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Thursday, 24 March 2016

Author Q & A - Rebecca Pugh

There’s no place like home…

Enough is enough! The always perfect Laurie Chapman had jumped in her car and raced as fast as she could from London heading to Sunset Bay and (she hopes!) the open arms of her estranged sister…
Mia Chapman loves running Dolly’s Diner in the picture-perfect coastal Cornish town of Sunset Bay. Now that her and Grandma Dolly’s dream is finally a reality Mia has never been prouder! Until Laurie suddenly turns up on her doorstep… How can she forgive the sister who walked away?
Once upon a time Mia and Laurie were best friends. Back together after so long, the time has come for the sisters to figure out what went so wrong all those years ago – and whether they can ever put it right!
An uplifting romantic comedy about sisters, friendship and the love of good food.

Author: Rebecca Pugh
Title: A Home in Sunset Bay
Publishers: Carina
Publication Date: 9th Feb 2016
Link: UK Amazon

Today we welcome the lovely Rebecca Pugh to the blog to tell us a little about herself and her new book.

What was the inspiration behind this novel?
The seaside, of course! Alongside the bond between sisters, family ties and budding romance which you know I love writing about. I think sometimes, life can become overwhelming and the chance to escape is incredibly tempting, especially for Laurie who knows Sunset Bay could possibly be the place to disappear to. Being beside the sea, with the delicious delights of Dolly’s Diner and the pier to stroll along, it really was the perfect escape. Even I’d like to spend a week or two in the seaside setting. It was such fun to create.

Did you always want to be a writer?
Deep down, yes. Most definitely. The odd thing was, it was always such an impossible destination for me, so rather than torture myself with the what-ifs, I instead pushed it right to the back of my mind, only bringing it out to play with now and again when I was feeling ambitious. Stories and words are a combination I have always adored. Even now, it’s surreal to think that this is what I’m doing. I still have to pinch myself!

How did it feel when your first novel was published?
There are no words to describe how it felt. NO WORDS. Bizarre. Thrilling. Nerve-wracking. A million emotions all rolled into one. One moment I’d be feeling brave and capable, the next I’d be working myself up about whether anyone would like what I’d written, whether it had all been a mistake. I fell into bed that night physically exhausted, but my mind was buzzing long after midnight. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that way before.

Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?
Usually, if the words won’t flow, I’ll take a break. My editor gives the best advice so I regularly follow it and she always turns out to be right. Sometimes that’s exactly what you need. To take a step back, to see the bigger picture, to plan your next steps. I haven’t encountered excruciatingly bad writer’s block just yet, luckily, but there’s still time!

What motivates you to keep writing?
Wow, what a great question! Hmm. Lots of things, I suppose. Coffee, positive reviews from readers who have enjoyed my previous books, knowing that if don’t write, there’ll be nothing for them to read next! It all adds up and urges me to keep going.

Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa?
Funnily enough, yes! If my characters are in a particularly tense or emotional situation, then nine times out of ten, I’ll be tapping away, tensed up too. You grow so close to your characters throughout their creation, so it’s hard not to feel everything they feel. It’s a wonderful thing to experience, something that will never get old! One of my favourite parts to write is that thrill of a first kiss, I always get a little buzz as I bring a pair of lips together for the first time.

What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Don’t think that it’s impossible. That was my mistake. I spent so much time pushing and shoving my fantasy to the back of my mind, when it wasn’t as unreachable as I thought it was. No matter what your circumstances, where you’re from, what you do, it can still happen.

Be prepared. Becoming a published author is quite different to tapping away at stories on your laptop when the mood takes you. You’re going to need to stay on top of things, get yourself organised, and be aware of deadlines! None of this is bad of course, but it was an eye-opener for me, and it still is. I haven’t stopped learning yet!

Not everyone will love what you write. When bad reviews come, accept them and move on. My first bad review sent me reeling. In fact, I remember so clearly standing in the veg aisle in our local supermarket and wanting to fling myself into the potatoes, never to return. But, as time has gone by, I’ve learnt to accept that not everyone is going to love my books. For those that do, it sends me over the moon with glee, but for those that don’t, it’s something I now accept. Everyone gets bad reviews. Everyone. Even those incredible authors who you’ve always looked up to.

Which authors inspire you?
SO MANY! Holly Martin, Jill Mansell, Cathy Bramley, Cressida McLaughlin. I love their styles and the worlds and characters they create. I adore reading their work and they inspire me to work hard and give my writing my all.

What are you reading at the moment?
Well, as of right now, I have three books on the go, which is a completely new ability that has arrived out of the blue. I’m reading The Cosy Teashop in the Castle by Caroline Roberts, What She Never Told Me by Kate McQuail, and Song of the Sea Maid by Rebecca Mascull. Alongside my current reads, I’m working through revisions for book three!

If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
Dolly’s Diner plays a huge role in A Home in Sunset Bay, my second book with Carina UK, and throughout writing the diner scenes, I had Chubby Checker’s ‘Let’s Twist Again’ playing on repeat in my mind. My imagination sees the camera crossing above Sunset Bay as this fabulous song plays throughout the opening, then finally zooming in on Dolly’s Diner and Mia working hard within. That would be SO WONDERFUL!

Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?
I think Mia was my favourite character. She’s always worked so hard and sacrificed her own sense of adventure to ensure Dolly’s Diner remains firmly open and a favourite of Sunset Bay’s locals. I think Anne Hathaway could play the role of Mia really well. She just has that look about her that I love, plus she’s one of my all-time favourite actresses.

What is your next book about?
I can’t say too much just yet but, being rather vague, it’s about a woman who, having her future firmly planned in her mind finds life taking her in a completely different direction. It’s a story about new friends, new surroundings, and being brave enough to let go of the past and finally move forward. It’s set in an idyllic location, which seems to be a popular aspect with my previous books, and I so hope readers love the title as much as I do! It could possibly be my favourite of the three! Although, actually, come to think of it, I’m incredibly fond of them all!

Quickfire, 'Which book' round

And now think about the books you've read and just give the first one that comes into your head for our quick 'Which book round.'

Which book has made you:

Laugh out loud?
Carry You by Beth Thomas. God, I remember absolutely crying with laughter as I read this book, and it’s still with me now. It was hilarious, but totally heart-warming at the same time. It definitely put a silly grin on my face.

Cry your heart out?
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I read this one back in college and it had me weeping uncontrollably. Such a beautiful novel that really struck a chord with me.

Want to read it again?
I Let You by Clare Mackintosh. Incredible writing!

Think more?
The Dead Mother’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman. I couldn’t stop thinking as I read this one. It offered up so many questions about what you’d do, think and feel if you were in the heroine’s situation, which was a tragic situation to be in.

Wish it would be made into a film?
Any of Holly Martin’s books!

Season to Taste by Natalie Young. Very… unusual. And strange. And about a woman who eats her husband. Yes, not my usual genre I must admit.

The House on Cold Hill by Peter James.

Thanks for joining us Rebecca, we can't wait to hear the next title and read the next book.

To read our reviews of Rebecca's books please click on the links below:
Return to Bluebell Hill
A Home in Sunset Bay

Book Angel x

About the Author

Rebecca Pugh
Rebecca Pugh grew up in the green county of Shropshire, with a mind full of fairy-tales and happy endings. Enchanted by true love and Disney Princesses, she decided that no matter what life threw her way, she'd continue to see the world through a child's eyes. Through the pages of countless books, her adoration of reading blossomed, and it didn't take long for her to fall under the spell of hundreds of authors' words.

Now, Rebecca's own story has taken a fairy-tale like turn, and at 22, her dream has come true. With her faithful companions: Bonnie the dog, her partner, and her gigantic family by her side, Rebecca is ready to share her stories with readers who enjoy falling in love and losing themselves within beautiful, fictional worlds.

Rebecca Pugh is the author of women's fiction and romance, her all-time favourite genres. After all, who doesn't enjoy a good swoon?

Her debut novel, Return to Bluebell Hill, was published in June 2015 by Carina UK

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