Debbie Viggiano

Debbie was our guest back in 2012…

Flings and Arrows

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I’m chuffed to bits to be back in the Guest Room to talk about my second novel, Flings and Arrows.

This is a contemporary romance with lots of humour. The spotlight is on a set of neighbours who collectively span three generations. They are all looking for love, but not necessarily in the conventional way. The novel follows two fledgling relationships and one stale marriage, how romance can go wrong and – ultimately – how relationships can unwittingly impact upon others.

In an attempt to write “something different” I created widowed June who’s heart may still be seventeen but in reality is seventy years old. Why shouldn’t pensioners have some romance too! Next door neighbours Steph and Si Garvey have known each other pretty much all their lives and married very young. They are as familiar with each other as a pair of comfortable slippers. Too comfortable. Mid-life crisis threatens. Their son, Tom Garvey, will be starting university after the long summer holidays. Tom is an eighteen year old walking hormone hiding a secret. He is determined to use the summer break to get his leg over as many times as possible and with whomever possible with little regard about the consequences.

I created “real” characters because I want them to be believable. So June is juggling her meagre savings, Steph is working in Tesco’s, Si is a plumber worrying about self-employment in recession, and Tom is the wannabe student where nothing worries him too much – apart from that troublesome secret. They are all likeable and, being human, they are all flawed. Here’s the book blurb:

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Steph Garvey has been married to husband Si for 24 years. Steph thought they were soulmates. Until recently. Surely one’s soulmate shouldn’t put Chelsea FC before her? Or boycott caressing her to fondle the remote control? Fed up, Steph uses her Tesco staff discount to buy a laptop. Her friends all talk about Facebook. It’s time to get networking.

Si is worried about middle-age spread and money. Being a self-employed plumber isn’t easy in recession. He’s also aware things aren’t right with Steph. But Si has forgotten the art of romance. Although these days Steph prefers cuddling her laptop to him. Then Si’s luck changes work wise. A mate invites Si to partner up on a pub refurbishment contract.

Son Tom has finished Sixth Form. Tom knows where he’s going regarding a career. He’s not quite so sure where he’s going regarding women and lurches from one frantic love affair to the next.

Widowed neighbour June adores the Garveys as if her own kin. And although 70, she’s still up for romance. June thinks she’s struck gold when she meets salsa squeeze Harry. He has a big house and bigger pension – key factors when you’ve survived a winter using your dog as a hot water bottle. June is vaguely aware that she’s attracted the attention of fellow dog walker Arnold, but her eyes are firmly on Harry as “the catch”.

But then Cupid’s arrow misfires causing madness and mayhem. Steph rekindles a childhood crush with Barry Hastings; Si unwittingly finds himself being seduced by barmaid Dawn; June discovers Harry is more than hot to trot; and Tom’s latest strumpet impacts on all of them. Will Cupid’s arrow strike again and, more importantly, strike correctly? There’s only one way to find out…

You can buy Flings and Arrows as an e-book. Also, why not visit Debbie’s website and blog?

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Debbie was also our guest back in 2011…

Stockings and Cellulite

I have written for as long as I can remember. From pages and pages of diarised angst as a teenager, through to short stories for my children and ultimately writing a novel, I’m at my happiest when creating characters and playing God to their fictitious lives. I write most evenings. As a result I never watch television, can’t hold a decent discussion about Coronation Street or Gary Barlow on X-Factor, and burn the midnight candle long after everybody else has gone to bed. This plays havoc with one’s sex life but whilst I still have a passion for my husband, I am mistress to the written word.

Stockings and Cellulite took me six years to write and publish. This involved numerous re-writes, a long and expensive session with Cornerstones Literary Consultants, two close encounters with literary agents who both wanted another re-write ‘their way’ and ultimately me throwing my hands up in the air and walking off down the self-publishing route. It was a steep learning curve. Lesson: always do what a literary agent wants, you may not get another opportunity.Currently looking to publish my second novel Flings and Arrows. Have entered the Mills & Boon New Voices competition with this but know in my heart it isn’t Mills & Boon material as I don’t have one heroine, I have two and the latter’s age is 70! Anybody wanting to have a read of the opening chapters can via this link.

I am 50,000 words into a third novel Silicon and Stretchmarks which is a sequel to Stockings after feedback by readers asking to know what happens next. This project suffered an interruption when I spotted The Lightship First Chapter Competition and wrote an entry with a working title of The Perfect Relationship… I know exactly how this fourth novel is going to unfold. Currently am struggling to hold off it and get back to Silicon and Stretchmarks.

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I live with my long-suffering husband who took up with a mistress called ‘Golf’ by way of revenge. In exchange for him tolerating my keyboard caresses, I put up with him stroking woods and irons. Together we have three stroppy teenagers and a devoted dog who never plays loud music or bangs doors.

Stockings and Cellulite

As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, Cassandra Cherry’s life takes a turn for the worse when she stumbles upon husband Stevie lying naked on a coat-strewn bed with a 45 year old divorcee. Suddenly single, Cass throws herself into the business of getting over Stevie. Her main problems now are making her 9 year old twins happy, juggling her social life with a return to work and avoiding being arrested by an infuriating policeman who always seems to turn up at the most inopportune moments. Then, just when Cass is least prepared, and much to Stevie’s chagrin, she crashes head over heels in love with the last person she’d ever expected.

Visitors to The Guest Room can read the first few pages of Stockings and Cellulite via my website. It is available on Amazon.

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