Today I am so pleased to welcome Charlie Cochrane to Joyfully Jay. Charlie has come to talk to us about her latest release, Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour. She is sharing an interview with one of her main characters and has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
An interview with Jonty Stewart
Is Jonty a nickname?
I was christened Jonathan Stewart, but everyone has always called me Jonty. Except when I was in trouble with Mama, who bellowed “Joh-na-than!” at the top of her voice. I do miss the old girl.
What’s your best feature?
I’d like to think it’s my intellect, especially my unparalleled understanding of Shakespeare’s early sonnets. Orlando would say it’s my blue eyes. Mama would have said it was being such a beautiful baby.
What’s your latest car?
It’s a beautiful Lagonda, with the most elegant lines and leather upholstery. Orlando has always been ridiculously jealous of it, or of any of my automobiles.
What was your favourite game as a child?
Having adventures with my brothers. Playing at pirates or Robin Hood or Henry V.
What is your best childhood memory?
Going to the Isle of Wight with my family and being allowed to bathe on Queen Victoria’s private beach at Osborne. I filled a bucket with sea creatures and tipped them all over my sister Lavinia. She punched me right in the eye, but it was worth it.
How old were you when you went first ‘walked out’ with somebody?
About seventeen when I went on a sort of double date, with a school friend and his sister and her friend. It was at about the age when I’d decided girls weren’t for me. We had a lovely time, but I’m afraid all her sighs and dropping her hankie and pretending to be frightened of the elephants in the zoo were in vain.
Who was your hero when you were growing up?
Shakespeare was my hero, of course. And Alexander the Great (do you see a theme here?) I used to fantasize about Hephaistion, hoping I could one day meet someone who’d be a friend, lover, counsellor and colleague all in one. Along came Orlando and the problem was solved.
Is there something you had to learn at school that you hated?
How to use logarithms. Nasty.
What do you do in your spare time, if you have any?
I love the theatre, and reading. And trying to puzzle out who both the beautiful boy and dark lady were from the sonnets, which I guess is a variant on solving mysteries, although that’s more than a hobby. It’s not really a fun pastime to be involved with violent death and bringing a murderer to justice. On a lighter note, I like playing rugby – I’m a swashbuckling scrum half, or so I’ve been told!
Do you have a favourite song?
Not so much a song as a sonnet. “When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes”. I think it describes perfectly the way that Orlando and I comfort each other in our darkest moments. And it was written from a man to a man, of course, so it’s doubly applicable.
And what about a favourite book?
I’m very partial to Conan Doyle’s novels, especially the Sherlock Holmes ones. Orlando doesn’t approve as he thinks Holmes is a boring, self-centred misanthropic. Takes one to know one, I’d say.
What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
Sunset over a certain beach in Jersey, with Orlando by my side. Perfect.
Do you have a favourite food? And a least favourite?
I’m very fond of pies and puddings. Steak and kidney, chicken and ham, Spotted Dick, jam roly poly – they’re a foretaste of heaven, far better than caviar or foie gras.
Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith like nothing more than being given a mystery to solve. But what happens when you have to defend your greatest enemy on a charge of murder?
Because Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her mystery novels include the Edwardian era Cambridge Fellows series, and the contemporary Lindenshaw Mysteries. Multi-published, she has titles with Carina, Riptide, Lethe and Bold Strokes, among others.
A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People and International Thriller Writers Inc, Charlie regularly appears at literary festivals and at reader and author conferences with The Deadly Dames.
Charlie has brought an audio copy of Lessons of Love to give away to one lucky reader along her tour. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The winner will be drawn on Friday, August 25th.
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