We are working with the lovely author Roberta Aarons, author of previously acclaimed ‘My Grandfather’s False Teeth’, and current novel ‘Slippers in the Oven’. Both of which give rise to her title as the ‘Queen of the Silly Title’.
We met up with Roberta for a chat, about her current book and writing in general…
Tell us a bit about your new book…. what is it about?
Set against the colourful and entertaining background of a Mediterranean cruise, ‘Slippers in the Oven’ explores the contemporary and sometimes divisive topic of marriage from the different viewpoints of a mother in the home and a career woman.
Two sisters, competitive throughout their childhood and even more so as adults, are at different times married to the same man. Emma, the oldest is a successful career woman but, as a single woman, envies the comfortable and protected life of her younger sister, Ann.
Henry, Ann’s husband and a one-time boyfriend of Emma, enjoys his home, their three children and his domestic comforts but is restless and fascinated by the glamorous life of his sister-in-law. When he decides to leave Ann, court Emma and eventually marry her, a devastated family remains behind.
But Henry discovers that life with a successful working wife is not as comfortable or as exciting as he had imagined and he is shocked that his new home is not organised around him and his needs. Realising he has made a mistake, he leaves Emma and tries to return to Ann but, after a lot of pain, Ann has changed, learnt to be independent and will not take him back. All three are alone and the sisters alienated and do not see each other for many years.
When Henry dies, they meet again at his funeral and trying to reconcile, they decide to take a holiday together. Unable to agree on a destination, they choose to go on a cruise. Whilst enjoying new experiences and the amusing antics of their fellow passengers, they make the heart-warming journey towards understanding and forgiveness.
Is it part of a series? Are you planning any more?
No, this is a self-contained story with an ending. My next book will tell the story of one of the characters in my first novel, ‘My Grandfather’s False Teeth.’
What inspired you to write the book?
Now that I write fiction and not fact, I want to create stories around topics that I think matter. The subject of the mother in the home versus the career wife is as much an issue for my daughter and her friends as it was for me. It also had the potential to be a terrific story, with strong protagonists and a relevant central conflict. I knew I could turn it into a great read.
Who do you think will enjoy reading the book?
Women especially and of all ages. Also men who are interested in marriage, women and enjoy fast paced entertaining novels. All people who cruise, want to cruise, always mean to cruise.
When did you start writing books and why?
I started writing books in my seventies because I have stories to tell, the time to write, the mortgage is paid and I love words.
Which authors, dead or alive, inspire your writing?
I am inspired by anyone who actually completes a novel – it is a mammoth challenge! I particularly admire Rose Tremayn, for her strong stories, characters and elegant writing style. Authors whose extraordinary research, be it historical, archeological or scientific provide a framework for their fictional inventions but do so in such a way that the reader is unaware of the hard work behind the scenes. Simon Montefiore’s Shashenka is a great example. And then there is Jonathan Safran Foer for his sparkling originality and being ridiculously young!
When is your book available to purchase and from where?
ENJOY THE VOYAGE!