the Imaginary Bookshop Q&A. Fiona has give some great answers!
What would be the name of your imaginary bookshop?
Ooh, that’s a hard one. I’m rubbish at thinking up titles for my books most of the time, but this is even more difficult. Let me chew on that one for a moment…
Where would your imaginary bookshop be located?
Now this one’s easier: within easy walking distance of my house. Next-door would be good. And if it also had a café - a place where I could escape my family and work and sip lattes at the same time, I’d be in heaven!
Would your bookshop have any special features? E.g. a performing stage, a cocktail bar, etc.
Okay, now you’re talking! If the café could serve cocktails in the evening and have a place where I could tap dance when I needed a break (my latest obsession after researching The Summer We Danced) I don’t think I’d ever leave.
What would make your bookshop different from all of the other ones?
Is cocktails and tap dancing not different enough?! Okay, if this were really going to be my dream bookshop, it would have a walled garden out the back, full of roses and wisteria, where I could take my latte/margarita and read under the shade of a tree.
What sections would you have in your bookshop? And what sections would you ditch?
Definitely lots of room for romance and happy endings! There would also have to be lots of cookery books, because I’m slightly addicted to them. (Don’t tell my husband I bought at least three last month!) I don’t think I’d ditch anything, even if every genre isn’t to my taste, because dictating to people what they should or shouldn’t be reading is a horrible idea.
Every bookshop needs a display table. Which books would you have on your display table? Why?
I’d put my dog-eared and much loved favourites on it, so everyone could love them as much as I do. For display purposes only, mind! If you want your own copy, go and get one off the shelf!
If you could run only one author event who would you have? You can pick a living or dead writer. What sort of event would they run?
I think I would pick Roald Dahl, because his imagination was boundless. I think we’d all disappear through a secret door in one of the bookshelves and travel by glass elevator to Charlie’s chocolate factory, burrow through James’s peach and then go and help Matilda teach Miss Trunchbull a thing or two, before arriving back at the bookshop in time for tea and scones.
A customer comes up to your till with a copy of your novel, The Summer We Danced and asks you to give them a reason on why they should buy it. What would you say?
If someone wanted to buy The Summer We Danced, I’d tell them it’s a book about love, friendship and learning how to love yourself, no matter what your size, age or bra-size. Oh, and about the quest for the perfect time step, too.
What sort of cake would you offer when launching your book in your bookshop?
Coffee cake. It’s my absolute favourite, with lashings of cappuccino-inspired icing and chocolate-covered coffee beans on top! Stop it. I’m making myself hungry…
Oh, yes! A bookshop name! I’d have to pick The Little Shop of Hopes and Dreams, which is a bit of a cheat, because it’s the title of one of my books. However, that’s what books contain, don’t they? Hopes and dreams. I can’t think of a better name than that.
Fiona lives in London, but her other favourite places to be are the Highlands of Scotland and the English countryside on a summer's afternoon. She loves dancing, cooking and anything cinnamon-flavoured. Of course, she still can't keep away from a good book or a good movie—especially romances—but only if she's stocked up with tissues, because she knows she will need them by the ending, no matter if they're happy or sad. Fiona has written numerous books for Harlequin/Mills & Boon and many of her books have been translated into 24 languages and sold in 30 different countries across the world
The Summer We Danced by Fiona Harper is out now in paperback and ebook (MIRA)