Thursday, 18 June 2015

Q & A with Rebecca Pugh

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1.    Did you always dream of being a writer?

As weird as it sounds, I think I did subconsciously. Becoming a published author just seemed so out of reach and impossible, I didn’t seriously entertain the thought of it ever actually happening. Never did I think that one day I’d watch it come true. It’s the best feeling in the world, to know that actually, you’re not as bad as you thought you were, and actually, it wasn’t completely unreachable. 

2.    Your debut novel Return To Bluebell Hill is published today, what is it about?

It is, and oh my GOD, I could explode from the excitement! Return to Bluebell Hill follows the story of Jessica McAdams who is returning to the place she grew up, after almost a decade of ignoring its existence. For Jessica, Bluebell Hill and Bluebell House are just nasty reminders of a lonely, desperate time, and she isn’t there by choice. She’s pulled back due to the death of her parents, and suddenly, she finds Bluebell House is her responsibility. She’s determined to sell it, of course. After all, why on earth would she consider living there when she’d been so eager to get away from it? But, as she and life-long friend Esme begin to empty the rooms of her late parents’ belongings, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems. Jessica is taken on a whirlwind journey, one that she never saw coming, and her life changes dramatically. It’s a story of self-discovery and taking chances, of making peace with the past and learning to move on.

3.    What was your inspiration for the book?

I can’t say that there was anything specific that inspired me to write Return to Bluebell Hill. My imagination loves to run away with me and what choice do I have but to follow it? I have a whimsical mind, I think, and I’ve always been fascinated by the myths/stories that surround bluebells, they’re enchanting! I guess I wanted to write something that seemed a bit magical, but not too far-fetched. I’m a family girl so I think that side of the story would have slipped in whether I allowed it to or not. And the romance! I’ve been enjoying the genre for so long, I couldn’t wait to try my hand at it within my own novel.

4.    Can you tell us more about the main character(s)?

Sure! Jessica McAdams never planned on returning to Bluebell Hill. It’s not a place that she ever wanted to revisit after moving on with her life. She had a lonely childhood, even though her nanny Esme was at her side almost constantly, and the experiences from when she was little have left her wary when it comes to opening up her heart. She’s quite a level-headed woman, together and confident, but Bluebell Hill has a way of picking her apart.
Rueben is my delicious gardener and handyman in Bluebell Hill. He’s an excellent cook and takes a particular shining to Jessica. I like him. A lot. I have to keep reminding myself that he’s just a figment of my imagination though!
Esme is Jessica’s childhood nanny. She’s always had a soft spot for the little girl she cared for. She’s a cosy old woman, with a pretty little cottage and a heart full of gold, and she plays an important part in Jessica’s story. 

5.    Where and when do you write your stories?

Mainly sat cross-legged on my bed with a cup of coffee beside me, and Bonnie the dog just the other side of the laptop. I write whenever I need/want to! If I don’t have a deadline, then I’m usually fiddling about with one story or another. It’s become a necessity for me. I feel a bit useless if I’m not tapping away!

6.    What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing?

Well, I have a huge family and I LOVE spending time with them, especially my siblings. I’m the eldest of seven so home is pretty chaotic, but it’s what I’m used to and something I’ll always be grateful for. I love the odd night out with friends, getting dressed up and having a dance! Eating out (because I can’t cook), days out with my lovely, lovely partner who I met in secondary school, reading of course! I’m just your average twenty-something!

7.    Can you tell us a little about your road to being a published author?

Definitely. It’s a road that once seemed to be going straight ahead and then suddenly veered off and I ended up being somewhere that I really didn’t expect to be, hahaha! It’s amazing and scary and exciting, but now that I’m here, I can’t imagine being anywhere else. Carina were the first publishers who I tried with. You know that I’m a book blogger/reviewer anyway, and I’d always loved their titles. I saw a home for my stories with them and tried. Now, I’m here, and I really am loving every single second of this journey. Fingers crossed they think that I fit right in, too! I hope so :)

8.    If you could switch places with a character from a book, who would it be and why?

Ooo, excellent question! There are so many wonderful characters that I’ve come across in the books that I’ve read, so this is a difficult choice to make. I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii, it’s been my dream destination for as long as I can remember now. So, Tess from Lindsey Kelk’s ‘About A Girl’ would be a pretty good character to switch places with! I loved that story so much and Lindsey did such a brilliant job of bringing that dreamy setting to life!

9.    What books have influenced your life most?

I think every book that I’ve read has influenced me in some way, whether that be to be braver or bolder, or more confident sometimes. ‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini is a book that has always remained with me. I’m pretty sure that was the first book that made me cry. It made me realise just how important your loved ones are and to hold onto them extra tight!

10.   What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment, I’m at that really exciting part where there are no deadlines so I can play around with a ton of different ideas! It’s all fresh and new and exciting and my imagination can completely take over and lead me astray!

11.  What do you enjoy most about writing?
All of it. The creation and the freedom. It’s amazing when you realise you can completely determine where your characters will go! Whether they’ll fall in love, fly abroad, experience heartbreak. The world really is your oyster! (Or your characters’).

12.  What does your perfect day look like?

Start my day off with a cup of coffee and then write the hours away, knowing that curry is for tea. I know, not superbly exciting, but it’s ideal in my eyes ;)

13. Imagine Return To Bluebell Hill would be turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters?

Channing Tatum as Rueben, hahaha! (Channing Tatum as just every guy EVER!) Jessica? I reckon Anne Hathaway would play her part pretty well! Esme? Maybe Julie Andrews. I love that woman!

14. How would you describe your style of writing?

Very whimsical and fairy-tale like, I hope cosy, too!

15.  Pick three authors you want to have dinner with and tell us why.  

Rosanna Ley, Jill Mansell, Miranda Dickinson!

16.  Coffee or tea? 

     Coffee, I love the stuff!

17.  Paperback or e-reader? 

      Both! E-reader at bedtime, paperback during the day.

18.  Mountains or the sea? 

     The sea, I find it so grounding!

19.  Summer or winter? 

     I used to prefer the winter, but as I’ve got older it’s changed. You just can’t beat a bit of sunshine.

20.  Sweet or salty? 

     Hmmm. Salty, I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth!

As sweet and satisfying as strawberries and cream! This British summertime, get out in the garden with Rebecca Pugh’s sparkling debut novel.

Home is where the heart is…

Jessica McAdams has never belonged anywhere; never truly felt at home. Of course, what did she expect from parents who never made her feel welcome in her own house? Leaving her life in London to return home to the charming country village of Bluebell Hill is harder than she thought. Especially as she never considered she’d be returning under such heart wrenching circumstances…

Clearing out the stunning and imposing Bluebell House after her parents’ death is difficult for Jessica—they never had the best relationship and now it’s too late. Yet spending time in the house that was never a home, having afternoon tea with dear old friend Esme—and sharing hot, sizzling kisses with delectable gardener Rueben!—opens Jessica’s eyes to the potential of Bluebell House… Could this big old, beautiful manor really be her forever home? Is Bluebell Hill where her heart is, has always been?

Jessica soon dares to dream of her very own home with delicious Rueben by her side. But when a deep, dark secret of Bluebell House is unearthed, Jessica’s world is turned upside down…

Will Jessica ever find where her heart truly lies?

An emotional tale of self-discovery, taking chances and romance! Rebecca’s unique 

British voice feels like coming home again and again.


Author Biography
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, is due to be published June 18th 2015 by Carina UK.

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