Caroline: Our new book is called The Pleasures of Autumn and we had so much fun writing this one. Autumn is about Sinead O’Sullivan, an uptight museum curator who is trying to put her (naughty) past behind her. Things go horribly wrong when the Fire of Autumn - a dazzling ruby with a history of violence and treachery – is stolen from her jewel collection at the museum.
Poor Sinead is top of the suspect list.
Just when she thinks her life can’t possibly get any worse, investigator Niall Moore is hired to stop her fleeing and to find the jewel.
After that, it’s mayhem, danger and lots of sizzling encounters between two people who are drawn together, despite the fact that they don’t trust each other.
Eileen: The Pleasures of Autumn is the story of Sinead, stuffy museum curator
by day, sexy burlesque dancer by night, and what happens when she is accused of stealing the most valuable jewel in the world. The sparks fly when hot investigator Niall Moore is on her case and determined to find her secrets. But Sinead has weapons of her own, just as well considering the bad guy who is on her tail.
What was your inspiration for The Pleasures of Autumn?
Caroline: There was a story in a local newspaper here in Dublin, about students doing all sorts of things to put themselves through college. We wondered what happened afterwards. What if someone discovered your secret past? How far would you go to stop them?
Eileen: Caroline had a vision of a stuffy heroine who did something sexy at night, and so Sinead was born. But this story was different from previous ones, in that the plot had to be a lot more intricate and precise. It was more like writing a thriller than a straight romance.
What has been your greatest experience of being a published writer?
Caroline: That’s a difficult one. When The Pleasures of Winter was first published, Eileen and I used to send each other photographs of our book on the shelves of bookshops and libraries. Sad very sad. lol
Doing our first book signing was another highlight.
But seeing your books translated into different language – Winter has been translated into Italian and the Japanese edition is due out in November – now that was really special.
Eileen: Seeing a woman on the train reading my book. She had no idea why I kept grinning every time she turned the page.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Caroline: Go to classes to learn your craft
Find a good writers group where you can receive constructive criticism
Learn to live with bad reviews
Write every day – you can’t edit nothing.
Writing is re-writing.
Don’t give up on your dream
Eileen: Write every day. Write even when you don' t feel like it, and keep writing when you think you are writing rubbish. And read. Read outside your genre as well as in it.
What was the first book you ever bought yourself?
Caroline: My home is full of books and it’s difficult to remember what the first one was. I joined the local library when I was seven years old and pretty much read my way through it. Also, my uncle ran a bookstore so he was another source of reading goodies. Mmmm this is beginning to sound like an addiction.
The first book I received as a gift – and which I still have today – is Art Treasures of the World by Eleanor C. Munro. It’s a massive, glossy, coffee table book.
It was utterly unsuitable for a child, but I loved it to bits and still do.
Eileen: I think it was one of Enid Blyton's Secret Seven books. Followed by all of the Famous Five, Malory Towers and St Claires.
What was the last book you read?
Caroline: I usually have a number of books on the go at the same time. I dip in and out of them, savouring them like a big box of chocolates.
Currently on my bedside table or on my kindle is Dracula by Bram Stoker. Translatlantic by Colum McCann and Monsoon Traders, the Maritime World of the East India Company by Bowen, McAleer and Blyth.
Eileen: I'm reading Transatlantic by Colum McCann at the moment. Love the structure of it.
Finally, what are you working on at the moment?
Caroline: Well, this was supposed to be a secret, but there is a season in the Pleasures series which hasn’t been covered yet….
Watch the bookshelves next Spring. Hint hint
Penguin are kindly providing a copy of The Pleasures of Autumn and the best bit is, the giveaway is open internationally. To enter, fill in the rafflecopter below and leave a 'pick me' comment. The winner will be announced on the blog on Friday 22nd November. Good luck!