top background

Relax and Read Book Club introduces Sunny Days and Sea Breezes

Take some time out to experience happier, sunnier days and an end to the restrictions of lockdown life with this month’s Relax and Read Book Club book. It comes with a chance to win the ultimate package from Sensory Retreats, plus a signed author copy of the latest heart-warming read from one of the UK’s favourite female writers.

Sunny Days and Sea Breezes is the ultimate feel-good, fun-filled, life-affirming novel from Sunday Times bestselling author, Carol Matthews. It’s the perfect escapist book to take with you on a spa break away, ideal to relax and read in a pampering spa or poolside setting. As lockdown lifts and the mood of the nation lightens, this joyful novel will make the heart sing, bringing some much-needed joy back into our lives. At we believe everyone deserves a little time out and to experience a life that’s filled with Sunny Days and Sea Breezes, and with that in mind, we spoke to the author about rest, relaxation and writing.

Relax and Read Book Club book - Carol Matthews

Where is your favourite place to write? 

I have a home office on the top floor of a three-storey house with a view over a park. It’s a lovely, dedicated space. I’ve tried writing in coffee shops but that doesn’t work for me as I’m too easily distracted by the conversations on the next table.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be? 

Buy a piece of jewellery to mark every book that is published. I’ve written 34, so I’d have a great collection by now! 

What did you do with your first advance?

It was a very modest amount of money so nothing very much, I’m afraid. I was just grateful to have had a publishing contract with my first attempt. 

Relax and Read Book Club book - Carol Matthews

What did you edit out of this book? 

Nothing. I do very light edits as I prefer to maintain the chatty style of my books rather than edit the life out of them. If anything, I tend to add colour and bits and bobs as I do my final run-through, so I edit up rather than down!

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work? 

I’m hugely into crafts, particularly crochet and papercrafts, so I’d like to think I could do something that would utilise those skills. It would have to be something creative, and I’ve worked for myself for so long that I think I’d be unemployable in a regular job now.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones? 

I don’t think you can avoid book reviews these days and, thankfully, they’re mostly good. I think it’s just so rude to write a bad review. A book might not float your boat but we’re all just trying to do our best. I work on the principle of ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.’

sensory retreats spa prize

What is your favourite childhood book? 

A tricky one. I was such an avid reader as a child that I raced through books and would read them time and time again. If I had to choose one it would probably be Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.

Does writing energise or exhaust you? 

A bit of both, really. There are days when the writing flows and you get a great buzz and there are days when you squeeze out one word at a time and that feels like flipping hard work! Though I’ve been writing for nearly 25 years, so I think I’ve got it down to a fine art now. If I have a bad day, I’ll abandon the book and go and do something distracting or fun. There’s always tomorrow!


More posts similar to this one

If you like this post, here are some similar ones that you might be interested in: