Today I'm honored to have Helena Fairfax as a guest on my Birds and Books. Helena has just released a new romance A Way from Heart to Heart. Find out more about Helena, her latest romance novel, what inspired her, and what she does to break through writer's block.
1. A Way from Heart to Heart, your contemporary romance, has just been
released. What made you decide to set the story in the Yorkshire moors?
I live in the north
of England, very near the moors where my story is set. It’s a fabulous
landscape and has inspired many writers, from Charlotte Brontë to Kate Bush.
A few years ago I
spent a week on the moors with a group of disadvantaged teenagers from an
industrial city in Germany. It was great seeing their reaction to the heather and
rolling hills and wide open spaces. My time with these teenagers made a lasting
A Way from Heart to Heart tells the story of how my heroine, Kate
Hemingway, takes a group of disadvantaged London teenagers to the moors for the
week, accompanied by the hero, an upper-class journalist. I wanted to create a
complete mix of classes and cultures, and put them all put together in an
unfamiliar landscape for a week.
I’ve always enjoyed
writing, ever since I was a child. A few years ago I began writing a romance on
a boring train commute to work. This time I really found a story I was
determined to finish. I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’
Scheme for expert critique of my manuscript, rewrote it under their advice, and
with their invaluable guidance my first novel, The Silk Romance, came to be published. I’ve never forgotten the
advice I was given by my reader at the RNA, and I still apply it to my writing
a great question. I think I’d like them to come away with the message hidden in
my latest release, A Way from Heart to Heart. ‘There is a way from heart to heart’ is an uplifting
Afghan proverb, which I discovered during the course of my research. It means
that no matter the differences between us, the human heart has an enduring
capacity for love, despite all the odds.
In my perfect writing
day I would write 5,000 words that didn’t need any revision and moved the story
forward. This has yet to happen!
5. When you reach a
roadblock in your writing, how do you break through?
get quite depressed sometimes and find it quite hard to write. When that
happens, I write anything I can, whether it be a short story, or a blog post,
or an “easy” scene in my wip, or even outline a fresh novel. Anything so as not
I’ve learned a lot
about marketing since my first book was published. I have a good social
platform and I enjoy interacting with readers. I have a blog and FB page with
lots of active followers, and I’ve enjoyed building an audience with them. With
the release of A Way from Heart to Heart,
I’m approaching local media – press, radio stations, etc. – and also local
bookshops and other areas of local interest. As with most authors, it’s a
balancing act between promotion and writing the next novel.
laptop; the internet; a thesaurus; copious cups of tea
just finished a great book called Separated @ Birth, by Anaïs Bordier
and Samantha Futerman, a true story about South Korean twins who were adopted
and only discovered each other in their twenties. It’s such a moving story and
left a deep impression on me. One of my favourite books of the year.
Which romance author
influenced you the most? My answer would be Georgette Heyer. I
all her novels, and I think she’s a great writer.
was the oddest job you’ve ever had?
the UK we have a brand of biscuit (cookie) called a Jammie Dodger. I once
worked in a biscuit factory, putting the jam in the Jammie Dodgers.
A Way from Heart to Heart was released by Accent Press on 18th
Here is the blurb:
After the death of her husband
in Afghanistan, Kate Hemingway’s world collapses around her. Her free time is
spent with a charity for teenage girls, helping them mend their broken lives -
which is ironic, since her own life is fractured beyond repair.
Reserved, upper-class journalist
Paul Farrell is everything Kate and her teenage charges aren’t. But when Paul agrees to help Kate with
her charity, he makes a stunning revelation that changes everything, and leaves
Can she risk her son’s happiness
as well as her own?
Helena Fairfax writes engaging contemporary romances with
sympathetic heroines and heroes she’s secretly in love with. Happy endings are
her favourite, and when one of her novels won a reader competition for
"The Most Romantic Love Scene Ever" it made her day.
Helena was born in Uganda and came to England as a child. She's grown used to
the cold now, and these days she lives in an old Victorian mill town in
Yorkshire. After many years working in factories and dark, satanic mills,
Helena has turned to writing full-time. She walks the Yorkshire moors every day
with her rescue dog, finding this romantic landscape the perfect place to dream
up her heroes and her happy endings.
A Way from
Heart to Heart
from other online distributors from February 2015)
Thanks so much for
having me, Kathleen, and for your thought-provoking questions. It’s been a lot
Labels: England, marketing, romance, writersblock, Yorkshire