In conversation with... Cherry Radford

Hi Cherry! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter. Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A: It’s about a woman who, after the break-up of her marriage, escapes to the coast to be alone and to find out more about her lighthouse keeper father who mysteriously drowned there in 1982.

She starts to see similarities in their lives, especially in the way they both intensely correspond with someone; he had a young female penfriend, and she has a Twitter friend actor-musician in Madrid.

They both learn that unexpected irresistible connections from afar can have life-changing consequences.

Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing or did it develop before your eyes as the characters grew on the page and did something that you were not expecting?

A: I had an outline, but characters turn up and do what the hell they like with it, if you let them! Lighthouse keeper Hugh became quite a haunting force I couldn’t completely control.

What did you enjoy most of the research stage for this book?

A: Gawd, that’s a tough one. I can’t decide between a) reading about and visiting lighthouses, or b) hanging out with flamenco musicians in glorious Madrid!

If this novel could be turned into a film, who would you cast in the roles of Imogen and Santiago?

A: Imogen is a strange mixture of strength and vulnerability, and needs an actress who doesn’t mind not being very glamorous. I’d give her Kate Winslet.
Santi needs to be played by a Spanish musician-actor, so maybe Enrique Iglesias if he could get himself a more lived-in, longer-haired look.

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about a scene in the book that you love?

A: Easy: the first Skype between Imogen and Santi. It is very similar to the hilarious first Skype I had with my own flamenco musician Twitter friend!

Is there anything that didn’t make it into the final version of the book?

A: I had one of Santi’s band members starting a relationship with one of his actress friends. Demasiado (too much), Cherry! (But Rafa and ‘Ep’ end up together, OK?!)

If you are already working on your next writing project, would you mind giving us a little anticipation of what we are to expect?

A: More seaside! A saga following a family who own a South coast pier, starting 1930…

Due to the popularity of social networking websites, interacting with readers – be it via Twitter, Facebook Instagram etc. – is becoming increasingly important. How do you cope with these new demands on authors and do you think that they somehow disrupt your writing schedule?

A: Blimey, I can hardly complain when my main story was both inspired by and starts with a Twitter relationship! But yes, it’s time-consuming keeping up with it all, as well as a blog, while trying to write a new novel. I’ve never been fond of Facebook, but I enjoy the rest and have met some wonderful people.

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter is your third novel. Do you feel more confident than when you submitted your debut novel for publication?

A: Submission (uh, the word says it all!) never gets any easier, and I was so keen to find the right publisher for it. I’m overjoyed that the wonderful Urbane Publications have taken it on.


What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

A: Keep learning: read, write, take courses, get literary consultancy feedback. Be patient.  Read My Potholed Path to Publication, which you can find here.

Thank you for your time!

A: You’re very welcome, Silvia!

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter was published on April 5th and I will be part of a blog tour that will stop here on Book After Book on April 27th. See you then!

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