Today's guest as part of Carina week is author Rebecca Pugh. Rebecca's first novel Return to Bluebell Hill was a runaway success and she's now preparing for her next release, A Home in Sunset Bay. Many thanks to Rebecca for kindly agreeing to answer my questions today!
1. How different has it been writing your second book compared to your first?
I wouldn’t say ‘easy’, but I’d definitely say that the second time round, I feel much more clued up on what’s to come and what needs to be done. Writing ‘Return to Bluebell Hill’ and experiencing the editing process was a very steep learning curve for me, but having done it once, I feel better prepared now for ‘A Home in Sunset Bay’ and it’s fantastic! I’ve taken my editor’s notes in from working on my debut, and have tried very hard to put her wonderful help and insights into practice while writing my second novel. I hope that this shows if readers who read Return to Bluebell Hill decide to read A Home in Sunset Bay! I couldn’t put into words how much I’ve learnt so far, and I still feel like I have a long way to go, but I’m excited to hopefully improve as I continue to write, fingers crossed! There’s always something to change, something I can make better, and in a strange way, it’s cathartic to chop up and lengthen sentences to make the story better as a whole. I feel like I’ve gone off on a tangent here, but all in all, writing my second novel felt much smoother than writing my first! I really cannot wait to share A Home in Sunset Bay with lovely readers.
2. Return to Bluebell Hill had some fabulous reviews – what does it feel like to know readers are enjoying your book?
I don’t think that there’s any one word that can describe how it feels when someone tells me that they’re enjoying my book, or I read a glowing review. Sometimes, I find it hard to believe that they’re talking about my book, a book which I’ve written. Even now, it’s completely bizarre and I have to pinch myself to make sure it’s all real and truly happening. It’s a blessing, a pleasure and a dream come true, all rolled into one, and definitely the best thing that has ever happened to me. When I hear something positive about my debut, it fills me with warmth from the inside out, and I find it hard to wipe the grin from off my face for a very long time afterwards.
3. As a big reader, have you found writing for a living has eaten into your reading time?
I guess it has, but that was always inevitable. I do the majority of my reading when in bed at night, thanks to the fantastic built-in light on my Kindle which is the best thing ever by the way. I’m still trying to find a balance between the two, but I know that my writing will now come first. Books have always been my first love, but it’s not every day that you’re given an opportunity to write and have your novels published. I’ll always read when I can, always blog and review, but not as much as I used to. Priorities change throughout life, so I’m not sad. Excited more like!
4. Can you tell us about your next release?
Of course! My second novel with Carina is due for release February 2016. It’s titled, ‘A Home in Sunset Bay’ and focuses on the Chapman sisters whose lives, as they so often do, went off on their own paths. The sisters were once the best of friends, closer than close and birds of a feather. Now, so many years later, they’re about to be reunited, although under shaky circumstances. I have loved writing A Home in Sunset Bay. I’ll have the pleasure of introducing readers to Dolly’s Diner, a 1950’s eatery, two sisters who I hold very dear to my heart, and a tale of how they somehow managed to get their wires so twistingly crossed somewhere along the way. I’m really excited because I feel that everything I learnt with my debut has been put into play, and I just hope it shows when readers can finally step into Sunset Bay!
5. What’s next for Rebecca Pugh?
More books, I hope! I want to become better with my writing, I want to make more readers fall in love, I want to share my writing for years and years to come! The past year has been the most exciting of my life, and I want to live every year in the same way, sharing book news and covers and just generally making a big song and dance about it. As I said before, it’s not every day this becomes possible. This time last year I had no idea what life had in store for me, but now I wince when I think of what I’d be doing if I hadn’t submitted and at least tried, you know? I hope to continue in this exact way, blissfully happy and constantly excited. It’s the best feeling in the world!
Thank you so much for joining me today Rebecca, as always it's been a pleasure talking writing and books with you!
Return to Bluebell Hill is out now, published by Carina UK.