Author Interview with Caroline Roberts

Today, I'm thrilled to be welcoming Caroline Roberts, author of The Torn Up Marriage and the approaching The Cosy Tea Shop in the Castle, to Becca's Books for a fabulous interview. 

Hello Caroline, and welcome to Becca’s Books. I'm utterly delighted to have you here and I can’t wait to chat all things books with you.
Thanks so much for having me here, Becca!

First thing’s first, how are feeling about your upcoming release, which sounds and looks delightful by the way, ‘The Cosy Teashop in the Castle’?
I am really excited about the release of The Cosy Teashop in the Castle on 25th February. It’s my second book, and it was just such a lovely story to write. At last people can read it. There has been a lot of buzz on social media and Amazon already – which is fantastic.

I am head over heels in love with your cover. Is it everything that you hoped it would be?
Yes, the cover design is wonderful and I must thank my design team at Harper Collins for that. It’s even better than I had imagined, and just makes you want to call in at The Cosy Teashop.

How long has it taken you, from planning to completion, to finish writing ‘The Cosy Teashop in the Castle’?
Hah, are you ready for this!! Five years from writing the beginning to getting it published. I haven’t been writing the book all that time, mind. I was a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme, so after taking about a year to write it (working part time in the day job too) I sent it in, and got some really positive feedback. I re-worked it over the next year, and kept submitting to agents and publishers. Finally, Harper Impulse offered me a deal on two books. The Torn Up Marriage came out first, so the lovely Cosy Teashop had to wait patiently in the wings! It’s been worth the wait!

Are there any themes that you’ve focused on within this book? Any messages that you’ve tried to get across to your readers?
  I wanted to write about following your dreams, and being true to yourself. That’s so important. Everyone is an individual and everyone’s dreams are different. My dream was to get published and be an author, it seemed so out of reach some days, but hey here I am!

‘The Cosy Teashop in the Castle’ has quite a different feel to it than ‘The Torn Up Marriage’. Is there a particular reason for this?
    I just love writing different things. I have to write the book that’s calling me at the time, the story I feel passionate about. I loved exploring the gritty, emotional themes of The Torn Up Marriage, but it was also quite a sad book to write. With The Cosy Teashop I just let loose and had fun, and wrote a love story that would cheer people up and take them to a whole new experience in this beautiful, quirky, castle setting.

Tell us a little bit about your main character, Ellie. She sounds lovely, and very much into baking. Yum!
Ellie is such a warm character, she’s like a close friend. She’s had a hard time romantically, and is brave enough to leave her home and dull office job for her dream. She’s spirited, but also has some self-doubts like most of us. She’s sexy and she doesn’t even know it. And yes, she’s a wonderful baker – cakes, brownies, and scones being her specialties. We all need a friend who can bake like Ellie!

What’s your favourite part of writing a novel? Worst part?
 I just love writing. The best part is when it’s flowing so much you are lost in that world of your book and it seems so real. I still write the first draft by hand as I can’t type fast enough to keep up with my thoughts, and even then the next day, sometimes, I can hardly read my own writing!
The worst part, probably having to write for deadlines, as it’s hard to be as relaxed and creative. Also, it can be hard juggling all the other things in your life: the day job, family, home.

Do you have any plans for publication day?
I’m hoping to go out for afternoon tea to celebrate. The  launch of The Cosy Teashop needs to be celebrated with tea, cake and prosecco! And I’ll be chatting with everyone on-line too, as the support has been amazing.

Are there any authors who you really enjoy reading?
Lots – I love reading! My favourites are Jojo Moyes, Rowan Coleman, Maggie O’Farrell, Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner), and Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveller’s Wife).

If you could give any aspiring writers out there some advice, what would you say?
  Write about what you love – writing a novel is a bit like a marathon, you’ll never keep going if you don’t love the story.
  Persevere – if you are submitting, that’s a really difficult and sometimes heart-wrenching time. You have to find a way to cope with the rejections, try and learn from them, and keep going. It took me ten years from starting my writing journey to getting published.

What’s your favourite thing to have at hand when writing?
  Usually a cup of tea. Sometimes I switch to coffee with the occasional chocolate treat – that’s often when deadlines are near!

What does the planning stage normally look like for you?
I’m not a huge planner, though I’m trying to plan and structure more. I have a strong idea and notes on how the novel’s plot/themes develop. But I also like to get to know the characters as I write and fill in the gaps along the way. I love it when inspiration strikes; often it’s something that happens to you or you notice in real life, and then it’s wonderful when it slots perfectly into the book.

Where do you find your inspiration?
My beautiful home county of Northumberland often inspires my setting. A place can set off the inspiration for a whole story, this happened with the Cosy Teashop, as we have some amazing castles on our doorstep here. I have a close friend who ran a real teashop in a castle! So, real-life around you, stories in newspapers and magazines - I’m open to all sorts of inspiration.

If you ever feel uninspired, what do you do to fix it?
I go for a walk on the beach, or in the countryside, with the dog.

Where is your favourite place to write?
In my conservatory at home. I have a lovely garden view, and I feel relaxed there.

How do you get to know your characters?
I have a strong idea in my head of their character traits, and often a real image I have cut out from somewhere, then I just get on and write them, it’s the best way to get to know them. By the end of the book they really feel like my friends.

Any particular favourite character from your books so far?
I really like Ellie, she is so warm, and I wish I’d been brave enough to follow my dreams at a younger age.

Are you working on your next book now? Can you tell us anything about it, or is that top secret for now?
I have finished the first draft of my next novel. I’m very excited about it. All I can say is that it’s a beautiful love story set on Bamburgh beach; one of my favourite places in the world.

Caroline, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by Becca’s Books today. It’s been lovely having you and I wish you every success with ‘The Cosy Teashop at the Castle’.

 Thank you, Becca!

Read on to find out more about Caroline's upcoming release, The Cosy Tea Shop in the Castle.

Can Ellie bake her way to a happy ever after? A deliciously heartwarming novel for fans of Lucy Diamond and Milly Johnson.
When Ellie Hall lands her dream job running the little teashop in the beautiful but crumbling Claverham Castle, it’s the perfect escape from her humdrum job in the city. Life is definitely on the rise as Ellie replaces spreadsheets for scones, and continues her Nanna’s brilliant baking legacy.
When Lord Henry, the stick-in-the-mud owner, threatens to burst her baking bubble with his old-fashioned ways, Ellie wonders if she might have bitten off more than she can chew. But cupcake by cupcake she wins the locals over, including teashop stalwart, Doris, and Ellie’s showstopping bakes look set to go down in castle history!
Now all that’s missing in Ellie’s life is a slice of romance – can Joe, the brooding estate manager, be the one to put the cherry on the top of Ellie’s dream?

You can find The Cosy Tea Shop in the Castle on the links below -

Family, friends, a glass of bubbly, slice of cake and, of course, a good book make me smile. I love writing emotional stories about love, loss, betrayal, and family, that explore how complex and yet beautiful love can be. I also like to write romantic comedy, letting the characters have a bit of flirty fun! I believe in following your dreams and working hard towards them, which led me to a publishing deal with Harper Collins (woop!) after many years of writing. The stunning county of Northumberland is my home  – sandy beaches, dramatic castles and gorgeous countryside that have inspired my writing. The Cosy Teashop in the Castle is my second novel.

If you’d like to find out more about me and my writing, visit me on Twitter, Facebook and my blog – I’d love to hear from you!

You can find Caroline Roberts on Facebook | Twitter |


  1. I think I'm already in love with The Cosy Teashop in the Castle. Congratulations on its imminent release and best of luck to you, Caroline! Lovely interview, Becca!

  2. That's so neat that Ellie is your favorite character...if you can feel that much affection for a character after all the sweat, blood, and tears of editing and publishing, you know you did well designing her! "writing a novel is a bit like a marathon, you’ll never keep going if you don’t love the story," - this is wonderful advice and a perfect comparison. I feel you with the tea over coffee! (I'm American, and over hear I'm in the minority of people for preferring tea to coffee, hahaha)