Sunday 19 February 2012

Snowbound on the Island by Kate Allan

Today I'm hosting Kate Allan on her blog-tour. she is going to tell us all about her new book - Snowbound on an Island. Welcome Kate and over to you.

Love on the Isles of Scilly     

It's a joy to me to be able to set romances in different places, and especially places that I love myself. My historical romances have been set in various parts of England and Europe that I enjoy including Cornwall, setting for The Smuggler Returns, set at the very end of the 18thcentury. And the setting was a very important part of Krakow Waltz. Set in Poland, and with many Polish and European characters whose outlook and concerns would shape how they acted, it is a Regency romance that is quite atypical of Regency romances and yet remains firmly within the genre.

I first visited the Isles of Scilly as a teenager, a friend's parents had a holiday house there and my friend and I explored and roamed, quite unfettered by adult interruption as we had the cottage to ourselves. We took the boats to the off islands, explored the archeology, often visiting sites quite alone. The islands are quite unique; part of the British Isles and yet with their own culture, character and indeed climate. The sea, naturally, has played a huge role in that. The opportunity and memory of being somewhere where one can be alone with the landscape is immense. Perhaps sitting on a cliff and watching the sea, or on a grassy bank next to a prehistoric village, those feelings of wonder will never leave me and I will always want to return to the Scillies. And indeed I have.

When writing a short novella or story, the writer is limited in the role that the setting can play. I've always wanted to write a story set on the Isles of Scilly but it's impossible, within the confines of having to move the story forward at a good pace to share everything I'd love to about the setting. I'm writing fiction, not an encyclopedia entry or travelog. Yet it is – just about – possible to slip one or two things in. So my hero Dominic reads at one point a bit of a local magazine. He can do that, it's in character. He's a scientist by profession, and is well informed and detail orientated. And I think it helps makes the story special. It is about the Scillies – not any old islands:

I was just reading that at the start of the 20th Century over 40 tonnes of flowers were being shipped from the Scillies to markets in London,” he said and passed her her coat. Their fingers touched briefly. Lisa found she was looking up into his eyes, grown darker in the dim light of the hall, and they seemed to communicate without words that they both knew the significance of that touch. That it was only another beginning to what would lead to more. A shiver, like a tiny insect, ran up Lisa's spine.
There's a bit more to relationships besides fancying the pants off someone, Lisa told herself and looked away while they put their coats on. Not that she knew whether a relationship was on offer here. Perhaps it wasn't and that might be a good thing as far as she was concerned.
Oh,” she said. “Flowers? The fields I glimpsed from the airplane looked like pasture.”
Or meadows of daffodil shoots?” Dominic opened the door and she immediately felt the cold air rush in. “Anyhow, tourism is the main industry here now.”

Excerpt from Snowbound on the Island @ Kate Allan, 2012

You could win a copy of Snowbound on the Island and some chocs by sharing your winter pictures on Facebook in Kate's winter photography competition. See:


  1. Hi Fenella, Hi Kate,

    Have to say I'm looking forward to reading Snowbound. After all, we Brits are islanders and all the little ones round and about our shores have delights unique to each and every one.

    I've lived on Jersey & the Isle of Wight, and it's amazing how similar they are in respect of tourism and quiet times out of season, yet each has a history all their own and grand elite connections. But as writers of historical novels we're lucky because the British Isles are steeped in intrigue, royal flushes and other stories of note. ;)


    PS: I have Snowbound on to buy list for today! It's top-up day for the Kindle...

  2. Lovely post Kate. I lived in Cornwall for several years and although I kept promising to get to the islands, somehow I never did. Maybe I'll read this story to make up for it, it sounds fascinating.