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You’ll never find award-winning romance writer Elly Redding, author of In the Deep, treading water in the deep end of the swimming pool.

Or, after she almost drowned recently, in the shallow end either.

‘I’ve never mastered swimming,’ she admits.

Elly, whose first novel, True Colours, won the Festival of Romance’s New Talent Award, and third prize in the Independent Author Book Award Words for the Wounded, has also received a Chill with a Book Readers’ Book of the Month Award and a B.R.A.G. Medallion.

Now Elly, who started out writing screenplays, is having fun writing second chance romances.

But what’s her guilty secret?

Meet the author:

My name: Elly Redding

My family: When you’re a child, time seems to last for ever.  Where do the years go? One minute you’re having children and the next you’re expecting grandchildren.

What a journey and so much to write about, if only time would go a little slower now, please.  I need to start tackling my Bucket List with my husband, which isn’t getting any shorter… The list, that is, not my husband!

I was born in: Hampton Court, in a small maternity hospital, just a stone’s throw away from the Palace.

Brother

A few years ago, I revisited to find the old Georgian building has been converted to flats, but it’s still the place of my memories.

When I was three, I was taken there to collect my mother and my newly acquired baby brother.  It seemed huge back then, with a flight of steps leading up to an impressive front door. It’s not quite so enormous now, but still just as impressive.  Some things never change, I’m glad to say.

But now live in… I’ve moved around, but currently divide my time between Bedfordshire and Devon, where I love nothing better than watching the sea; at a very safe distance, I hasten to add, as I have never mastered the skill of swimming.

In fact, recently, I almost managed to drown in the shallow end – quite a feat, I’m told.

One thing I’d change about me… I’d like to be more confident.  Is it too late?  Possibly, but I travel in hope.

One thing I wouldn’t… That’s a really difficult question to answer about yourself.

Deadlines

Many years ago, I was a nurse, and I would have said, back then, that the one thing I wouldn’t change was my capacity to care about others. However, that also proved to be my downfall, as I couldn’t always save my patients from whatever illnesses they had.

So I left.

Nowadays, having juggled family, running a business and writing, I’d say the one thing I wouldn’t change is the fact that I’m a bit of a control freak.  Great for meeting those deadlines!

Best holiday? A few years ago, I fulfilled my dream of visiting New England in the Fall.  I wasn’t disappointed. We toured around the area and the colours of the leaves were exceptional, as was the scenery.

We stopped off at Boston too, and followed the Freedom Trail, as well as visited the Museum of Fine Art and the Cheers bar. So much to see, so little time to do it in.  I’d love to go back.

Worst?  Was it always raining in my childhood?  I’m sure it wasn’t but it always seemed like it when we went on holiday.

Enid Blyton

One particular trip to Blakeney in Norfolk stands out, when it didn’t stop raining the whole week. Of course, back then, there was no iPad or iPhone to go on, or DVD to watch.

Thank goodness for books.

I remember reading Enid Blyton’s Famous Five stories and sharing their adventures, without leaving the cottage and getting wet.  So, perhaps, it wasn’t such a bad holiday, after all?

Best thing about my life?  My family and my friends, and the fact that I can finally spend my time doing what I really enjoy, writing second chance romances. Long may it last!

First World War

Favourite book to read with my children?  Definitely the stories of Paddington by Michael Bond.  It’s a family tradition.  My father bought the books for me as a child, and I’m looking forward to reading them to future generations.

The last book you read?  Ros Rendle’s Flowers of Flanders, a brilliantly evocative tale of the effect of the First World War on three sisters, their family and their friends.

What’s in your bag right now?  Not a lot, as I’ve just had a clear out.  The essentials?  Tissues, puffer and purse, but not necessarily in that order.

Greatest extravagance?  A Japanese pot that I bought recently, when I got a little confused with the exchange rate – and received a wee shock when I saw the cost of it on my credit card statement!

What you don’t know about me?  I spent a very interesting afternoon, some years ago now, with a theatrical agent in his offices near the Royal Albert Hall, going through a list of actors who might be suitable for my very first screenplay.

Imelda Staunton was mentioned as my heroine.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I was so thrilled, but, sadly, the script was never bought.  However, I did get a lovely letter from Elstree Studios, saying how much they’d enjoyed reading it.

My guilty secret? I don’t think I have one 😊.  Oh, yes, I do. I was addicted to Buffy, especially the episode which they created as a musical.  Great fun.

About In Too Deep

Set in the rolling countryside of Devon, In Too Deep is the emotional story of a woman’s determination to win the trust of the man she’s adored since they were thrown together as children, by forcing him to confront the darkness of his long-lost past.

One little lie. A guilty secret. And the man she mustn’t love…

It’s been six years since Isy Forrester left home. In that time, she’s strived to forge a new life for herself in London, away from Jack Mancini, her father’s adopted son, and his devastating betrayal of everything she thought they had.

Only now her father’s in hospital, and the house that’s been in her family for generations is at risk. Forced to return to Devon, she finds Jack as infuriating and stubborn as ever, and just as irresistible. Soon she realises the bright lights of London can’t hold a candle to him.

But Jack has a past, one which he refuses to share with her.

And until he can trust her with these deepest secrets, how can she risk her heart? How can she even begin to help him, when he won’t tell her what happened all those years ago – before her father brought him home to Hambledon Hall?

Available to buy on Amazon.

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