Puddles of Love by Netty Morgan
Q: Welcome to the Fossend Publishing blog Netty. Can you give the readers a brief overview of your book, Puddles of Love.
A: Madeline Kalvos was much loved, respected and admired on the island of Zakynthos. When she died and left her estate to a long lost niece, everyone was aghast. Helen Hardy, recently widowed, is shocked to discover the truth about her long, forgotten Aunt Maddie. A bizarre and watertight clause in the will instructs Helen to spend thirty days on Zakynthos. Join Helen and her ditzy friend Dotty as they land on the beautiful Ionian island and immerse themselves in the wonderful and often eccentric world of the Zakynthian animal lovers. Helen has just thirty days to make the most important decision of her life, with a few individuals determined to chase her off the island, it certainly won’t be all wine and roses.
Q: What inspired you to write Puddles of Love?
A: In October last year, I took my granddaughter over to Zakynthos to attend the annual ZAWF dog show. Idly chatting to a friend, I was gazing around at the busy scene, and a minor disturbance caught my eye. A tiny woman was being dragged through the crowds by a large, over-excited St Bernard. It really was a “light bulb” moment. The book that I’d always wanted to write was there in front of me.
Q: Why was it important for you to write Puddles of Love?
A: Puddles is real; he lives with my daughter and son-in-law. Sadly he is not as intelligent as Helen’s Puddles, but he is safe, happy and very much loved. The plight of the dogs and cats on the island is also very real, and I wanted to raise awareness of the incredible work the volunteers do throughout the year. I also wanted to let the tourists know how simple the process of adoption is. From a personal point of view, I have wanted to write a book for over thirty years, for no other reason than to prove to myself I could do it and tick off another item on my bucket list.
Q: Did writing Puddles of Love involve any research?
A: Oh gosh, yes. Having adopted two dogs and a cat from the island I knew the process well, and visiting Zakynthos so many times meant I could describe the place well. That’s where my knowledge ended, and every day, as I wrote, I would be checking things. From the correct spelling of towns to the medical details of animal illnesses, and everything in between, involved a lot of research. I have so much respect for authors of bygone years. I was able to send an email, message a friend or trawl through the internet to gather my research very quickly. Past authors must have spent months, even years visiting people, places, and libraries to enable them to write.
Q: Why did you choose to write a book set on Zakynthos?
A: I love reading books set in places I know. It was, therefore, an obvious choice for me to write about a place I know and love so well. Zakynthos has an aura that draws visitors back again and again. Often when I first meet other tourists, the first thing asked is “Have you been here before?” and always the answer is “Yes, many times.” I find it quite difficult to put into words that feeling of “coming home” when you first step off the plane. It’s a feeling that so many others understand, though, they feel it too!
Q: What’s the best memory you have from your time on Zakynthos?
A: Oh, there are so many special memories. Two of my children have chosen to get married in Zakynthos. Both weddings were vastly different but both so very special. There was a moment on the day of my son's wedding in 2009 that sticks in my mind. We chose to spend the day by the pool as a family and as I watched my four children, granddaughter, and husband having so much fun I realised how very blessed I was to be surrounded by so much love and laughter.
An overwhelming memory, which will never leave me is the day we drove away from the hotel towards the airport. That was the holiday that Puddles found us. He had followed us for a week, sleeping every night on our balcony. As we drove away, I glanced behind, and he was chasing the car up the road, barking furiously. I can’t recall ever being so heartbroken as I was at that moment. Luckily that story had a great happy ending!
Q: The book shows how much you know and love Zakynthos, what makes the island so special?
A: That is such a difficult question and one that I guess many would answer in different ways. For me, it's not about the green mountains or golden beaches or even the glorious Ionian sea. It’s also not about the friendliness of the locals or the mouth-watering food. For me, it's all about that perfect moment when I step off the plane and Zakynthos wraps it’s arms around me in a warm embrace and whispers “Welcome home.”
Q: Do you read? If so what type of books do you read?
A: Yes. I am a prolific reader and cannot fall asleep unless I am reading. Apparently, I learnt to read aged 4, and I will be forever grateful to my mum for showering me with books and encouraging me to read. I don’t have a favourite genre when it comes to reading. I love romance, mystery, intrigue, historical, detective and autobiographies, in fact, as long as a book grips me in the first chapter, I will read it to the end. I do enjoy books that are part of a series. When a book ends, I want to know what happened next? What became of a particular character?
Q: Do you have a favourite author? If so, who and why?
A: I have a few favourite authors. Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham, Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain and Nicci French to name a few. Since the onset of the self-publishing world, I have discovered many less well-known authors. Jana Deleon’s books have me in stitches, well worth a read. My guilty pleasure though is Dick Francis novels. My mum used to get the Readers Digest Condensed books, and that’s where I discovered the famous ex-jockey. I was deeply saddened when he died but his son Felix is continuing to write in the same style as his famous father. I have the whole collection of his books and especially love delving into a Dick Francis when I’m travelling.
Q: What’s next for Netty Morgan? Will you be writing more books and if so, can you give us an idea of what they will be about?
A: I am currently working on the sequel to Puddles of Love, “One Step Forward.” The book will continue Helen’s story but also introduce a couple of new characters including her twins James and Annabelle. The opening prologue describes the moment a body is found! As to who’s body? and how they died? Well, I’m afraid, that’s all your getting; my lips are sealed.
It took me four months to write Puddles; the process took over my whole life and every waking moment was focused on telling Helen’s story. I learnt a valuable lesson from this, and I am taking my time writing the sequel. Life is very busy at the moment. My eldest daughter gets married in three weeks time, and I have been working hard on my allotment all summer. I have also recently taken on my perfect part time job managing our local community centre. All these things though are fueling my imagination for future novels.
Quick fire round
Sweet or savory - Sweet
Beach or countryside – Beach but I do love the countryside
EBook or paperback – Both but always a paperback on the beach.
Cream tea or Fish and Chips – Cream tea
Classic or modern - Modern
Sun or Snow - Sun
About the Author
Netty Morgan is a happily married Mum to four wonderful grown-up children and “Nanny” to three gorgeous Grandchildren. Netty lives in Berkshire with her husband, cats, and dogs. Taking early retirement from a career in teaching Netty finally had the time to fulfill her lifelong wish to write a novel.
Two of Netty’s biggest passions are the beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos and the stray dogs and cats that relentlessly roam the streets. Going through the process of adopting two dogs and a kitten Netty has made many special friends who live on Zakynthos and devote themselves to rescuing, fostering and rehoming the strays.
To learn more about Netty, friend her on Facebook.