Chances is my 11th novel – and writing it coincided with a very difficult time for me behind the scenes. Perhaps, therefore, more than any of my other books, I am extremely proud of the result.
Essentially, though, Chances is an upbeat book and unapologetically romantic. Parts of it made me laugh out loud, other interludes brought tears to my eyes. The characters became very real to me and now that the novel is done, I miss them all very much and think of them often. I really ‘felt’ this book.
Writing this novel provided me with an opportunity to explore a new location – and I chose Hertfordshire as my move to this beautiful county coincided with writing this novel. The town of Wynford, however, is fictitious.
Vita and Oliver are my heroine and hero. Oliver I adored – just as much as Joe from Secrets or William from Chloe. Early on, I was struggling to find a name for my heroine and posted my dilemma on my facebook page – suggestions came in thick and fast! I decided on “Vita” because of course the name means LIFE – and whilst I was writing this book my mum was battling cancer, so it seemed a symbolic name to choose.
The working title for this novel (which I still prefer – but would have looked rubbish on the jacket design) was “Between Two Women” – and this is one of the major themes of the novel. We reach a stage in our lives when we’ve lost love and are on the cusp of finding it again – and that’s when all parties can concerned find themselves ‘between two women’. For the men, they are caught between the woman they loved and lost and the one they have now. For the woman, it’s the previous love of their current beau and the new interest of their ex. However, the novel is also about the relationships women can foster between themselves – the way we talk to one another, the profound feelings our friendships can foster.
Vita and Oliver have had love in the past – but lost it in very different circumstances. Brought together by an elderly shoplifter and a troublesome pear tree, will Vita and Oliver take a chance on love again?