I’m delighted to be joined by Pauline Morgan today. She’s chatting about her book The Ballynoon Friendship Circle which sounds lovely and which I hope to read sometime soon. In the meantime, she has kindly answered my Author in the Spotlight questions. Thanks to Zoe for having me as part of the tour.
What inspired you to start writing?
My inspiration for writing began at the infant’s school. I recall writing my first story about my grandparent’s budgie called Joey.
Tell me about your journey to publication
I did an Access Course in the late 1990s. From then onwards, the urge to write stories became more intense. I joined online writing groups, entered short story competitions. I forwarded short stories to two magazines, and they published the articles. The journey of seeking a publisher began. Yes, I received lots of rejections. On one particular day, an email from SpellBound Books offered me a contact. I am very grateful to them for their kindness, supportive role in helping me achieve my dreams of becoming a published author.
In a nutshell, what is your book about?
Edel, a retired widow, relocates to her homeland in N.Ireland. Seeking friendship, she joins a friendship circle. To her horror, they are a band of nosy gossipers nicknamed the Stitch & Bitch group. Martin, a property developer/millionaire, is her neighbour a man of many secrets. Yet, Edel has a few of her own. Can she cope with the nosy band of ladies she calls friends while trying to blossom a relationship with Martin? Edel must choose between friendship or loneliness. Does she get her happy ever after ending?
How did you come up with the title for your book?
I relocated back to N.Ireland and joined a friendship group. Since joining the group and listening to their stories and conversations, I thought this material would make a terrific book. Hence the name, The Ballynoon Friendship Circle.
How do you plan to celebrate publication day?
It all depends on the lockdown situation in N.Ireland. If the restrictions are still in place and the village pub closed, I will do a live event on FaceBook. Otherwise, share a lovely celebration BBQ at home with my husband and family.
Do you have a work in progress just now?
I’m working on a sequel to the Ballynoon Friendship Circle. I aim to bring in the characters who I referred to in the first book. There is never a dull moment when writing about these ladies and their partners.
What one book would you recommend to a friend and why?
Eloise by Judy Finnigan. I would highly recommend this book for its sensitivity, moving, haunting storyline set in Cornwall.
What are you reading just now?
A Secret Garden by Katie Fforde A story of family and friends giving the reader a moment of escapism.
If you were on Desert Island Discs, what one book would you take with you?
The Island by Victoria Hislop A story you could never get tired of reading. The tale spans four generations explains the events with emotions of love and anger running through the story.
Is there a book you’d love to see made into a film?
I would love to see The Ballynoon Friendship Circle made into a film. It has unforgettable characters with great dialogue and the setting in N.Ireland is perfect.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
Tish, in her thirties, is the main character in Trisha Ashley’s Good Husband Material.
She is a housewife who’s been living a seven-year marriage with a perfect husband. But the imperfections of the married life begin to show, putting her on a self doubt route. Along comes Fergal, a blast from the past, her first love and she must decide happiness or a world of discontentment.
Tish plays a strong female character. She overcomes situations as they come. I sense we have things in common and would love to spend an afternoon chatting with her over coffee and cake sharing her tips on life.
From the back of the book
After finding her dream cottage in a magazine whilst at the hairdressers, Edel Marston, a fifty-year-old retired teacher, makes the life-changing decision to relocate back to Northern Ireland after the death of her husband Ben.
A rocky start with the neighbours and the knowledge of her past is a little too close for comfort, leaves Edel full of self-doubt. Her emotions have become a law unto themselves and she keeps wondering if she’s made the right decision.
After giving herself a good talking to, she decides to join a local over 50’s club, in a bid to embrace her new life. However, after meeting the friendly ladies of the self-proclaimed Stitch & Bitch group, she’s left with further feelings of uncertainty.
Realising quickly how gossipy these ladies can be, Edel finds herself keeping more and more secrets, especially when her relationship with one particular friend develops into something much more.
Ultimately, Edel has to decide whether to trust again and let all of these new people into her life, warts and all or go back to being lonely but safe and with her secrets intact.
More about the author
The call to Pauline Morgan’s native Northern Ireland was too strong and, after a fascinating stint overseas, she recently relocated there. Pauline had some unique mystical experiences in various houses she lived in and, as a result, self-published the paranormal Special Houses. She has been a member of the Romantic Novelist Association and participated in their New Writers’ Scheme. She attended a day course in Editing, tutored by author/mentor Morgen Bailey.
Pauline is a member of Writers Ink, a multi-award winning http://www.writing.ie
She has written short stories; published in Woman’s Way and Irelands Own iconic magazine. Pauline enjoyed entering Flash Fiction competitions and was long-listed at Kanturk Arts Festival.
Her first poem Airborne, published on Pendemic.ie website March 2020
Pauline has completed a women’s ‘fiction book called The Ballynoon Friendship Circle, her debut novel to be published by SpellBound Books in early 2021. Pauline is working on a standalone book Christmas novel.
She engages with an extensive network of social writing groups on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Pauline turns her incredible imagination into words to create beautiful stories in different genres. She has a relaxed style of writing, and her mentor describes it as heart-warming and cosy. Pauline never shies away from any given written tasks.
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