What was your favourite thing about writing Country Rivals?
One of the most wonderful things about writing is that I can escape to another world – which is what I hope readers will do when they start to turn the pages. With Country Rivals (and all the Tippermere series) the best thing was immersing myself in Tippermere, the world-building was great fun, and naturally influenced the characters.
I could pick out the best bits from all the different villages I know and build the place I’d really love to live in. In Country Rivals the main emphasis is on the Tipping House Estate, but I have the whole village planned out – along with the neighbouring Kitterly Heath, home to Sam and her footballer husband (which features much more in the earlier books).
I’ve built relationships between the characters, but also between the places. When Lottie and Xander want to get away from the media I know that they can gallop to the outer edges of the estate and on to Folly Lake Equestrian Centre, where Billy lives.
It is wonderful when you can completely immerse yourself in the lives of the characters in this way, when you can picture their homes, know which route they take to the village shop and understand just why Seb Drakelow was so keen to shoot his film in Tippermere.
To be honest, although this was probably my favourite thing about the book, I loved everything about writing it. The characters are incredibly real to me, and so are the animals – the mischievous dogs and temperamental horses. And I can practically hear the crunch of the gravel as Pandora steps out of her car and comes face to face with Lottie…
‘A great treat for readers…jam-packed with sexy men and horses.’ Bestselling author Fiona Walker
Dashing eventer Rory is ready to button up his breeches and settle down. His gorgeous wife, Lottie, wants a bank balance in the black so she can protect the beautiful family estate for future generations.
But with the wedding business at Tipping House going up in flames, and rumours that it was arson not accident, Lottie begins to wonder who she can trust with her future.
Tranquil Tippermere is under siege as movies moguls and insurance investigators invade the countryside, and as events gather pace rescue plans start to look too good to be true, and intentions may not be as honourable as they seem.
As a moody, but definitely marvellous, polo player enters the fray and squares up to the eventing hero of Tippermere, does Lottie stand to lose her husband as well as her home?
Zara was born in a small village in Staffordshire, educated in Cheshire, and went on to study at Liverpool University. After a successful career as an IT consultant, she decided to follow her heart and ran a dog grooming business for several years before becoming a full-time writer.
Her fun, romantic, romps draw on her experiences of village life, and her various love affairs with dogs, cats and horses. These days if she’s not at her laptop, you can usually find her trudging across fields on foot, or sat on the back of a horse.
Zara divides her time between a country cottage in Cheshire and an apartment in Barcelona. Her most recent novels include the popular Stable Mates, Country Affairs and Country Rivals.
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