Friday, 1 July 2016

Blog Tour + Guest Post - Peanuts and Eggcups by Sara Mendes da Costa

Peanuts and Eggcups by Sara Mendes da Costa

For Maggie Parsons there’s only ever been one man: the stunningly delicious Luke Henderson. Unfortunately, he left her, without explanation, after their ‘first night’ together …breaking her heart in the process. 

Now ten years on, without any contact, he’s back and going to her school reunion. Great! And, to confuse matters…so is his suave, sexy, brother Tony who makes a major play for Maggie, then turns up with his insufferable - supposedly ex – fiancée! 

Via the reunion, a black eye, getting the sack (as a result) a madcap girlie holiday and juggling her confused emotions around the two alluring brothers…Maggie starts to build a picture of what she really wants in life. 

Trouble is, Maggie’s a pawn in a game she doesn’t even know she’s playing …and things are about to get a whole lot more complicated. 

Available from Amazon UK

About Sara Mendes da Costa

 Sara Mendes da Costa is the voice of the BT Speaking Clock; the fourth person to hold this prestigious title since 1936.
A successful, world-renowned voiceover artist, her dulcet tones are easily recognisable on television, radio, film and across countless media.

Never far from the press, she’s known for her appearances on BBC Breakfast, ITV This Morning, Children in Need, Wake up to Wogan and The Today Programme, and balances her prolific voiceover career with her passion and commitment as a novelist.

Peanuts & Eggcups, her debut novel - hotly anticipated by the industry - is “The perfect & highly addictive reading companion for women’s fiction fans”. `

A lover of laughter, creativity, great storytelling and a wee dram, Sara adores writing novels and seeks to entertain, uplift and inspire.
Her upcoming novels: Time & Time Again & Maggie Ever After, are expected in 2017.


Author links:

Inside the Mind of the Author – Sara Mendes da Costa

For me, as I’m sure is the case for many authors, ideas for novels just sort of happen. It can often be through a conversation - maybe a phrase will come up and I’ll think…ooh that would be a great name for a book! (I think we’ve all been there) and then my mind starts working on what that book would actually be about.

The idea for Peanuts & Eggcups was most definitely an organic one. I simply wanted to write. I wanted to be an author. The book started out being called Maggie & Co as I was going to write about a girl who had various parts of her persona instructing her life – voices in her head. Not in a crazy way but there was a sensible voice, an emotional voice and a naughty voice, all forming inner characters and creating what I hoped would be a novel idea for a novel. However, it got really complicated and as I got into the flow of writing, I kept forgetting to include the inner characters and realised that the book was going to change and the characters were going to be released.

So my novel evolved. It went from being Maggie & Co to Reunion to Peanuts & Eggcups.

I’ve lived a fair amount of life and seen a lot of things so I can draw on that experience but it’s the emotional and mental inner experience I draw on the most. I do live in my head, very much so – so I’m not one of those incredible authors who intricately research masses on what it’s like to be a detective or a surgeon or work in government etc. I don’t draw on lots of current outside experience in terms of what’s going on in the world, politics etc. but I do observe the world and people and have a genuine interest in how they are and who they are and it’s that side of things that inspires me to write. I also seem to have a constant stream of ‘film’ playing internally and I read, watch drama and think a lot. Actually I dream a lot!... and from those dreams come ideas. 

I’m more interested in the human spirit than people’s jobs, how big their houses are or how much money they have…although I say this without the slightest judgement; these things can still be fascinating and all things help to form an idea of who they are underneath. But basically I want to know how people feel and think more than anything else. I care a great deal about others and the human race as a whole so, through my writing, my greatest desire is to entertain, to evoke emotion, to help and to inspire if I possibly can – drawing on my own life experience which has been one of seeking certain paths of knowledge, growth and indeed healing. Of course it’s all subjective, so people will take what they take, but if people take something, anything positive, that will be a wonderful thing. 

Some years ago I studied NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), including Hypnosis and something called Time Line therapy. These were excellent models for helping to understand the way people’s minds and emotions work and how we all form strategies for life both positive and negative. NLP changed my life and I’ve been able to draw on it ever since. My studies helped me enormously in dealing with people and thinking up new characters.

Don’t get me wrong, Peanuts & Eggcups is a light-hearted page-turner. I haven’t set out to psychoanalyse the world and make things too complex, but I guess, through my life’s experience, I can draw on my training and tap into human emotion – and let’s face it, commercial women’s fiction needs a good healthy dose of emotion!

A lot of the time I write about characters I want to meet or have in my life. With Peanuts & Eggcups, Catherine, Maggie’s best friend, would be someone I’d love as a best friend…in fact mine is pretty damn similar! (and she came along after I’d written the character which is interesting)

Whilst ideas pop into my head randomly, with one of the current novels I have on the go, I wanted to bring in my past training and mix it with some spiritual stuff, some humour and some teachings, and write with more of a plan from the outset. This is likely to be a bit different from what I’ve written so far but I certainly want to keep the light-hearted element in it – after all, for me, humour is really important. I like to go through the full gamut of emotions in a novel. I don’t like to dwell for too long on sadness though - where there’s sadness and anger there will be a solution and usually that comes from a large dollop of love and or laughter.

There is a zone that I imagine any author ideally wants to get into. A point where the words are coming out without force; with flow. Words unconsciously pour out onto the page. The subconscious (etc) starts to control – or should I say allow - the process and once that starts flowing, it can go anywhere! That’s when the best stuff comes out. The conscious mind has a steer, and an idea, and you start writing…then once you’re in that semi-hypnotic state, and the conscious mind moves out the way a bit, it’s like allowing channels to open and the story to fly out. That’s certainly what happens to me. Every now and then my mind comes back into play again and I stop and become more present but if I’m quick, I can go back in with a bit more structure and fly off again.

I guess I’m calling upon my memory banks to throw up ‘whatever’ from my subconscious, when it’s needed. And stuff comes up I had completely forgotten about or new things that never occurred to me. Like a trail of ideas laid before me for me to write about as I go along… and I often punch the air and go ‘YES!’ THAT’S IT! THAT’S IT!’ If you’d have asked me at the beginning of the writing session what was going to happen, I would only have had a sketch of an idea, but, at the end, things have miraculously formed into a story. I often read stuff back and go ‘where on earth did that come from??’ Still to this day, I read things and have no memory of writing them. And once I’m relaxed and the channels are open, it’s anyone’s guess what’s going to come out (& where it’s going to come from) Ideally it’ll be something good though! :)