interview Post! @Buddiator


Months after ending a long-term relationship, Bryony Murphy still lets it control her. She’s scared to let anyone else in, just in case her ex, Tara, comes back to torment her again. It isn’t easy to keep her heart to herself around beautiful journalist Georgia Bing, who works with Bryony on the TV show Crooked Cowboys. Georgia makes Bryony want to forget everything else and enjoy simply her. After a one-night stand with Bryony, Georgia wants more with the lovely researcher. She knows Bryony’s hurting, but she also knows of Bryony's past. Georgia is willing to go slow at first, but soon the sexual tension becomes too much to bear and she just has to make Bryony her own. 

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Katharine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She wrote her first novel when she was 15. In her A-levels, she spent lessons preparing dialogue for scenes. Then she studied Creative Writing and Film and TV Studies at Derby University, graduating in 2010. For a few years, Katharine worked in the community as a care support worker before becoming a stay-at-home parent. In 2015, she made the leap into becoming a freelance ghost writer of romantic fiction. Since then, Katharine has written over 300 short stories, novellas and novels for various clients. In June 2018, her first novella, A Day to Remember, was published. Katharine lives in Derby with her fiance, a mental health nurse, and their two children. 

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Tell me about your book? 
Bryony Murphy is a researcher working for a TV show, Crooked Cowboys, and she’s trying to get over an abusive relationship that she ended some months before. She is also sexually attracted to Georgia Bing, who is the presenter for said TV show. They shared a night before, but then Bryony kept her distance as she didn’t want to give herself over to another woman. It becomes harder to keep away from Georgia when Bryony is chosen as one of the researchers to work on a segment of the show about wedding dresses that are sub-par to what the customer wanted. It reminds Bryony of her almost marriage to her ex-girlfriend, Tara, who turns up again asking for another chance with Bryony. 

How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)? 
I had actually written the plot for another series idea, which would have been about finding love with weddings being the theme, be it finding love among the guests at the wedding or having it as a backdrop. The plot had been sitting on my laptop not doing anything. Then I came across JMS Books and their themed deadlines they run every month. The theme for the month of March was ‘What’s Your Star Sign’. Initially, I wasn’t planning on writing anything for it as my knowledge of astrology wasn’t fantastic and I couldn’t think of a way I could spin it out. But it was using the star sign/astrology part as little or as much as you liked, so I thought I would give it a go. Right at the beginning to the book, Bryony is approached by someone who claims to be a fortune teller, saying that there would be wedding bells in the future for her. This scares Bryony as she still has bad memories about her engagement to Tara and she runs out. It is discovered at the end of the book that it was an attempted ploy to get Tara and Bryony back together, but Bryony refused and chose Georgia. I slotted that in at the beginning and then used the plot I had on my computer for the rest of the story. 

What kind of research did you do for this book? 
The only research I did, actually, was watching a Youtube video. The basis of the story was a segment of a TV progamme here in England called Rogue Traders. One of their episodes a few years back was about wedding dresses. I had used that idea to create a plot where the presenter falls for one of the researchers on the show. It just needed a bit of tweaking to turn it into a lesbian romance. 

What is the hardest part of writing for you? 
Without a doubt, the sex scenes! My main job is a ghost-writer of romantic fiction, so I have written a lot of these types of scenes. But they never get any easier, especially when you try and write it differently to the previous scene. Keep it new and fresh. This novella was actually the third time I had written a lesbian romance and lesbian love scenes, so while the concept of writing a gay romance was different, trying to make it exciting was tough. 
What is the easiest part of writing for you? 
Finishing it! No, seriously, the easiest part was writing the heartfelt scenes, where Bryony would open up about her relationship with Tara to Georgia. Those parts I found much easier to write than the rest, although I couldn’t really explain why.

   

Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.
“Oh, hello, Georgia. Fancy meeting you here.”

“How much have you had to drink?”

“I don’t know. I’ve lost count.” Bryony downed the rest of her glass, slamming the glass down on the countertop. “But I’m going to keep drinking until I don’t remember my own name.”

Georgia was not having that. She caught the barman’s eye and signalled him over.

“Get me a strong coffee. And don’t serve anymore alcohol for this one.” She indicated Bryony. “She’s had enough.”

The barman nodded and moved away. Bryony scowled.

“Why are you spoiling my fun?” She grumbled.

“This is hardly fun.” Grabbing the woman’s arm, Georgia helped her off the stool and led her towards the booth. “You and I are going to sit down and talk.”

Bryony tried to pull away but Georgia wouldn’t let go. She wasn’t about to let Bryony bolt. Nudging Bryony into the booth, Georgia sat beside her, effectively crowding Bryony against the wall. Bryony grumbled and glared at her but Georgia didn’t react. They sat in silence until the barman brought the coffee, giving them both curious looks before leaving. Georgia nudged the coffee cup towards Bryony.

“I thought you could handle this assignment, Bryony.”

“I can.” Bryony protested. “This has nothing to do with it.”

“I think it does. We had cameras watching you, remember? Joyce also told me about your reaction. Now tell me drinking yourself into a stupor when you’re supposed to be in the office is nothing to do with your breakdown earlier.”

Bryony glared at her. Her pupils were wide, almost swallowing the color of her eyes.

“Save your journalism for your job, Georgia, not for analysing me.”

Georgia pushed the coffee towards her and leant forward, placing her hand on the back of Bryony’s neck. Bryony didn’t shake her off. If anything, her breathing seemed to get faster.

“Bryony, we’re all worried about you. I’m worried about you.” That much was true. “Please, just talk to me.”

It was all she could do not to pull Bryony into her arms. Georgia wasn’t one to do public displays of affection but she was tempted with this woman.

Bryony looked like she wanted to run. But she slumped, leaning into Georgia until her head rested on Georgia’s shoulder. Georgia didn’t say anything, simply leaning back to settle against the booth, her arm going around Bryony’s shoulders. Bryony let out a shuddering sigh.

“Tara and I were together since I was eighteen and she was twenty. We would’ve been together fifteen years this week. And for the first twelve years, it was amazing. Tara was amazing. But then she changed. She got into a car accident and was diagnosed with bipolar. Tara had to go on pain medication and meds to control her bipolar. Her mother, Krista, found out and accused me of making Tara into an addict.” Bryony sniffed and reached for her coffee. She lifted her head enough to take a sip and placed the cup back down, snuggling against Georgia again. “She’s always hate me, Krista has. She decided to mess about with the meds and eventually stole them, telling Tara she didn’t need to take them. Tara didn’t do anything; she had started developing psychotic delusions and believe Krista that I was the one at fault. So she started lashing out at me.”

Georgia had suspected something like that. She had been there at Tara’s trial and sentencing while Bryony had been in hospital but because Tara had pleaded guilty early on, she hadn’t heard everything. Just hearing all this made the anger bubble up.

“Did you call the police?”

“You know I did.” Bryony sniffed. “And you know what happened at Thanksgiving.”

Georgia did know. She had come into the office early and had found Bryony unconscious. She looked as though she had been hit by a car and was bleeding from the neck. Georgia had called for an ambulance and got the whole story. Tara had tried to come to the hospital but Georgia and a few of their co-workers had blocked her way. Tara had screamed at them and tried to attack Georgia but security had dragged her out.

Georgia wasn’t about to forget that day in a hurry.

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