Today, I am delighted to welcome Elle Amberley to Great Thoughts’ Great Authors. Elle’s book, Nowhere Left to Hide, comes out this week. I “met” Elle on Facebook and can’t wait to read her book.
While I was doing some research for my novel and in a recent interview I was asked “Why did you choose Santa Barbara for the story’s backdrop? Why not San Diego?”
I love Santa Barbara, I wanted to shout back. Well, I didn’t. I’m British, you know, the old reserve and all that…
I have such good memories of the town and its friendly inhabitants. It was my first taste of America and it surprised me, not what I had expected.
I loved its Mediterranean and laid-back atmosphere, the wonderful beaches, the little boutiques, the unusual architecture, more Spanish in style than the sky-high towers I had anticipated.
I remember being greeted like an old friend by shop keepers. Big shock, I had to refrain from turning round to check they were not talking to somebody else. We don’t get such a warm welcome in our hood. Indeed you’re very lucky if you do get a greeting at all.
So this is how, many years later, Natasha (the main character) popped up in my head demanding I write her story. I knew exactly where to send her. Well, the poor girl needed a break and the further away I sent her, the safer she would be.
Santa Barbara became the perfect place for her to let go of her childhood ghosts. Where better to free herself from a painful past, find love and friendship? For, make no mistake, Natasha is a go-getter, a fighter, not a victim.
The lovely beaches feature heavily in her daily life, providing the perfect background for romance and finding herself.
Santa Barbara still holds a little piece of my heart. Perhaps one day I shall return and reclaim it, or lose another piece.
What are you reading and where are you going?
Nowhere Left to Hide by Elle Amberley
(out November 2011)
Described as “A heartfelt tale, told with a deft touch” by novelist Rowan Coleman.
Natasha is a young British student. Tired of running scared, she doesn’t hesitate when she’s offered the chance to study in California. In Santa Barbara she finds love and friendship away from the ghosts of her childhood. But what will she do when her visa expires and her boyfriend asks her to marry him?
Sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes romantic, this much awaited novel is a story of hope, fighting against the odds & the determination to do the right thing.
About the author
Although she is a British author, Elle Amberley likes to dabble in French too and hopes to resume work on her French novel when her busy schedule allows. She also enjoys writing articles on women’s issues and whatever she feels passionate about, as well as poetry and short stories. A follow up to Nowhere Left to Hide is due for publication in Spring 2012.