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Sofa workshop
Sofa workshop
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On the sofa with The Forever House author, Veronica Henry

Sofa + a good book = the perfect pairing. We even named one of our chairs for this very purpose, the Storyteller, (although all of our other sofas are also suitable for this activity!)

So naturally, we’re very excited to be collaborating with bestselling author Veronica Henry and Woman & Home magazine, to give one lucky person the chance to win one of our Storyteller chairs, plus a stack of summer reading written by the lady herself.

Veronica’s latest release, The Forever House, is her 15th novel and we can’t wait to dive into this feel-good summer page-turner

But before you rush off and enter this competition (because why on earth wouldn’t you?), join us on the sofa for a chat with Veronica.

Where did the inspiration for The Forever House come from? 

My friend is an estate agent and a few years ago she described a wonderful house she was selling that hadn’t been on the market for fifty years. The people who wanted to buy it described it as their ‘forever house’ and wrote a letter to the vendor telling her what the house would mean to them if they bought it. The story captured my imagination and ‘The Forever House’ seemed like a perfect title. I started to wonder what the ultimate ‘forever house’ would look like, who might live there and why they might be selling it. Hunter’s Moon emerged from there, and the plot began to unfold.

How often do you update your own home’s interiors? 

My house is constantly evolving. I’m lucky enough to live by the sea so I use that as inspiration – it changes colour every minute of the day so it’s a wide palette ranging from pewter to turquoise. I’ve just had a major overhaul and repainted – mostly white but with some dramatic feature walls in stormy grey and a deep dark mermaid-tail green. I’ve also had some pale grey driftwood flooring put down in the kitchen and dining room, and a very soft blue grey carpet in the living room. I like a mixture of heirloom pieces mixed with modern luxury as well as things I’ve ‘upcycled.’ My look is eclectic, incorporating things I’ve inherited or collected over the years.

Do you have a favourite reading spot in your house? If so, can you describe it to us? 

I will read anywhere and everywhere – in bed, in the bath, in the garden, in the car, while I’m waiting at the bus stop for my son or on the beach. I have towering piles of books on every surface. I’m trying to get them under control – I’m painting an old set of shelves, which I’m going to put up especially for my ‘To Be Read’ pile. Most of my rooms look out over the sea, so I have a wonderful view while I’m reading.

Tell us about your sofa, it’s colour and fabric – why did you choose it? 

My current sofa is an enormous L-shaped jumbo cord affair in elephant grey that was bought in order to seat as many teenage boys as possible – and the dog! But now I have only one son left at home full time I am looking to replace it with something more feminine and sophisticated. I’m looking for something soft and deep and velvety and button-backed. So I will be trawling the Sofa Workshop website – I have a few possibilities in mind! I’ve also got a very pretty double drop-ended sofa that belonged to my grandmother, which I had re-covered in velvet stripes – it’s stunning.

Do you have a favourite character that you’ve created out of all the books that you’ve written? 

I love Margot Willoughby in The Forever House – she was a bestselling author in the 60s, very glamorous and a bit wayward. I tried to reflect the difficulties of being an author through her – in particular the horrors of writers’ block. She’s not very responsible, though. She probably wouldn’t survive long as an author in today’s market. She’d far too chaotic and hedonistic. She’s got style, though!

What is the most frustrating thing about your job? And the most rewarding?

I find it very hard working on my own. I love teamwork, and having to motivate myself day to day without anyone to bounce ideas off is quite difficult. I’ve had to train myself to be very disciplined. The most rewarding thing is when I get a letter or email or message from someone who has been through a hard time and has read one of my books and found it an escape or a comfort. That gives me a really warm glow, to know I’ve made a difference to someone’s life.

Describe yourself in three words. 

Naughty but nice!

To be in with a chance of winning our fantastic prize, in partnership with Woman & Home magazine, visit http://bit.ly/2rLNkAk and simply choose the correct answer!

The competition closes on Friday 30th June 2017. Good luck!

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