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Rowan Coleman - Author

About the Author

Rowan Coleman lives with her husband and five children in a very full house in Hertfordshire. She juggles writing novels with raising her family which includes a very lively set of toddler twins whose main hobby is going in opposite directions. When she gets the chance, Rowan enjoys sleeping, sitting and loves watching films; she is also attempting to learn how to bake.
Rowan would like to live every day as if she were starring in a musical, although her daughter no longer allows her to sing in public. Despite being dyslexic, Rowan loves writing, and The Memory Book is her eleventh novel. Others include The Accidental Mother, Lessons in Laughing Out Loud and the award-winning Dearest Rose, a novel which lead Rowan to become an active supporter of domestic abuse charity Refuge, donating 100% of royalties from the ebook publication of her novella, Woman Walks Into a Bar, to the charity. Rowan does not have time for ironing.

 

Below is a Q & A with the author.

 

1.  What would be the most treasured memory you would put in your memory book?
I think I actually did put it in The Memory Book, right at the beginning as the first scene ‘Caitlin is Born’ is very much based on the feelings I had after my daughter was born. We were alone for a while and I will never forget the experience of falling in love with my own child. I’ve had three more children since, and each is very special, but my introduction to motherhood and the feelings that it inspires in you is a very strong life defining moment.

2. Your main character, Claire, suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s, how did you research this disease?
The most important part of the research that I did was finding words written down by Alzheimer sufferer’s, because I found it really hard to know whether I was getting Claire’s inner voice right. There is quite a difference often between what is going on in a person with Alzheimer’s head, in terms of thoughts and feelings, and what they are able to articulate outwardly. So I read a lot, about the disease, I also found cases of people s young and sometimes younger than my heroine, who suffered from Early Onset Alzheimer’s and I read as many first person accounts as I could find.


3.  What do libraries mean to you?
Libraries mean everything to me, and that is no exaggeration. One thing many writers have in common is childhood spent in libraries, and I loved my weekly trips every Saturday and the joy that borrowing new books brought me. Now I take my own children (when I library is open, which sadly isn’t every day any more) and they love it too.

 

4. Which of your books is your favourite and why?
It’s a tough one, but I have to say ‘The Memory Book’ it’s a very personal book, I drew a lot on my own experiences of being and mother and a daughter for it, and I wrote it for my Mum. It feels like a book that drawn us all closer together in a funny sort of way. It made me think a lot about my relationships, and how much I value them.

5.  Who is your inspiration?
My mum inspires me a lot. She married young, gave up her job to be a wife and mother, and when her marriage to my father broke down 28 years later she was sort of thrown out into the world to fend for herself and her children. And she did it. She taught me to be a strong independently minded woman, and she taught me how to be a mother. I think if circumstances had allowed it she would have been a writer too, she has an amazing imagination and a very quick wit. I’m lucky I had the opportunities that she didn’t, and that she encouraged me to take them.


6. If you had to choose your top three books, what would they be?
Jane Eyre is my all time favourite life changing book, also Anne of Green Gables and I have to say Pride and Prejudice, it’s a perfect book.


7.  ‘The memory book’ certainly makes the reader shed a tear or two, did you cry when you were writing it?
Yes, I’m afraid I did. When you put yourself in the shoes of someone who knows they are leaving their children, and the people they love its very hard not to.. But I also laughed quite a bit too.


8.  How did you first get into writing?
I was always a storyteller, although being an undiagnosed dyslexic held me back at school for quite a few years. It wasn’t until I somehow made it to university that I began to help to cope with my dyslexia and then I became to write in earnest. I worked in bookshops, and then as a admin assistant at a publishers, and kept writing all the time. In 2000 I sent an entry to Company Magazine Young Writer of Year award and won, which opened up all sorts of doors for me and eventually I acquired and agent, and then my first book deal in 2001.


9. You have some fantastic female characters in ‘The Memory Book’, who was your favourite to write?
That’s a hard one, I think I would have to say Claire, when I was finally confident I had her voice right, she really seemed to come alive for me. I still think about her. That’s weird, isn’t it?

 

10. What is your next project we can look forward too?

I could tell you but I’d have to kill you. No really, I am working on the next book now and trying to perfect the plot so I can’t tell you yet! 

Featured books by Rowan Coleman

The Runaway Wife

The Runaway Wife

Author: Rowan Coleman Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/03/2015

Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Dorothy Koomson and Liane Moriarty, this is an uplifting and heartfelt novel from the author of The Memory Book, which was featured in the Richard & Judy book club 2014. Sometimes you have to have the courage to start over. Rose Pritchard has fled her home and her abusive husband with little more than the clothes on her back - and her most precious possession, her seven year old daughter Maddie. But Rose does have one other thing left - a glimmer of hope that she can build a better life for herself and her daughter, whatever it takes.

ebook of the month

Other books by Rowan Coleman

Einfach unvergesslich

Einfach unvergesslich

Author: Rowan Coleman Format: eBook Release Date: 11/08/2014

Neuerdings wei Claire nicht mehr, welcher Schuh zu welchem Fu gehort. Oder wie das orangefarbene Gemuse heit, das auf dem Herd kochelt. Und manchmal geht sie im Pyjama spazieren. Sie wei, dass das nicht normal ist. Und so schreibt sie, noch bevor die letzte Erinnerung verblasst, all die groen und kleinen Momente der vergangenen Jahre nieder. Wohl wissend, dass diese Gedankenschnipsel schon bald das Einzige sein werden, was ihrer Familie von ihr bleibt. Dabei gibt es noch so viel zu erledigen: Sie muss sich mit ihrer Tochter versohnen und ihrem Mann zeigen, wie sie die Lieblingslasagne ihrer Kinder zubereitet. Sie muss ein letztes Mal leben, frei sein, sich vielleicht auch neu verlieben. Denn wenn die Zeit davonrennt, ist jede Minute kostbar.

The Memory Book

The Memory Book

Author: Rowan Coleman Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/05/2014

The name of your first-born. The face of your lover. Your age. Your address...What would happen if your memory of these began to fade? When Claire starts to write her Memory Book, she already knows that this scrapbook of mementoes will soon be all her daughters and husband have of her. But how can she hold onto the past when her future is slipping through her fingers...?

Woman Walks into a Bar

Woman Walks into a Bar

Author: Rowan Coleman Format: eBook Release Date: 14/10/2013

From the international bestselling author of The Home for Broken Hearts, a moving, funny, and heartwarming e-novella about the bumpy road toward Mr. Rightand how true love comes along when you least expect it.Twenty-eight-year-old single mother Sam spends her days working in the local supermarket and her Friday nights out with her friends, letting her hair down at the White Horse. Life has never been easy for Sam, but shes always hoped that one day shell meet The One. After a series of terrible dates with men shes met through an Internet dating agency, shes starting to lose heartuntil her friends tell her theyve set her up on a blind date. Sam is horrified but finally she agrees to goafter all, you never know when you might meet the man of your dreams

Ruby Parker: Musical Star

Ruby Parker: Musical Star

Author: Rowan Coleman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/02/2008

Multii-talented teen starlet Ruby Parker makes her debut in the theatre - but how will she cope with the demands of being in a musical? Fresh from her success in the production of Spotlight! The Musical, Ruby and her closest friends are heading off to Hollywood to audition for parts in the film version of the show. After Ruby's last experience in Tinseltown, she's scared inside but totally ready to take on the biz and all that entails. What she doesn't anticipate are the dramas that begin to unfold closer to home...

Ruby Parker: Hollywood Star

Ruby Parker: Hollywood Star

Author: Rowan Coleman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/11/2007

Bright and bubbly young starlet Ruby Parker heads for Hollywood in the third book in this lively new series - a must for star-struck girls! Ruby's mum is now going out with Hollywood superstar Jeremy Fort! And when he invites her and Ruby to stay at his mansion over Christmas, Ruby is over the moon. This could be the chance of a lifetime for her acting career. Could her dreams come true in Hollywood?

Ruby Parker: Soap Star

Ruby Parker: Soap Star

Author: Rowan Coleman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/05/2007

Child soap-star Ruby Parker discovers fame isn't all it's cracked up to be! Ruby Parker has been acting in the glamorous soap, Kensington Heights, for most of her life. She is stunned when she overhears the script writers discussing whether to kill her character off, or to replace Ruby with a more beautiful actress! She has always felt like the ugly duckling compared to her stunning co-stars, but now more than ever she sees that everyone is disappointed how the cute, chubby dimpled four year old has morphed into a lumpy pimpled fourteen year old. Ruby is feeling more self-conscious than ever, and to top it all off, she discovers she's got to have her first screen kiss - with the oh-so-gorgeous Justin de Souza, the soap's hunk. What with dealing with fame on a national level, having her first ever kiss in front of cameras and dealing with everyone's jealousy at stage school, Ruby doesn't think things can get any harder. Then her parents give her the most unexpected (and worst) news yet...

Ruby Parker: Film Star

Ruby Parker: Film Star

Author: Rowan Coleman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/04/2007

Join teenage starlet Ruby Parker as she leaves Soapland and progresses to her first major movie audition! Is there really life after soap? Find out in this hilarious novel for star-struck girls. Child star Ruby Parker is heading for her very first proper audition with one of the most famous film directors in the world. If she is successful, Ruby could win a good part in a box office smash to be watched by millions! People keep telling her that if she doesn't GET the role, it's not the end of the world. But inside, Ruby isn't sure that she really believes that... Warm, funny and starry bright, this perfect follow-up to Ruby Parker Soap Star is perfect for fame-struck girls.

The Baby Group

The Baby Group

Author: Rowan Coleman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/03/2007

A heart-warming novel about six very different parents with six very different lives, from the author of The Memory Book. Meet The Baby Group: Natalie ran her own design company until baby Freddie unexpectedly came along. Now the capable person she once was is trapped inside a crazy woman's body, longing for just one decent night's sleep and words of more than one syllable. Meg is onto her fourth child but still feels she has to take notes. Meg's sister-in-law Frances organises her little boy like he's a private in the army, but underneath her prickly facade she longs for the kind of friendships others seem to find so easy. Former career girl Jess sees danger lurking in every corner, doubting she'll ever be a good mother. Stay-at-home house-husband Steve is just glad to have the opportunity to spend time with his daughter. And sixteen-year-old Tiffany is the youngest - yet possibly the wisest - of them all. Six very different parents. Six very different lives. But when Natalie's dodgy wiring leads to a series of chance encounters they rapidly discover - through Baby Music, Baby Aerobics, coffee and more importantly cake - that there's safety in numbers. And their own unofficial baby group is formed ...

Growing Up Twice

Growing Up Twice

Author: Rowan Coleman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/08/2002

A warm, witty and moving novel about friendship and growing up - twice - from the author of The Memory Book. Jenny, Rosie and Selin have been best friends since school. Their teenage years were spent drinking too much wine in the park, dressing up for Friday night, and making the wrong choices with the wrong men because tomorrow seemed a very long way off. Eleven riotous years later, Jenny realises something. After more than a decade of waiting for her real life to begin, nothing has really changed. Here she is, still hung-over in the park, still dressed up in Friday night clothes and about to make her most inappropriate choice of man yet . But Jenny's not the only one waiting for real life to begin. And when tragedy turns their world upside down, all three friends are forced to realise that the real growing up is still to come...