Anyone who’s read my romantic comedies set in the English village of Saffron Sweeting knows that location is one of the most important characters!
Since the first novel was published, time has obviously ticked on, and I wanted the village itself to evolve alongside the stories which happen there. Even the books themselves have enjoyed new covers recently.
Continuity and attention to detail is important to me. In one way, I’m lucky that (unlike some authors), I don’t have millions of readers scouring every new release for inaccuracies. However, I take pride in my work and I don’t want to completely mess up in terms of consistency. And I’m so grateful I created this map.
So, I’ve been working hard recently to track everything about the village that’s mentioned in the previous three books, and build on that for the fourth. Incidentally, if you missed this announcement, the next Saffron Sweeting novel is called Ten Things My Husband Hated and will be out in November!
So, in the first book, we learned that the malt house was in disrepair, the bank had closed, and the only place to get a cup of tea was from the bakery, which was fine as long as the English weather was cooperative enough for you to drink it at a table on the pavement. In Sweet Pursuits, we saw the malt house had been saved from property developers and was finally being restored.
What’s in store for the village in Ten Things My Husband Hated?
- Joey never did manage to open his photography studio in the old vegetable shop. But it’s recently been leased by Holly who has opened a beauty salon, much to the delight of Amelia and the American wives. Upstairs is a small firm of architects.
- Alas, Saffron Sweeting still has no bank of its own. (This is a trend, actually, in many small English communities.) But Mary Lou did indeed move forward with her plans to turn the old bank building into an upscale consignment store, offering good quality kids clothing and toys. It has a tiny coffee area, although most villagers without children steer clear of the chaos!
- Grace is busy designing gorgeous rooms for clients, although she still hasn’t finished doing up her own cottage. If she doesn’t get on with the nursery soon, she’s going to be too old for babies.
And how about some other characters you’ve met before?
- Bella’s flapjack business is thriving, but she’s concerned about the economic implications of Brexit.
- Nancy and Peter are still an item, although she’s fearful her work visa could run out.
- Violet has refused to retire, and is still running the post office with an iron hand.
- Scott, who gave Grace’s heartstrings such a wrench, is still in the picture. But Amelia’s pretty sure she can make him toe the line.
And, of course, we’ll be meeting new characters, in particular Maggie, who’s recently divorced and determined to prove to everyone she’s happily single.
In Tracey Gemmell’s recent guest post, she mentioned that I haven’t been burdened by expat homesickness to the same extent that she has. This is true, but I’m fully aware that I created the village of Saffron Sweeting to mitigate my own sense of hireth. It’s been such a delight to return to this fictional corner of England time after time. I can’t wait to share the next installment with you.
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