Welcome Romance Writer Helena Fairfax

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 impression.
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.  
2.  How long have you been writing? What was the motivating factor that got you started?
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 today.
3.  What do you want most for you readers to come away with after they’ve read your books?
That’s 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.
4.  Tell us about your perfect writing day.
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?
I 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 to stagnate.
6.  Tell us about your marketing strategy.
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.
7.  Name four essential items for writers.
A laptop; the internet; a thesaurus; copious cups of tea
8.  What is the last book you’ve read purely for pleasure?
I’ve 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.
9.  What interview question have you always wanted to answer but have never been asked?
Which romance author influenced you the most? My answer would be Georgette Heyer. I love all her novels, and I think she’s a great writer.
10.  What was the oddest job you’ve ever had?
      In 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 November 2014.

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 Kate torn.
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 buy links:

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Way-Heart-Helena-Fairfax-ebook/dp/B00PQRJ0WQ/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Way-Heart-Helena-Fairfax-ebook/dp/B00PQRJ0WQ/

(Available from other online distributors from February 2015)

­Social links
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HelenaFairfax
Twitter: @helenafairfax
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/helenafairfax/
Blog: www.helenafairfax.com

Thanks so much for having me, Kathleen, and for your thought-provoking questions. It’s been a lot of fun!

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