The Summer Island Festival written by Rachel Burton, publisher Aria, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.
When Willow walks out on her own wedding, there’s only one place she can go…
Growing up in the island village of Seaview, Willow always dreamed of a bigger life. Then her childhood sweetheart Luc betrayed her and she ran, resolving never to look back. Now, twelve years on, her glamorous London life is a mess and the island is her only option.
But she’s not the only one back for the summer. Luc is now a world-famous heartthrob musician, and he’s finally come home to headline the Isle of Wight’s annual music festival.
As Willow untangles her messy past, she stumbles on a secret that could destroy her family, the island’s fragile community – and her second chance at love…
I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the latest novel by Rachel Burton; The Summer Island Festival. I have the pleasure of hosting a guest post from the author today.
ON WRITING THE SUMMER ISLAND FESTIVAL
When people ask me where I get my ideas from, I never really know what to say. Ideas seem to just appear in my head apropos of nothing (and sometimes they don’t which is very frightening as I wonder if I’ve run out of ideas). Characters in particular tend to appear fully formed, names come out of nowhere. I have a lot of work to do to understand the characters once they’ve shown themselves, but initially they are just there.
This was partly true for The Summer Island Festival. Luc, Willow and Skye just appeared in my head one day (although Willow was originally called Laurel – a name I gave to her parents’ band in the end) as did the bones of their back stories and the history of the festival that they grew up around. I knew there was something missing though, something else I needed to flesh out the plot, to be an obstacle in both Willow’s journey and her and Luc’s second chance at love.
Anyone who knows me well knows I have deep running passions for The Beatles, William Shakespeare, yoga, tea, and Midsomer Murders (for those of you who don’t know, that last one is a British TV detective series which is outstanding in its bizarreness – in one episode someone was killed by a wheel of cheese) – and it was Midsomer Murders that gave me the idea for that extra bit of plot I needed.
There is an episode called ‘The Ballad of Midsomer County’ which is absolutely one of my favourites. It takes place at a folk festival and revolves around a famous folk singer called Johnny Carver who killed himself years before. The first time I watched it, I spent the entire episode convinced that Johnny Carver would reappear, that he’d faked his own death to disappear from the music scene which was destroying him. This isn’t what happens in either Midsomer Murders or The Summer Island Festival so I haven’t spoiled anything for you!
But it gave me the beginnings of an idea, the mystery that could lie behind Willow and Luc’s story, another layer, an additional problem to stop them from being together.
How can you disappear from your life though? How easy is it really in these days of GPS and 5G and Facebook and rolling news? I’m fairly sure it would be quite hard. Years ago, though, before all those things existed, if you had enough money it would probably have been easy enough, surely? So rather than have a contemporary character disappear maybe I needed to set part of the story in the past.
And along came Storm Tyler, lead singer of King Silver – a band that became, for a short time in the mid-80s stratospherically famous until they imploded and Storm disappeared for so long that many people thought he was dead.
The rest is history – well, in all honestly the rest was seven edits and two years of work but eventually I got there and my crazy idea about a folk festival, inspired by Midsomer Murders and with a lot of hard work from the team at Aria Fiction/Head of Zeus, became the book you can hold in your hand today. I hope you enjoy Willow and Luc’s story and the race against time to find Storm Tyler!
I’m really looking forward to reading this novel, thanks so much to the author, Rachel Burton, for joining me on the blogtour.
About the Author
Rachel Burton has been making up stories for as long as she can remember and always dreamed of being a writer until life somehow got in the way. After reading for a degree in Classics and another in English Literature she accidentally fell into a career in law, but eventually managed to write her first book on her lunch breaks.
She has spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and their three cats. She loves yoga, ice hockey, tea, The Beatles, dresses with pockets and very tall romantic heroes.
Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @RachelBWriter or follow her blog at rachelburtonwrites.com. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday….