Blog 99 09/07/2020 A LITERARY WORLD: An Interview with Pauline Barclay
A LITERARY WORLD
An Interview with Pauline Barclay
In my last blog, I mentioned that over the next few weeks, I will be presenting a series of guest interviews with a few writers, not only because they are accomplished award-winning authors in their own right, but because they have tirelessly given so much of themselves to help and promote other authors. The second of this energetic group of writers is the talented and delightful Pauline Barclay, someone I am sure many of my readers and author friends will know because she runs the Independent Author Awards, Chill with a Book, which has helped so many authors – myself included – reach a wider audience.
Welcome to A Literary World, Pauline, it’s a pleasure to have you with us. Tell us about your background? When did you decide to become an author?
Hello Kathryn, thank you for inviting me here today. As for when I decide to become an author.To be honest there was no conscious decision. As a young girl, I loved writing poems and once wrote a song, which was sung at morning assembly when I was in junior school. Many years later, I worked in communications in the international oil industry. For more years than I can recall, I had always wanted to write a book. I did in the end and there are three or four locked away in the archives of my laptop, probably never to be seen again! My first published novel, Magnolia House, was inspired by a true story. It was a story that I could not believe could really happen, but it did. The ending in the real life event was very upsetting, so I changed a number of events in Magnolia House to reflect the issue, but with a different outcome.
What are your novels about and where are they set?
I have seven published novels. They are reads that will pull on your emotional strings; stories of love, life and loss.They are set over different periods of time. Satchfield Hall starts during WWII and ends in the mid-eighties. Storm Clouds Gathering and In The Cold Light of Day are set in the mid-sixties. My other novels are set in present times.
All my novels are about real live and the consequences of actions and how they impact on the protagonist and those surrounding them.
Two of my novels were inspired by true events. Magnolia House and The Wendy House. The Wendy House was a difficult story to write and is heartbreaking to read. Whilst it is fiction, the young woman who asked me to write about this dreadful subject, provided information, in the end, I didn’t use it all, it was too distressing. Although it is a disturbing read, everyone needs to understand that this happens and in the most respectable of homes. The signs are there, sadly we don’t always see them for what they are.
Can you tell us about your latest novel?
My latest published novel, The Birthday Card is a feel good read to escape into and is the prequel to Sometimes It Happens… Doreen Wilkinson, a young single mother, with a seventeen year old daughter going on 30, is hard working and her life is tough, but she never forgets to have fun when she can. Leaving for work early in the morning, Doreen notices a balloon tied to her neighbours front door handle. She smiles, in the gloomy, sad block of flats she lives in, there is a little sparkle with the coloured balloon. Instantly she decides she will bake a cake and buy a birthday card for her elder neighbour once she has finished work. Little did Doreen realise that small act of kindness would be the start of events that would change her life forever.
What sort of research did the stories require?
Much of my research was carried out via the internet and talking to people who I knew had some experience or knowledge about what I was writing about.
Over the years I have met some amazing people. One person who was an inspiration when writing, The Birthday Card and Sometimes It Happens… is best selling author, Helen Hollick. Her help and advice has been priceless.
What was the most surprising thing you discovered when researching?
How much of what I was told was not only true but had happened to the people I was speaking with. Real life is frightening at times.
Are the characters based on real people?
None of my characters are based on anyone alive or dead, however, some of the stories do include events that have happened to people I have met or known. As I mentioned earlier, Magnolia House and The Wendy House are based on true events.
When you’re not writing, what do you like to do to chill out?
Ha ha, talking of Chill. I run the Independent Author Awards, Chill with a Book. www.chillwithabook.com
When not writing or running the Award Programme, me, my OH and our little doggy love to walk.
Most days we walk between seven and ten miles along the river we overlook. I also love taking photographs. You see so much when meandering along riverbanks and through woodlands.
I share some of my photos on Instagram. I use many of the pics I take to produce posters etc. with my Photoshop.
Other things I enjoying doing include, cooking,reading and running. My running these days is around 5k. I blame age for not running as far as I used too. *laugh*
Who are your favourite authors?
Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind, Martine Cole, Maeve Binchy, Enid Blyton. I could keep going, but I would fill the post with authors. I love so many and over the years have read different genres and hundreds of books and probably many more!
What’s next for you?
I am half way through a new novel, but lock down and the state of the world, I’ve lost my motivation to sit down and write. Instead I have been writing short stories which I have added to my Blog. These two five minute read stories are about life during these very unsettling times.
Our Rainbow – a true story about a family I am very closed too.
Below are my links, but right now, I want to say a HUGE thank you to Kathryn for having me here on her fabulous Blog. It’s been fun.
Thank you for being with us today, Pauline. I follow your photographs on Instagram. You have a creative eye. I also note that one of your favourite authors is Martine Cole. I devour her books easily. I heard an interview with her and apparently at one time, her books were the most “stolen” books from bookshops in the UK!!!!! So they were often kept behind the counter. I would like to think that one day that would happen to ours too. Thank you also for mentioning the help that Helen Hollick gave you. She is a gem (and for those who missed my last interview with her, see below). On behalf of my readers, I wish you continued success and take care in these unsettling times.