with her latest title The Man in the Blue Flowered Shorts. Because of the unusual title, I'm compelled to ask Susan Lodge a few questions about her contemporary romantic comedy.
That is how it was choosing the title for my first publication—but with the second it was easy. The Man in the Blue Flowered Shorts walked past me one day and wham! There was my book title and the seeds of a story all gained from a few moments of idle observation. I live on the coast and am quite used to holidaymakers ambling about in strange summery outfits, but this man cranked my literary detective into action. Who was this person who looked so on edge in his holiday clothes?
I never knew the real answer, as I only saw him once, but he had sparked my imagination with all sorts of questions.
He appeared to not want to be on holiday and he didn't seem to like his wardrobe, so who do you think advised him to wear socks with sandals?
I haven't a clue but would like to point out that I have nothing against men in sandals or shorts, especially of the blue flowered variety. But it’s that accessory thing. Shorts and sandals are fine—but worn with socks! The combination should be outlawed.
I know, especially here in the UK, the sandal wearing season is quite brief—in fact turning out be nonexistent this year due to the miserable weather. And that relinquishing the socks can result in strap chaffing to soft white toes and heels which have been cocooned for most of the year. But that is no excuse for socks with sandals, is it? After all, you can purchase those nice discreet clear plasters to protect those vulnerable parts of your feet.
I now feel this blog is getting a little shallow because we all know that clothes shouldn’t really matter and it’s the person inside that counts. And, to be honest, looking out on this freezing cold English July day, I might just get out those thigh high woolen socks I got for Christmas. Although I wouldn’t wear them with sandals—but then, I am not a man!
But however he was dressed, I will always be grateful to the intriguing man in the blue flowered shorts. He provided me with, not only a title to my latest romance, but the trigger for a sequel, The Man in the Buff Breeches. Then I might follow it with The Man in the ...well, I’m looking around right now for an inspiration!
When Lyn Redford’s sandal hurtles across the deck of the cruise ship, it makes her first introduction to Henry Matasie rather hostile. It wasn’t just that the man was seriously grumpy; he was a walking wardrobe disaster. Do you really need to wear woolen socks with your shorts in the Caribbean heat?
Following an embarrassing encounter in the cocktail bar with Henry, Lyn and her travelling companion Shona try to find out the reason for his strange behaviour. Later, when Lyn accidentally reads his e-mail, she is convinced the man in the blue flowered shorts is deadly dangerous.
When Henry swaps his awful holiday clothes for a dress suit to attend the gala dinner the transformation sets Lyn’s pulse racing. But she is convinced he still hides a guilty secret and she is intent on discovering what it is.
To read an excerpt from The Man in the Blue Flowered Shorts please click HERE.
Susan Lodge’s first publication was a story for a UK national woman’s magazine. Heady with this breakthrough, she went on to write her first novel Only a Hero Will Do. She loves writing contemporary and historical romance, usually with a large dose of humour. After working in several cities including London and Bristol, she moved down to the Hampshire coast to raise her family.
Once asked the most important piece of advice she had been given in pursuit of publication, Susan answered -
The only difference between the unpublished writer and the published writer is the fact that the published writer didn't give up.
Catch up with Susan on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.
I'll be back Wednesday with a new menu. Until then...
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