Guest Fox Helen Pollard

Welcome, Helen, to Hound Day

By Jeff Salter

I love the weeks when we invite guest authors or review other books. Today, my guest is a cordial and talented colleague from Yorkshire, across the Atlantic — Helen Pollard. Tell you the truth, I don’t recall exactly how long I’ve known Helen, but we undoubtedly crossed paths at our publisher’s goings-on, if not on a blog before then. She has a terrific blog herself [check it out] and even hosted me about two months ago.
https://helenpollardwrites.wordpress.com/2016/01/10/welcome-j-l-salter/

So, without further ado, here’s Helen to respond to my questions… followed by a bit about her newest book.

Helen Pollard_ author portait

QUESTIONS

  1. Something I’ve noticed is your sense of humor. How would you describe it? How much a part of your daily life is humor?

[HP]: I think I’ve always used humour as a kind of defence mechanism for daily life – you know that old saying, ‘If you don’t laugh, you’d have to cry.’ I’m a born worrier, so humour is what gets me through – trying to see the funny side wherever I can. It also tends to be a rather self-deprecating kind of humour — since I have a tendency to take everything too seriously if I’m not careful, the least I can do is to not take myself too seriously!

  1. You’re a Yorkshire Lass. Have you ever visited America? Do you think the two cultures had a lot in common? What do we share besides language?

[HP]: No, I’ve only travelled in Europe. There are parts of America I would love to see, though. I suspect the two cultures have more in common than we realise. I think we certainly share a sense of a right to freedom, and both countries are of course multi-cultural, so hopefully a tolerance of other people and cultures.

  1. How on earth did you get hooked on American cop shows from the 1970s and 80s? What were your favorites and why?

[HP]: When I was a kid, my Dad used to go out on a Friday night, so my Mum and I would curl up and watch whatever was on TV. Cannon, Kojak, Ironside, Hawaii Five-O . . . I was madly in love with Starsky and Hutch! When we got into Petrocelli, I wanted to be a lawyer. Then Quincy, so I wanted to go into forensics (!) By the time I was in my teens, there was Magnum P.I. to drool over and Cagney & Lacey to look up to. What was not to like?

  1. Have you ever encountered people who seem unable / unwilling to comprehend that writing is something you are driven to do?

[HP]: I’m very lucky, in that my husband is extremely supportive. He understands that I have a creative streak that needs an outlet. And my daughter loves writing too, so she very much understands. My son accepts it with stoicism! One of my brothers is a little bewildered by it, I think, as he is not a creative type at all, but he does his best to understand. Friends are still getting used to the idea – they are intrigued more than anything – but nobody has openly expressed anything negative about it, thankfully.

  1. If you were not a writer, can you imagine what else you might do to express the creativity within you?

[HP]: I stopped writing as a hobby once I had two small children, and that continued for a long while (no time and too tired!) but a friend introduced me to card-making and scrapbooking which was a good creative outlet. I can’t draw for toffee, but I realised I do have an eye for the visual. Of course, since I took up writing again a few years ago, that’s gone by the wayside, but I still have all the stuff and would like to get into it again, given spare time . . .

  1. If sales (money) and critics (reviews) were immaterial to you, what genre and length would you write?

[HP]: I can honestly say, the genre and length of my new book! I very much enjoyed writing my first two romances, but this new release is quite different and very much in my ‘voice’. It is longer, chick lit / women’s fiction with a down-to-earth sense of humour. I concentrate very hard on the characterisation in my writing, so this book has given me more scope, with so many more characters to weave in. Also, my first two romances were sweet/clean, something which suited the storylines and characters of those particular books  . . . whereas this new one is much cheekier and more irreverent, and was a lot of fun to write. 

  1. Give us at least one example of someone who has contacted you and expressed how much your writing meant to them.

[HP]: I was particularly touched by a review from another UK author for my first romance, Warm Hearts in Winter. She had been saddened by the shootings in Paris before Christmas and wanted to retreat from social media and escape into a good book. She ended the review by saying, “I absolutely loved this book, and it came to me at just the right moment. In a sad world, it’s good to reflect on the power of love, and remember it’s never too late for a second chance.” I was touched to know that I had provided an uplifting read to someone just when they needed it most.

The Little French Guesthouse

 Blurb:

Sun, croissants and fine wine. Nothing can spoil the perfect holiday. Or can it?

When Emmy Jamieson arrives at La Cour des Roses, a beautiful guesthouse in the French countryside, she can’t wait to spend two weeks relaxing with boyfriend Nathan. Their relationship needs a little TLC and Emmy is certain this holiday will do the trick. But they’ve barely unpacked before he scarpers with Gloria, the guesthouse owner’s cougar wife.

Rupert, the ailing guesthouse owner, is shell-shocked. Feeling somewhat responsible, and rather generous after a bottle (or so) of wine, heartbroken Emmy offers to help. Changing sheets in the gîtes [i.e., cottage] will help keep her mind off her misery.

Thrust into the heart of the local community, Emmy suddenly finds herself surrounded by new friends. And with sizzling hot gardener Ryan and the infuriating (if gorgeous) accountant Alain providing welcome distractions, Nathan is fast becoming a distant memory.

Fresh coffee and croissants for breakfast, feeding the hens in the warm evening light; Emmy starts to feel quite at home. But it would be madness to walk away from her friends, family, and everything she’s ever worked for, to take a chance on a place she fell for on holiday – wouldn’t it?

Buy link:

Available for pre-order at 99 cents (publication date 28th April 2016): http://amzn.to/1T1m7BO

 FB link:

http://facebook.com/HelenPollardWrites

Any questions for Helen?

[JLS # 270] 

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About jeff7salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Twelve completed novels and five completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015, "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015, "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015, "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014, "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014, "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014, "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014, "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013, "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013, "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013, "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012, "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012. Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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21 Responses to Guest Fox Helen Pollard

  1. I believe I met Helen at one of the clean read events on Facebook. I read and reviewed her first book for her, Warm Hearts In Winter, back in 2014. Very good book.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks so much for having me as your guest, Jeff. They were great questions!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      It’s my pleasure. I’m doing a better job this year (so far) at remembering to look ahead at the 4F1H schedule to see when we have our Guest Author weeks.
      Last year, I think I missed several opportunities to bring on a guest.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Little French Guesthouse sounds delightful. I preordered it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. jbrayweber says:

    Lovely to “meet” you, Helen. Good luck with your upcoming release. The book sounds fun.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Welcome, Helen! I pre-ordered my copy of Little French Guesthouse as well. Can’t wait to read it! I know what you mean by trying to squeeze in your hobbies, like scrapbooking and card-making. If it weren’t for friends who scheduled these things and said “We’re meeting on the second Tuesday of the month for four hours” or “Let’s get together this Saturday” I probably wouldn’t be able to continue with them either. How wonderful that you’re able to indulge your cheeky voice and branch out. Great interview.

    Liked by 2 people

    • jeff7salter says:

      I’m afraid I’ve all but abandoned all my hobbies. One — golf — had to go because I developed too much chronic pain in my shoulders, back, and hips. The other — displaying and collecting military stuff — got too expensive and I lost access to the public (locked) display cases at the library outlets where I used to work.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Patricia – and thank you for ordering! I’m sure I’ll get back to some of those hobbies some day . . .

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Welcome, Helen! You were on my list of those to ask here, but Jeff beat me to the punch! I’m glad you graced our blog.
    I remember “Petrocelli”! I enjoyed that show.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Aidan Reid says:

    Great interview – love reading the minds of other authors to see what makes them tick. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

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