Choc Lit: So, you’re back in England after ten years. Why’s that?
Rick W: I’m here to promote my book, Sex in the Sea.
CL: Great title! Tell us more.
RW: Not my idea, my publisher’s. It’s basically about how far some sea
creatures go in order to procreate.
CL: Oh. Sounds, um, fascinating. (Perking up) But it has pictures, hasn’t it?
RW: Yes, there are fifty-six colour photos apparently.
CL: Of you? On the beach, with your kit off?
RW: (Laughing) The book’s about my work, not me! Although there is a photo of me on the front cover – again, my publisher’s idea.
CL: Well, there are some sexy scientists around these days – have you
ever worked with Professor Brian Cox?
RW: I’m a marine biologist, not a physicist – so no, I haven’t. But as you can see, I’ve heard of him – even though I’ve been in Australia for a while.
CL: Yes – what took you over there?
RW: Sea dragons – the only place they’re found in the wild is off the southern coast of Australia. I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to do my PhD at the University of Melbourne, and away I went.
CL: No regrets?
RW: Absolutely none. (Quickly changing the subject) The book’s other key message is that life under the sea is precarious enough – but, when you add to this our generally irresponsible attitude to fishing and pollution, you have an ecological disaster waiting to happen.
CL: Can’t wait to read it – although I have a feeling I won’t get past the front cover! What are your plans while you’re here?
RW: Most of my time will be taken up by the book tour, but I’ll be staying with my sister and her husband whenever I can. They’ve just bought a garden centre in Somerset, and I’ll be at the grand opening in a couple of months. I’m also planning to look up an old friend in Lyme Regis.
CL: And what does your Australian supermodel girlfriend think about you being away for so long?
RW: Shelley’s fine with it. It’s not as if she’ll be sitting around twiddling her thumbs – she’ll be working, like me.
CL: One last question. If you were a chocolate, how would you describe yourself?
RW: A hard centre.
Actually, Choc Lit would describe Dr Rick Wentworth as a Montezuma Chilli Truffle, smouldering with fiery passion under a deceptively hard outer shell!
So, the scene is set for Rick’s triumphant return to England as a celebrity scientist and author. He may not know it yet, but he’s on a collision course with Anna Elliot – the girl who left him ten years before.
The words ‘forgive and forget’ aren’t in Rick’s vocabulary. The word ‘regret’ is definitely in Anna’s. When they meet again, can she persuade him that their lost love is worth a second chance?
If this all sounds familiar, it should be! Juliet Archer has taken the beautiful story of Persuasion and plonked it firmly in the 21st century. You can judge the outcome from September – in the meantime, here’s the cover:
Many thanks to Juliet Archer for this fab character interview! Make sure to check out Persuade Me this fall, or The Importance of Being Emma, in stores now.
And don't worry, we've got more coming from Juliet!
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