With me today is an author who lives in one of my favourite areas of Scotland! Welcome Pauline. First of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?
Hi, yes, I’d love to. I’m a multi-genre author, living and writing in Perthshire, Scotland.
My writing spans the ages as I write both fiction novels for adults and children’s picture books.
I’m currently working on several projects, which is just how I like it.
Having worked as a pharmacy technician for over twenty years and then in primary learning support, I was in my mid-forties before my first book was published. And now that my children have flown the nest, I am enjoying writing full time.
What inspired you to start writing?
I don’t think I had a choice, writing seemed to choose me. It’s something that has been bubbling away under the surface, eventually I had to give in and look into getting published. Working in learning support, however, was what inspired me to publish my children’s books first.
Tell me about your journey to publication
I’ve secretly been scribbling away since I was in my early twenties when I used to make up stories for my own children. The first full manuscript I wrote was a picture book, The Fairy in the Kettle, which lay in a drawer for twenty years. I’d think about it often but with a career in Pharmacy, how on earth could I possibly be qualified enough to write? Eventually, mid forties kicked in and one day I thought, why not! So, I polished it and sent it off.
I then took time out from writing for children to focus on adult fiction and my novel, A Life of Their Own, was published in 2019.
In a nutshell, what is your book about?
I decided that if I was going to take the leap from writing for children to writing adult fiction, I needed to tackle a difficult subject. Therefore, A Life of Their Own follows a mother, both emotionally and physically, as she flees an abusive marriage with her two young children.
Purposefully not a traumatic read, it focusses on Kate as she attempts to take control of her life, learn to trust again, have confidence in her own decisions and not look for the ulterior motive when other show her kindness. Any abuse is dealt with through flashbacks to how situations made her feel rather than the abuse itself as Kate fights to create a future for her young family while, at the same time, trying desperately to ensure they can never be found.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
The title for this novel came unusually easily. Creating a new life for herself and her children, one where they are in control of their own destiny, is at the heart of this story, hence the title, A Life of Their Own.
How did you celebrate publication day?
I had the launch for A Life of Their Own in Waterstones in Perth. It was a brilliant evening and one I will certainly remember. For years I had walked past their window and thought how wonderful it would be to have a book on their shelves, so it was a special evening…to say the least.
With my picture books, I have been fortunate in that I have had a run of both book shop events and school visits in the weeks and months following each publication.
I have a re-publication day coming up in November. The Fairy in the Kettle was first published in 2016, but it is being published again as a second edition through my current publishers, so the entire series will be with them. It is a huge compliment to the book, and I’m extremely grateful to everyone who is still buying a copy as without their support this wouldn’t be happening.
Its re-publication coincides with Book Week Scotland, and I’m booked to visit a primary school that day…so a perfect way to celebrate…possibly followed by a glass of bubbly when I get home.
Do you have a work in progress just now?
Yes! I have two picture books written and in the queue with the illustrator. The Fairy in the Kettle Has Pixie Trouble will be the last in The Fairy in the Kettle series, and Wanda the Weary Witch is a brand-new character I’m looking forward to introducing either later next year or early the following year.
I am also mid-way through writing a novel, Abigail Returns, which has been delayed a little but I’m hoping to be finished by the end of the year and then I can put it away for a couple of months before looking at it again with fresh eyes.
Just to add to the to- do-list, I also have another novel to finish. It’s set on the Isle of Skye, and I was about halfway through when covid struck and travel restrictions were imposed. We are visiting the island again in a few weeks so I will be able to finalise my research and work on it in the New Year.
What one book would you recommend to a friend and why?
This is such a difficult question to answer, there are so many! If I do recommend a book, it tends to be a memoire, and again there are so many, but possibly The Source of Self-Regard by Toni Morrison.
What are you reading just now?
I have just started Sally Rooney’s Beautiful World, Where Are You and I have just pre-ordered Cutie by Beverley Douglas which is out later this month.
If you were on Desert Island Discs, what one book would you take with you?
I’d like something utterly captivating. The Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon, springs instantly to mind…does a series count as one? 😊
[Slightly cheating but I’ll let you off]
Is there a book you’d love to see made into a film?
Am I allowed to say my own? A Life of Their Own would be an inspiring story for anyone suffering in the way that Kate and her children have.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and I can also be contacted via my website…
Buying link: A Life of Their Own