Birte Hosken’s first novel, Petroc’s Church, tells the story of a young woman called Jen who takes a summer job in Cornwall to escape her busy life in London — and is instantly attracted to the good-looking man who lives next door.
Birte’s own Cornish romance began 31 years ago, when she met her future husband, Des, on the first night of her first visit to the county. She was one of a group of residents of Cuxhaven, on the north German coast, who came to Cornwall as part of the twinning link between their town and the district of Penwith. Des was then a senior officer at Penwith Council, and was actively involved in arrangements for the visit. “We hit it off from the start,” Birte recalls.
She was also enchanted by the landscape and coast, and within months knew that Cornwall was where she wanted to be: “It was a big decision to move here, but I loved it here, and still do.” She and Des, who live in Carbis Bay, now have two grown-up children. But the encounter which changed both their lives could so easily not have happened. “The people I was planning to go on the trip with pulled out,” says Birte. “But I had already paid the deposit, so I came!”
She enjoyed writing from an early age, and for some years after she settled in Cornwall, she was the twinning correspondent for a local newspaper in Cuxhaven. “I wrote about anything which I thought might interest people — lighthouses, beaches, the Eden Project.” In more recent years, with both her children away at university, Birte has had more time to devote to writing. As a reader, she has always been interested in both real-life experiences and romantic fiction, and these genres influenced her style and subject matter. Writing in English is something she takes in her stride. As she says: “This is the language I live in now.”
The initial inspiration for Petroc’s Church came during one of Birte’s regular beach walks. “I was walking along the three miles of golden sands in Hayle, when I came across some dark tunnels. I could imagine there was something supernatural there — so the plot developed from there.”
The book was published in 2016, and Birte then began work on her second novel, Let Wild Waves Roar, which is set further along the north coast, at Crantock. It focuses on a stressed car sales executive suffering a mid-life crisis, who receives an unexpected inheritance and makes a life-changing decision …
• Both Petroc’s Church and Let Wild Waves Roar can be ordered on Amazon in either Kindle or paperback format, by searching for Birte Hosken. Birte is also happy to send copies to people living locally and to give talks about her books. She can be contacted via her Facebook page or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org