Having reviewed Strictly On Ice earlier this week, I’m delighted to be joined by its author Helen Buckley today. Welcome Helen and thanks for joining me. First of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?
Hi! I’m Helen Buckley. I live in Bedfordshire with my husband and two sons. I spend most of my days running around after the boys, and when I get a spare moment, I write.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always loved reading and often thought I would be an author, but I only ever wrote poetry and never truly believed I could write a novel. In 2018, after experiencing a few years of infertility, I was feeling really low and I started writing my first novel, Star in the Shadows, as an escape from those feelings. Fast forward three years and I’ve written six books and have two beautiful sons via IVF.
Tell me about your journey to publication
My first novel, Star in the Shadows, was published in October 2019 by Austin Macauley. After that I continued writing and pitched my second novel to agents and publishers. I used the rejections I received to help me hone my pitch and I developed a series, which I then successfully submitted to ChocLit. They are bringing my series to publication, starting with Strictly on Ice, in March 2021.
In a nutshell, what is your book about?
A former Olympic skating champion takes part in a new TV show to earn some cash, but she gets more than she bargained for when she’s partnered with a love-rat rugby player, and finds that her ex-boyfriend is on the judging panel! Strictly on Ice is a dramatic, romantic, thrilling read about the world of ice skating and reality TV.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
I have to confess – I didn’t! I had a whole other title in mind, but my lovely publishers came up with something much better!
How do you plan to celebrate publication day?
I’m not sure, as we are likely to be in lockdown still. At best I am hoping to have some childcare to help me with the boys and to give me a moment to have a cup of tea that hasn’t gone cold!
Do you have a work in progress just now?
Always! I am working on a contemporary women’s fiction story about infertility, drawing on my own experiences. I don’t have much time to write at the moment, but I try to add a few words here and then whenever I have time!
What one book would you recommend to a friend and why?
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. The beauty of the writing literally took my breath away. It’s a masterpiece.
What are you reading just now?
I have just finished reading A Million Dreams by Dani Atkins. It really hit home emotionally as the story is about IVF, and I’ve been through that with both of my boys.
If you were on Desert Island Discs, what one book would you take with you?
Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend. I love the story and it’s pretty long so it would keep me going for a while!
Is there a book you’d love to see made into a film?
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. It’s such an original, unusual story and it would be brilliant to see on the big screen.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
I love to hear from people to talk about books (not just my own!) and writing.
Facebook: Helen Buckley author
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
Easy – Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Because of the chocolate!
From the back of the book
When falling in love comes with the risk of falling flat on your face …
Former Olympic skating champion Katie Saunders is well known for her ‘ice queen’ persona in the press. On the face of it, perhaps Katie should have forgiven her former skating partner and ex-boyfriend, Alex Michaelson, for the accident that shattered both her ankle and their Olympic dreams – but she just can’t seem to let it go.
When Katie reluctantly agrees to take part in a new TV skating show, it’s only because she’s desperate for cash. What she didn’t count on is the drama – not only is she partnered up with infamous love rat rugby player Jamie Welsh, but one of the judges is none other than Alex Michaelson himself.
As the show progresses, will Katie be shown the hard way, once again, that romance on the ice should remain strictly off-limits?
Strictly on Ice is available now in ebook and paperback formats. You’ll find buying options for
various retailers on the ChocLit website here: Strictly On Ice