I’m delighted to welcome author Deborah Carr to my blog today. Her historical novel, Mrs Boots of Pelham Street was published on 15th May. Deborah is interviewing her character Florence Boot today. Let’s take a look at the gorgeous cover and learn a bit more about this heartwarming book.
Behind every family there’s a strong woman holding them together.
As the wife of esteemed businessman, Jesse Boot, Florence’s position in society is much changed from her quiet life as a shopkeeper’s assistant. Now a lady of means, Florence is expected to act in a way society demands.
And whilst Florence is more than happy to be a dutiful wife and a doting mother, as the Boots empire continues to grow, there is so much more to her than simply being Mama or dearest. Helping the staff and customers who rely on her and the business gives Florence an added purpose.
Can she show society that a woman can have it all…?
You can purchase the book here:
Well that’s certainly got my interest! Now let’s move onto the interview with Florence Boot
Thank you, Florence for inviting me into your comfortable office in your new Boots store in Pelham Street.
What do you miss most about living in Jersey now that you’re based in Nottingham with your husband Jesse and three children, John, Dorothy and Margery?
We’ve recently moved from our home in Sheffield to a larger beautiful brick house in Nottingham with a beautiful park nearby so that we’re closer to our new flagship store in Pelham Street. We’re very happy there. Apart from my parents and three siblings who are all in Jersey, it’s the sea that I miss most about my home island. Although my parents still live in the flat above my father’s stationery shop at 27 Queen Street, it’s only about a ten-minute walk to the sea front either at Havre des Pas or near St Helier Harbour.
Your early working life was as a shop assistant in your father’s stationery shop in Jersey, how different is it working on the island to your working day in Nottingham?
I always considered Queen Street where W H Rowe Stationers is to be very busy, and for a small island it is, but it’s nothing like the busy streets of Nottingham. The hustle and bustle of the busy streets in Nottingham is another thing entirely. It took me a little while to become used to so many people, horses, Hansom cabs, but it is exciting and there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t enjoy going to work. Also the size of the Pelham Street shop is vast compared to my father’s stationers.
You’re a lady of means now and have a standing in society, why do you still work such long hours in your office each day?
I love my work supporting my husband, Jesse as we build our business. My children are small and it doesn’t matter if they come to work with me because I have enough room for them in my office to play and nap, so I can still spend most of my time with them while they’re little. I believe that marriage shouldn’t be the end of a working life for a woman and so I lead by example to my female staff by working hard and that will also hopefully install a good work ethic into my three children.
You’re always trying to find ways to help your female staff? What is it that you want most for them?
I was shocked to learn that a great number of women struggle to bring in enough money each week to keep their family fed and clothed. It is heart-breaking to think that many of them go without breakfast before a long working day to ensure there’s enough food to feed their husband and children. This is why I now provide cocoa first thing each day for each of my staff. I want to help the women who work for Boots to have the best future they can. It’s especially difficult for them when society dictates that they follow traditional expectations of them. I believe they should be able to make their own decisions about their future and I hope to help them realise ways to do this.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Being able to help others. I am lucky to have such a supportive husband who values my ideas and encourages me to put any them into practice, like the electric lighting we have installed in the Pelham Street store and changing the way the shops are laid out and the things we sell.
One of your famous innovative ideas for the Boots shops was the Boots Booklovers’ Libraries. Why was it so important for you to fight for these to be included in your shops?
I believe that reading should be available to everyone to enjoy. Reading is a way for all of us to educate ourselves and I think that through reading books we learn more about opportunities and different ways of life. It is also a wonderful way for people to escape their lives even if for a few minutes each day.
I can imagine that you have many plans for the future of Boots. Are there any that you can share with me today?
Only that whatever future plans my husband Jesse and I put into action, they will be with the intention of helping enrich both our customers’ and our members of staff’s daily life. We are lucky to be in a position to be able to help others in many ways and we never want to have to stop doing that.
‘Fabulous’ USA TODAY bestseller Glynis Peters
‘A captivating historical novel that would make perfect Sunday evening TV.’ Kraftireader
‘Florence a true believer in the power of women and that they deserve respect and equality. I didn’t want it to end.’ Amazon Reviewer
Deborah Carr is the USA TODAY best-selling author of The Poppy Field. She is currently writing her third book in the Mrs Boots series, Mrs Boots Goes To War to be published in 2021 along with a standalone novel set during The Occupation of Jersey during WW2, titled, An Island At War.
She sets most of her books at least partly on the island of Jersey where she lives with her husband and three lovable rescue dogs five minutes away from two beaches.
Deborah was described as ‘One to Watch’ by Good Housekeeping magazine for her debut historical romance, Broken Faces. She is also one third of The Blonde Plotters writing group and a Co-Founder of multi-award-winning tech start-up MyVLF.com – the first global virtual literary festival venue platform developed to connect readers and authors.
Social Media Links:
Twitter: @DebsCarr https://twitter.com/DebsCarr
Instagram: ofbooksandbeaches https://www.instagram.com/ofbooksandbeaches/
Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your book, Deborah. Wishing you many sales!
Sassy, heartwarming romances set in glorious locations: Amazon Author Page