Thursday, 28 April 2016
Series: La Cour des Roses: Book 1
Release Date: 28th April 2016
Genres: Romantic Comedy
I am thrilled to welcome the lovely Helen Pollard to the blog. Helen's book The Little French Guesthouse is released today so make sure you rush out and buy it! Lets find out what the book is about first and then read the great interview with Helen.
Sun, croissants and fine wine. Nothing can spoil the perfect holiday. Or can it?
When Emmy Jamieson arrives at La Cour des Roses, a beautiful guesthouse in the French countryside, she can’t wait to spend two weeks relaxing with boyfriend Nathan. Their relationship needs a little TLC and Emmy is certain this holiday will do the trick. But they’ve barely unpacked before he scarpers with Gloria, the guesthouse owner’s cougar wife.
Rupert, the ailing guesthouse owner, is shell-shocked. Feeling somewhat responsible, and rather generous after a bottle (or so) of wine, heartbroken Emmy offers to help. Changing sheets in the gîtes will help keep her mind off her misery.
Thrust into the heart of the local community, Emmy suddenly finds herself surrounded by new friends. And with sizzling hot gardener Ryan and the infuriating (if gorgeous) accountant Alain providing welcome distractions, Nathan is fast becoming a distant memory.
Fresh coffee and croissants for breakfast, feeding the hens in the warm evening light; Emmy starts to feel quite at home. But it would be madness to walk away from her friends, family, and everything she’s ever worked for, to take a chance on a place she fell for on holiday – wouldn’t it?
Where are you from?
I was born and brought up in Yorkshire, not far from Leeds, and I now live a few miles from Ilkley with my husband, two almost-adults and a Jekyll and Hyde cat. It's only a train ride into Leeds, or a short car drive in the other direction to get out into the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. Best of all worlds!
List 3 interesting facts about yourself.
I’ll cry at anything – I’m hopeless. My husband has to vet my TV viewing.
I’m a Virgo with an Aquarius ascendant (someone once drew up my astrology chart). So basically I’m self-critical and pedantic, with a creative rebellious streak. Not an easy combination to live with!
I love watching old TV shows from the 1970s and 80s – they take me right back to my child-and-teenhood! Hawaii Five-O, The Rockford Files, Starsky & Hutch, Magnum P.I., Cagney & Lacey …
What was the first thing you ever had published?
Warm Hearts in Winter, a ‘sweet’ romance, was published by a U.S. digital press about eighteen months ago.
Do you have a writing routine?
I’m still working on that one! I finally gave up my job at Christmas, for all sorts of reasons but partly because I was hoping to concentrate more on my writing. I’m still adjusting to that, and I don’t have a specific daily ‘regime’ yet. I’m sure I should have! But I do like to get any admin, e-mails etc. out of the way before I do any writing.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Mid-morning, I savour the one ‘proper’ coffee I allow myself each day. Then I can start thinking about being creative.
Where did the idea for your most recent book come from?
I’d had the opening scene for The Little French Guesthouse in my mind for years – how would someone feel if they caught their boyfriend with an older woman rather than a younger woman? - but I wasn’t doing any writing at the time (young family, no time, too tired!) Then, one summer, we were on holiday in a gîte in France, and I suddenly thought, ‘This is it! This is where that scene takes place!’ Once I could picture the setting in my mind, I was desperate to get that opening scene down on paper, so I started writing again . . . and the creative floodgates reopened.
Who was the first person you shared your book with?
My husband. I was worried he wouldn’t like it – after all, it isn’t the kind of genre he usually reads – but he genuinely enjoyed it and kept asking me if he could have the next chapter yet!
Do you have a current work in progress?
I’m currently working on the sequel to The Little French Guesthouse – further dilemmas and shenanigans for Emmy, Alain, Rupert and friends!
Do you have any advice for budding authors?
Believe in your work, but be honest with yourself about your weaknesses and try to improve on them. Also, know that getting published doesn’t end when you get a contract – there’s a whole world of marketing, social media, blogging etc. that goes with it. Don’t let that put you off - but it helps to know what you’re letting yourself in for.
About the Author
As a child, Helen had a vivid imagination fuelled by her love of reading, so she started to create her own stories in a notebook.
She still prefers fictional worlds to real life, believes characterisation is the key to a successful book, and enjoys infusing her writing with humour and heart.
When she's not writing, Helen enjoys reading, decent coffee, scrapbooking and watching old seventies and eighties TV shows.
Helen is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association.
Author links –
Website & Blog: http://helenpollardwrites.wordpress.com