Author Interview: Angela Cairns | Touch

We’re kicking off our author interviews on Hen Lit Central with Angela Cairns, author of Touch. Here’s what she had to say about what inspired her to write Touch, plus lots more!


Tell us a little bit about yourself and your published book(s).
Hi, I’m Angela Cairns, author of Touch, the first novel in the Ellie Rose series. Sequel coming soon!


Ellie is a physiotherapist, like me. She has an amazing life planned in Australia. When Ellie loses her soulmate Brett in a tragic accident, all their plans to marry, work together and travel, die with him. Devastated, she returns to England but flees to the countryside to escape the smothering sympathy of family and friends. She must somehow find a way to survive. She needs to move on, but Ellie can’t help looking back, and if she continues to live in the past, will she miss her second chance for happiness?

Tell us about the genre you like to write, and how is it similar / different from other women fiction genres.
Touch is a women’s fiction book with a romantic story arc and a theme of recovery after loss. It differs from some other romances because it contains elements of a medical memoir; we meet, laugh and cry with Ellie’s patients in the clinic she sets up. As you can see from the cover, Ellie has dogs, two madcap Gordon Setters, and we hear about their adventures and antics along the way too. Is there another love interest? You’ll have to read it to find out…

When did it dawn on you that you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing and broadcasting as a physiotherapist for the BBC for over twenty years. With talented composer Simon Ramet, I wrote and recorded a set of relaxation stories called Play Pause Unwind. These were my first published stories. I’ve longed to write a book and realized as the birthdays rolled by that, I needed to make time to write it. I’ve been studying with the Writer’s company in Wivenhoe which gave me the structure I needed to make the dream a reality. I write short stories too; several are published in anthologies or on Amazon and I have recently sold a trilogy of shorts which will appear as a series in ‘Yours’ magazine next year.

What are some things that inspire you to write?

I am still a working clinician. I hear so much about people’s lives, the laughter and the tears. Their everyday courage in dealing with problems is inspirational. I’m proud to say that I have treated three generations of some families. I work with some amazing clinicians too. My clinics are multidisciplinary and include holistic practitioners, counsellors, yoga and fitness instructors as well as physio/acupuncturists like me. I am married and have two grown-up lads and a clan of Gordon Setter dogs.

As you can see, there is no shortage of inspiration for stories. One of my patients said that reading Touch had allowed her to admit after thirty years, how hard it had been to cope with raising a family on her own. She had cried for her younger self for the first time. Books entertain, but they heal too.

What is your typical writing routine like?
Because I still work, I am disciplined about setting aside time to write. I diary out time, so if I’m asked to do something else, I truthfully say “Sorry, I have an appointment.” It’s no hardship; writing is a joy and very therapeutic. Imagine, I can take annoying characters from real life and do whatever I like to them, on the page! Then there are the amazing men I can conjure. My friend’s mother said she wished she had met Brett because she was more than half in love with him.

I write on the computer, with a flask of herbal tea, some nibbles and a notepad that has all my scribbled ideas in it. My dogs know the drill and settle in various poses of total relaxation while I get the words down. I do lots of my planning while I walk the dogs too. As well as writing, I’ve had to hone and transfer lots of other skills. I chose to be an indie author, so I design all my own social media posts, I blog, as well as attend live events such as readings and book club talks.

Who are some of your favorite authors and why? 
Books create amazing worlds, one of my favorites is in Chocolat and its sequels by Joanne Harris. Joanne transports me back to France, where I lived for six years, and there is just a little hint of magic in all her stories. Then there is the wonderfully sensuous chocolate that you can almost taste! Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert chimes with me; The restlessness that leads to her journey and the peace she finds. I practice Yoga and T ‘ai Chi and cherish the peace and grounding that stillness brings. I also love a good crime novel; Inspector Lynley, Rebus, Temperance Brennan and Cormoran Strike are all delightfully flawed heroes.

What kind of message do your book(s) convey to readers?
In amongst all the fun, the message I want to convey in the Ellie Rose series is that wellbeing and self-esteem are key to our health. No-one does it all by themselves, so we have to know who and when to ask for help. And even in our darkest times, there is hope, there is laughter, and there are fantastic people.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Many thanks to Carolyn and her team at Hen Central for inviting me. I am delighted that there’s a dedicated party central for us “hens” now. We’ve inspired upcoming generations to read because we read to them as children. We gifted them books and set the example by reading ourselves. The chick-lit readers of today will become the hens of tomorrow. We’ve taught them well, so life without books? I don’t think so!

Find out more about Angela Cairns and her book, Touch, here:

Instagram and Facebook – @angelacairnsauthor 

Twitter @angelacairnsau1 

Join her mailing list for a monthly newsletter with the free short story, news and great book promos. You get a side story to Touch about Ellie and Brett as a bonus too!

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