#BlogTour · #CharacterSpotlight · Bonnier Zaffre Books · EmmaTheLittleBookworm

It’s time to meet Opal Sharp, the leading lady in Rosie Goodwin’s latest novel, #TheWinterPromise @RosieGoodwin @bonnierbooks_uk @ElStammeijer

I’m delighted to welcome Rosie Goodwin to my blog today as she introduces the main character from her latest historical saga, The Winter Promise.

It’s so great to have you here, Rosie! First, I’d like to say congratulations on your new book and huge thanks for taking the time to answer my questions about how you create your characters.

Seven weeks after publication, you already have 345 global ratings with all the written reviews giving it 5 stars! You must be so happy.

Now, before I share the book info, let’s chat about your characters…

When did you create Opal Sharp?

As with all my books, the main character in The Winter Promise just popped into my head. Suddenly in my mind’s eye I could see her clearly, right down to what she was wearing so next I had to think of a name that would suit her. In this instance, because this is the first of my Precious Stones series, the main character had to have the name of a jewel and as my birth stone is opal, it seemed a good idea to start with that and so Opal Sharp was born.

Did you write the book to accommodate Opal or Opal to accommodate the book?

Once I have the character in my head, I begin to think of a story that would suit them, and as I read about opal prospectors, the story began to grow in my head and gave me an idea of where I could take it. My stories always come after the character I can imagine in my head and once started the characters almost seem to tell the story themselves. I never know where they are going to lead and rarely know where or how the story is going to end until I’m well into the book.

What do you like most about her?

Most of my characters are women who overcome adversity, but as most of my readers will know I never give them an easy time. The more they come to life to me the more I grow to love and admire them. I’m not sure I could survive the things I put my characters through.

What do you like least about her?

I hate what I have to put them through, but I hate the baddies in my book even more, although what book would be complete without one? I have to dislike them otherwise I wouldn’t be able to make them real.

Did your early readers/editorial team like Opal to start with or did you have to change her in any way?

I’ve been so lucky to have such a good editorial team behind me. Because they know that I’m never sure where my stories are going to lead, they tend to give me free rein to let the story and the characters develop and although I might have to amend certain things I have never once had to change any of my main characters.

Does she have similarities with anyone in the real world?

I must admit I’m a people watcher. The best time is when travelling when I can tuck myself in a corner and discreetly notice any little habits people may have. Those little habits could well pop up in a book, but I’m always very careful never to model any of my characters on anyone I know personally. I’m sure they wouldn’t appreciate it!

What are your plans for her?

In this series I will create six completely different main characters, each with the name of a jewel, and although it is a series, the books won’t necessarily have to be read in order. I have no set format I follow. I try to make each book totally different, so until I start each new one, I never have any idea where they might go.

Would you and Opal be friends in real life?

Oh yes, I definitely think I would get on with all my characters if they were real people. While they are strong, they will each have their slight flaws, as do most people. All my characters won’t be stunningly beautiful. I like to write about ordinary people we might pass in the street without giving them a second glance. Some of them could come from very privileged wealthy homes whilst others could begin their lives in tiny, overcrowded hovels. There was such a huge class divide back in the era I am writing in, and I find it fascinating. That’s the beauty of writing. Each of my characters can be what and who I want them to be which is probably why I love doing what I do!

And from what I’ve seen of the reviews, Opal is already a firm favourite with your fans and they love what you do too!

Now, bookworms, here’s the blurb…

Zaffre (15 Oct. 2020)


When Opal Sharp finds herself and her younger siblings suddenly orphaned and destitute, she thinks things can get no worse.

But soon three of them – including Opal – are struck down with the illness that took their father, and her brother Charlie is forced to make an impossible decision. Unable to afford a doctor, he knows the younger children will not survive. So, unbeknownst to Opal, Charlie takes their younger siblings to the workhouse. When she finds out, Opal is heartbroken.

Charlie starts taking risks to try to support what’s left of the Sharp family and earn Opal’s forgiveness, but he takes it too far and finds himself in trouble with the law. Soon, he is sent on a convict ship to Australia.

As poor Opal is forced to say goodbye to the final member of her family, she makes a promise to reunite them all one day.

Will she ever see her family again?

This sounds wonderful and I can’t wait to get stuck in over the Christmas break 😊

Go and grab your copy now!

The Winter Promise: The perfect Christmas gift from the Sunday Times bestselling author eBook: Goodwin, Rosie: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

Massive thanks again for joining me today, Rosie! And thanks to the team at Zaffre for inviting me on to the tour.

You can keep up and see what other bloggers think of the book here:


About the author…

Rosie Goodwin is the author of over thirty bestselling novels and a Sunday Times bestseller. She is the first author in the world to be allowed to follow three of Catherine Cookson’s trilogies with her own sequels.

Hello, thank you for visiting my author page. I have always loved to write and my children were weaned on stories I wrote for them. I was a foster carer for many years and during that time I cared for dozens of children and young people. I was also a placement support worker for our department, so with two jobs, seven children, numerous animals and a home to run it was a busy time. It was my husband who first suggested I should attempt writing a novel and I actually wrote my first two and a half books long hand sitting in our touring caravan in the back garden. Eventually I was lucky enough to secure an agent and it all went from there and my first book was published in 2004. Catherine Cookson was my inspiration so it seemed natural for me to write sagas too. I think they are the only genre where you can toss anything into the pot. Murder and romance can all live together to make for a pacy story, which is probably why I still love what I’m doing. I don’t have a set format; I try to make each book individual and sometimes even I don’t know where they’re going when I begin a new one. I love it when the main character comes to life for me and then I tend to let them take over and let the story go where it will. I have written books on a number of different themes; the more contemporary ones that tend to delve into more topical subjects, a ghost story as well as books that centre around World Wars 1 and 2. Recently I have completed a historical days of the week series. In my spare time I love gardening, spending time at our holiday home at the coast with my husband and dogs, all six of them, I’m afraid I’m a lost cause for waifs and strays, and spending time with my lovely grandchildren. Hopefully there will be something to appeal to each of you amongst my titles, there are over thirty of them available now and I do hope that if you read them you will enjoy reading them as much as I loved writing them.
Very best wishes
Rosie Goodwin

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