Helen Pollard will be known to many of you as the author of the popular, feel good La Cour des Roses trilogy. Today she has Kindly agreed to take part in Five on Friday a regular post aimed at getting a little glimpse of the person behind the name.
As a child, Helen had a vivid imagination fuelled by her love of reading, so she started to create her own stories in a notebook.
She still prefers fictional worlds to real life, believes characterisation is the key to a successful book, and enjoys infusing her writing with humour and heart.
When she’s not writing, Helen enjoys reading, scrapbooking and watching old seventies and eighties TV shows.
Helen is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors.
So let’s dig a bit deeper and find out a bit more with Helen’s responses to Five on Friday.
Which 5 pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
Crikey! That’s a question to task the old brain cells!
My Ding-a-Ling, Chuck Berry – the first single I was ever bought (yes, I was too young to understand all the innuendo!) and so my first foray into pop music.
Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, Ian Dury – This epitomises my teen years. Slightly off the wall, a hint of rebellion and cheekiness … and my parents hated it.
Isn’t This a Lovely Day? Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong – my husband and I listened to a lot of jazz when we first got together, including an album with this track on.
I Know an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly, Burl Ives – reminds me of the hours upon hours spent singing along to everything from Burl Ives to Rolf Harris in the car on long journeys with the kids.
Constellations, Jack Johnson – the whole family were converted to Jack Johnson fans a few years ago. I particularly like this track. It’s so mellow and wistful and makes me want to learn to chill out better!
Highlight 5 things (apart from family and friends) you’d find it hard to live without.
Photographs – I don’t look at them often, but when I do, it’s lovely to look back fondly at memories of places I’ve been and especially of when the children were young.
Music – I can’t stand things like the TV or radio on in the background, and I don’t mind the quiet, but I do like to listen to music that suits my mood or can bring me out of a bad one!
Books – I can’t imagine not being able to lose myself in another world whenever I need to.
A cat on my lap – so soothing … until she digs all her claws in and uses my thighs as a launching pad to catch that bluebottle over there …!
Coffee – I had to go decaff a year ago, but I can’t give up the taste of coffee.
Can you offer 5 pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self?
Ha! Where would I start?!
Don’t look for validation from other people. You may have a long wait … and it may not mean anything to you by the time you get it.
Chase your dreams sooner. Don’t listen to naysayers.
Children grow up faster than you think. Appreciate each phase with them.
If friendships are toxic, quietly back away if you can.
Excessive cleaning doesn’t matter. In a few years’ time, your house will still be a tip and nobody else cares, so why waste your own time? (A wise piece of advice at any age!)
Tell us 5 things that most people don’t know about you.
I’m an introvert and struggle at social occasions with people I don’t know well.
I must be the world’s worst worrier.
I enjoy listening to mellow jazz, nothing too frenetic.
I hate the way courtesy is going downhill in this country. The odd ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ really wouldn’t go amiss.
I’m a mass of contradictions – a cynic and yet a romantic; pernickety about admin and yet creatively imaginative; friendly but wary of socialising … the list goes on!
What are the first 5 things you’d have on your bucket list?
Live by the sea.
Travel around Europe.
Get a dog.
Clear out the clutter.
Learn to stop worrying!
I’m really grateful to Helen for bravely putting herself in the spotlight and sharing her more private thoughts with us. I’d be getting that dog sooner rather than later though if I was Helen 🙂
Now you know a little more about Helen, here’s a little more about her books.
The latest (and sadly last) in La Cour des Roses series was published this July. If you have yet to start the series, I really recommend you do and you’ll find links to my reviews for books 1 & 2 further below
Summer sun, chilled, white wine, and a gorgeous fiancé. Nothing could upset pure bliss … Right?
Emmy Jamieson loves her new life in the gentle hills and sunflowers of the lush French countryside, managing La Cour des Roses, a beautiful, white stone guesthouse. With marriage to caramel-eyed Alain just round the corner, things couldn’t be more perfect.
The odd glass (gallon) of wine dulls the sound of Emmy’s mum in full motherzilla-of-the-bride mode, and the faint tinkling of alarm bells coming from Alain’s ex are definitely nothing to worry about. Guesthouse owner Rupert and a whole host of old and new friends are there to make sure nothing gets in the way of Emmy’s happiness.
But as Emmy gets close to the big day, a secret from the past throws everything decidedly off track. Will her idyllic French wedding go ahead as planned, or will Emmy run back home to England with a broken heart?
You can catch up with Helen via the following links :-
Website & Blog: http://helenpollardwrites.wordpress.com