I am so pleased to be welcoming Sophie Ranald to my blog today as part of the blog tour for her newest release A Groom with a View which will be released on 20th June.
A Groom with a View
By Sophie Ranald
Release date 20 June 2014
When you’re tying the knot, you can end up in a tangle…
Nick and Pippa have been an item since forever, but they’ve always said marriage isn’t for them. That’s until, in a moment of mad romance, they find themselves engaged.
Pippa knows she’s no bridezilla – and she’s definitely not expecting Nick to get swept off his feet by plans for floral centrepieces, vintage cake-stands and colour coordinated everything. Then Nick’s mum gets involved, secrets from Pippa’s past threaten to surface, and planning their perfect day begins to tear Nick and Pippa apart.
This eagerly anticipated second novel from Sophie Ranald is a funny and poignant romantic romp. If you love Tracy Bloom, Mhairi MacFarlane and Sophie Kinsella, then say “I do” to A Groom with a View.
A Groom with a View is about planning a wedding, and anyone who’s ever experienced this will know that it can turn the most normal people into unreasonable, obsessive wannabe princesses who believe that no one before, ever, has got married, and that if every tiny detail of their big day doesn’t go exactly as they intended, the world will stop turning and the four horsemen of the Apocalypse will turn up on their doorstep. (That’s what I was like when I got married, anyway. I was horrible!)
There have been many wonderful, hilarious novels written about the Bridezilla phenomenon. In Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic Ties the Knot, the loveably scatty spendthrift heroine ends up planning not one, but two weddings, and then has to find a way to choose between them. Jenny Colgan’s Amanda’s Wedding has a classic entitled bride-to-be as its heroine, and her friends watch in horror as she goes from unreasonable to even more unreasonable to downright impossible, believing all along that there’s nothing wrong with having Her Day, Her Way. In Pippa Wright’s wonderful third novel, The Foster Husband, the heroine’s sister decides that moving her fiancé in with her sister to preserve her pre-wedding purity is an entirely reasonable course of action.
When I first had the idea for A Groom with a View, I wondered what would happen if this was all turned on its head, and it was the groom-to-be who wanted the all-singing, all-dancing wedding, while his future wife was quite happy to keep everything low-key and relaxed. In order to make this work, I needed to surround the couple with a cast of characters who would variously enable them, challenge them and provoke them. As is always the way when writing fiction, in due course those characters took on lives of their own. They had their own stories that needed to be told, and their own endings – happy or not so happy – that needed to be reached.
Alongside the characters, there were all the accoutrements of wedding planning to be described: the food, the flowers, the guests and of course The Dress. Researching this was a huge amount of fun, as you can imagine. My partner was quite horrified when I came home one day with a WH Smith bag bursting with wedding magazines. I was lucky enough to visit beautiful Franschhoek, in the South African winelands, for my niece’s wedding, and some of the novel is set there. I got to eat and cook up a storm, because my main character, Pippa, is a chef. I even went to a wedding dress shop, although I drew the line at actually trying anything on – a moment of prudence which I now rather regret!
In short, I had a huge amount of fun with this novel, and I hope my readers enjoy the experience of reading it as much as I loved writing it!!
Thank you so much for visiting today Sophie!!