Writing a series – Alison Sherlock

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By Alison Sherlock

Escape To The Country is the second book in my Willow Tree Hall series – and my very first sequel! All of my other books have been standalone but the idea for this series is to discover the lives and loves of those who live at Willow Tree Hall throughout 4 books.♥

The idea for Willow Tree Hall actually came from watching Downton Abbey! I watched the programme and wondered what it would be like to live in a grand stately home in the present day. As I researched the subject, I realised that many of our country estates had fallen into disrepair due to the high running costs. And thus became the ‘eureka’ moment that began the plot for Book 1 in the series, A House To Mend A Broken Heart.

The renovation and transformation of Willow Tree Hall will take place over all four books, although you don’t need to read them in any particular order.

I was a tiny bit worried about writing a series but Escape To The Country was actually great fun to write as I loved having the chance to catch up with my characters once more. The book begins only a few weeks on from where A House To Mend A Broken Heart finishes.

This time, the story concentrates on Eleanor, Annie’s best friend, the heroine in the first book.  Eleanor’s been living a glamorous, party life in London so when she is forced to head back to the local village, it’s all a bit of a shock for her!

Eleanor has two best friends, Annie and Megan, both of whom live in Cranley. They have been friends since their school days but like so many, the friendship has slipped a little due to work and life constraints.  I wanted to take Eleanor on a journey to rediscover the important things in life. To remind her that once you strip away any designer labels or fakery, that it really is family and friends who can complete your life.

My hero is Tom, a global rock star. He popped into my mind whilst I was watching Glastonbury last year and is a hybrid mix of Ed Sheeran, Chris Martin and Captain America (Chris Evans)! The mind of a writer is a very strange place sometimes…!

Anyway, Tom has found fame and fortune as a rock star but is struggling with the pressures of both and ends up hiding away in Willow Tree Hall where, of course, he meets Eleanor.

Do they find friendship and love over a long, hot summer? You’ll have to read Escape To The Country to find out!


Alison Sherlock loves to write stories full of warmth, laughter, love and friendships, including The Desperate Bride’s Diet Club. Her latest series of books focuses on the lives and loves, trials and tribulations of all those who live and work at Willow Tree Hall, a crumbling stately home in the countryside. Alison lives in Surrey with her husband and Harry, the world’s daftest golden retriever.

@AlisonSherlock

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