Meet the Characters – Hugh Thorpe from ‘Mid-life follies’ by R J Gould

A warm welcome to my guest this week, author R.J. Gould who is interviewing his character Hugh Thorpe from ‘Mid-life Follies’. First let’s find out a bit about the book

Mid-life follies_front cover with bleed


‘When you look in the mirror, do you see someone young and vibrant like you used to be,’ Liz asks her husband, ‘or old and decrepit like you’re going to be?’

This question is the trigger for Liz’s decision to leave the comfortable family home in Cambridge after twenty-three years of contented marriage.

A brisk walk to clear her head of the feeling of being trapped doesn’t work. On a brief escape to the seaside, a wholly out of character one-night fling makes things worse. A baffled Hugh is left to figure out why his wife has abandoned him. Is she suffering a mid-life crisis? Is he experiencing the same affliction?

A succession of twists and turns prevents a restoration to the normality that the couple increasingly crave as their children, parents and friends discover that immaturity is not solely the preserve of the young.

“This tale of self-doubt, adultery and forgiveness is shot through with humour and compassion. A most enjoyable read.” 

David Lister, The Independent 

It sounds a great read, doesn’t it? You can buy the book here:



Over to R J Gould’s interview with Hugh Thorpe.

Thanks for agreeing to meet me, Hugh, I appreciate how upset you must be. Having heard Liz’s explanation about what’s going on, I think it’s only fair to get your take.

Well, you’re fortunate to have got that far because I’m still waiting for an explanation.

She told me that she already has explained how she feels.

Hardly. Only meaningless clichés like “feeling trapped”, “needing space”, and “fearing old age.”

Don’t you think those are very real concerns?

Not enough to justify walking out on me after twenty-three happy years together – even she has agreed they were good times. I don’t understand this fear of ageing that she’s going on about. We all get it, don’t we, once we reach a certain age. God, she’s only forty-seven. What does she think it’s like being my age?

I think I’m right; you’ve just turned fifty-nine, haven’t you? I wouldn’t call that old so I’m struggling to fathom why you seem to have developed a rather morbid obsession with death.

Who told you that?

Your daughter, Kiera. She says that you spend all your time reading obituaries. She’s also told me that you’ve become as grumpy as hell.

Is that surprising? Let me remind you, Liz left the very weekend that I’d retired. I was all set to plan for a wonderful rest of our lives together, but now that she’s gone, all I have to look forward to is a lonely march towards death. And since you mention Kiera, to add to it all, she’s a huge concern. She’s having sex with a boy who I haven’t even met, she’s not working hard at college, and God knows what else she’s getting up to.

Teenagers, they’re never easy.

“Never easy for teenagers”! “Very real concerns for Liz”! Whose side are you on?

It’s not a case of taking sides, I’m merely trying to get to the bottom of the problem. Do you accept any responsibility for what’s happened?

I’m not stupid, of course I do. I wonder whether I’m deserving of Liz. She’s so vibrant, clever, sociable.

From what I’ve heard, she loves you dearly and would happily resolve this. Do you think a reconciliation is possible?

I wish I knew. I just wish I knew.

Want to find out if Hugh and Liz get back together? You can buy the book here:



Meet R J Gould

richard gould

R J Gould is published by Endeavour Media and Headline Accent and is the author of four novels:  A Street Café Named Desire, The Engagement Party, Jack & Jill Went Downhill and Mid-life follies. He is a (rare male) member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Having been selected for the organisation’s New Writers Programme, his first novel was short-listed for the Joan Hessayon Award. Ahead of writing full time, R J Gould led a national educational charity. He has published in a wide range of educational journals, national newspapers and magazines and is the co-author of a major work on educating able young people, all rewarding, but his passion is writing fiction. He lives in Cambridge, England.

Find him at:





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Meet the Characters – Aphrodite from The Beginning and End of Us by Rose James

My guest today is author Rose James who is interviewing Aphrodite,  the protagonist from her debut novel, The Beginning and End of Us, published by Bookouture.  Let’s find out a bit about the book first:

Isn’t the cover evocative?



Born in a honeysuckle-choked garden, a young woman discovers her true purpose in the world moments before she’s cast out of the only home she’s ever known.

Haunted by loneliness, she begins a journey to fulfil her destiny. It is a path that will lead her into the arms of four very different men – a dreamer, a fighter, an artist and a lost soul.

But could it be the secrets she left behind – and the one person she thought she had lost forever – that hold the answers to the questions she’s seeking? For while life may take you unexpected places, truth will bring you home…

Perfect for fans of The Time Traveller’s WifeThe Secrets of Lost Stones and The Light We Lost.


‘Breathtaking, heartbreaking… top of my best books of 2019.’ Fireflies and Freekicks Fiction

‘I was stunned.’ Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Wow what an amazing book! This is my first from this author but won’t be my last. Absolutely amazing. Loved the story… Finished in a day. I couldn’t put it down it was so good.’ Goodreads reviewer

‘This book is beautiful and will make you see the magical all around you.’ Insights Into Books Blog

‘James’ descriptive, expressive, lyrical writing builds and blends an enchanting world of surreal pleasure of the senses with a magical mournful melancholyThe Beginning and End of Us is an enchanting, spellbinding read.’ Goodreads reviewer

If, like me, you think it sounds an intriguing story you can buy the book here:


Apple Books:



The book is reduced across all platforms for a limited time and is on a Kobo Valentine’s Day promotion in the UK and Australia, priced at/ 99c/ppp.

Now over to Rose and her interview with Aprophodite:

Hi Aphrodite, thanks so much for coming to chat with me, it’s lovely to have you here.

Thanks, it’s lovely to be here, especially right before Valentine’s Day – perfect timing.

So, my first question is: as the living embodiment of love, why do you think the idea of it holds such fascination for people?

I think people are fascinated by love because of how beautiful and powerful it is. And because no matter how much we think we understand it, it’s still a mystery, and we’re never prepared for how profoundly it can change us.

What was it like growing up at Hearthfire?

Well, for me it was normal but I’m sure most people would find it really weird. It was like living in a sort of commune, I suppose. I felt really connected to nature and the universe, as well as my adoptive family. I still miss it a lot. It was the most ‘at home’ I’ve ever felt.

How did you end up becoming a Keeper?

I honestly don’t know. All I know is that I was taken to Hearthfire as a child and left there. I can’t even remember my parents or my life before, and to be honest I don’t really want to. It doesn’t matter now. I think I was born for this purpose.

You talk about the Songs being a soundtrack to your life – which is your favourite Song and why?

Hmm… that’s impossible to answer because they were all my favourites in the moment. I love that feeling when you hear a Song, and it’s like the words were written just for you and everything else goes silent. Music and love have that in common, don’t they? They can both stop time.

What made you decide not to reveal the names of the people you’ve loved?

Mainly I didn’t want to embarrass them by using their real names, but also I wanted to give them nicknames that said something about what they meant to me. Plus, the story isn’t just about me and the people I’ve loved, it’s about the nature of love itself, so I thought it was nicer to do it that way.

Your Path has taken you all over the world – do you have any top travel tips and is there anywhere you haven’t been yet that you’d really like to visit?

Oooh, yes, nasal spray and hand sanitiser so you don’t get nasty aeroplane germs! I never travel without them. And where would I go…? I still haven’t been to India, so that’s probably the next place on my list. I’ve heard it’s amazing.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

That’s tricky. Actually, I don’t think I would give myself any advice because then I might have made different decisions and never have ended up here. If I could go back in time I think I’d just enjoy some extra moments with the people I love.

Best Valentine’s Day ever?

Can I say tomorrow? I feel like it’s going to be the best one ever. I’m spending it with my special person and we’re just going to hang out, play some music, maybe watch TV… and probably have cheeky cuddles! Which is like every other day I suppose, but then every day feels like Valentine’s Day when you’re with someone you love, doesn’t it?

Do you think genuine love is possible in an increasingly superficial world?

Yes! Of course I do, it’s not even a question. People are still genuine, feelings are still genuine, you just have to trust them and trust yourself. I definitely think we all need to stop hiding our insecurities behind filters and fake positivity though. Flaws are beautiful, they’re what make us unique so we need to embrace them. That’s the only way to find genuine love: be your genuine self.

What’s the most important thing you want the world to understand about love?

It’s free so be generous with it! Offer it recklessly and accept it unreservedly. It never runs out, it only multiplies so the more you give the more you have; how amazing is that? Also, if it’s hurting you it’s not love, it’s something else. Love is healthy and healing. And always, always love yourself more than anyone else… OK, I think that’s everything.

Great, thank you so much, it was such a pleasure to meet you.

You too – happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Spread the love.

Want to find out more about Aphrodite? You can purchase the book here:


Apple Books:



Meet Rose

_DSC8724 Final (2)Rose was born and raised in the Shropshire countryside, and has been writing stories and poems since she was a child. She graduated from the Open University in 2017 with a degree in English Language and Literature, and is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing with Lancaster University.

Her debut novel The Beginning and End of Us was published by Bookouture in 2019, after being shortlisted in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition in 2014. She is writing her second novel as part of her MA.

Rose works from home as a freelance writer, and among her favourite things to do are travelling, meeting new people, playing and writing music, rock climbing, and going on adventures in the nearby woodland with her dog, Evie.

Contact links:

Thank you for dropping by to talk to us about your book, Rose. Wishing you many sales. x


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Sassy, heartwarming romances set in glorious locations: Amazon Author Page