Today I'm absolutely delighted to welcome Rebecca Pugh to Little Northern Soul. Her debut novel, Return to Bluebell Hill, was released last week and is an absolutely wonderful read - you can read my review here . As part of the blog tour, Becca answered my questions about the book and writing process, so grab a cuppa, get comfy and enjoy finding out more about this fantastic debut author, who is truly one to watch!
1) Hi Becca! Thanks for stopping by Little Northern Soul. First of all can you tell us a bit more about your debut novel, Return to Bluebell Hill.
Of course! Return to Bluebell Hill is all about Jessica McAdams returning to her childhood village after being away for almost a decade. Why? Well, readers find out as the story progresses, and the secrets of Jessica’s past begin to unravel. It’s a novel about taking chances, facing your fears and grabbing the future with both hands! There’s also a lovely splash of romance in there, too! ;)
2) I absolutely love the book - it's a real page turner and has a whole host of brilliant characters. Who was your favourite to write?
Wow, I’m SO chuffed that you love it! Thank you for your gorgeous comments. Oh, I’ve been asked this a few times now, and even though Jessica was my main focus, I found Esme rather fun to create. She’s a lovely old woman with apple-round cheeks and wispy hair that she wears in a bun. Her cottage is definitely a plus, too!
3) Where did the idea for the story come from and how do you find inspiration for writing generally?
The idea came completely from my imagination, although I suppose my family is such a huge deal to me, I definitely had to include some aspect of that in there. I’ve always been charmed by bluebells, not only because of their gorgeous colour but because of the myths that are behind them, mostly to do with fairies. You know how much I’m a sucker for anything remotely fairy-tale like!
4) I always thinks it's great to find out more about the person behind the book, so can you tell us a little about you?
Sure, although I may bore you to sleep! ;) I really am just your average twenty-something from Shropshire. Big family girl at heart! I’m the eldest of seven children and call my siblings my squiggles, haha. I’ve always been a passionate reader, I love old 80’s music and films. As everyone can see from my tweets etc. I’m very excitable! I don’t know why that is, maybe because I’m surrounded by my younger siblings and they’re still so young. They don’t yet know about worries or stress or anything like that, and maybe that rubs off on me? I don’t know. I have a partner who I’ve been with since secondary school, and a Jack Russell called Bonnie. I love takeaway food, I love surprises and I LOVE that I’m on your blog right now, answering your questions for my blog tour. Life is crazy!
5) Have you always wanted to be an author?
It’s definitely always been a dream, but seemed so impossible and out of reach that I very rarely entertained the idea of it actually ever happening! Now that it is happening, I’m finding it hard to realise that it’s real and not still in my mind! It really is a dream come true. Sounds so clichéd but… it is what it is!
6) How was your journey to publication?
INCREDIBLY EXCITED! Every day was another step closer to my debut novel being published. Every milestone (title reveal, cover reveal) just heightened my excitement and it really has been the most incredible journey of my LIFE. I’ve tried to keep my emotions in check, but it’s so difficult because the support from yourself and the other bloggers, even authors, has just been so overwhelming. I’ll always remember this experience, always.
7) Is it possible to describe the feeling when you got the call to say your book was going to be published?
Hahah, oh man, I don’t think I can. I remember holding the phone to my ear and feeling as if the earth had suddenly just shifted. It’s taken a long time for me to truly comprehend what it all means and that it’s really happening. Even now, there are days when I stop and stare as it all comes to the surface again. It’s just surreal. Completely and utterly surreal!
8) Becca's Books is a really successful blog - I love reading it. Now you're a successful author (because we all know Return to Bluebell Hill is going to soar!) are you still going to spend as much time on the blog?
Aurwh, thanks so much, Laura. I’m so proud of Becca’s Books. She’s definitely not the most amazing book blog out there, but she’s very special to me! (No idea why I’m referring to my blog as a ‘she’) Hahaha! The truth is, I probably will slow down just a little bit with the blog, only because I really want to give my chance with Carina my absolute ALL. I don’t want to mess up such an amazing opportunity. I think I’ll always have time for my blog, for reading and reviewing, but the writing will have to come first, especially when there are deadlines to meet!
9) When you're not busy writing or blogging how do you like to spend your free time?
Days out, trips to the cinema with my partner, visiting the family, watching the old films that I love so much, friends, going out for scrummy food. Down the pub for a drink every now and again. Just your everyday, average things! I wish I could say that I split my time between here and Paris, but sadly that’s not the case, haha! ;)
10) I have to ask... is there plans for book 2?!
There are plans for book 2, although none are set in concrete just yet… Once I’m set on Book 2, you’ll definitely be hearing about it, because you know how I just love to scream and shout about all of the bookish things, including my own!
Thanks so much for coming on the blog Becca!
Laura, thank YOU for having me, and for your fabulous questions! It has been an absolute pleasure, and I cannot thank you enough for the never-ending support that you’ve been throwing my way by the bucket-load. You’re fantastic, and it means the world to me. Becca xxx