Sunday, 8 March 2015

Welcoming Helen J Rolfe to the blog

This week I am delighted to welcome Helen J Rolfe to the blog. Helen's debut novel, The Friendship Tree was published just a few days ago and I am thrilled that she has found the time to pay us a visit and answer a few probing questions!

 So Helen, how are you finding life back in the UK?
We are settling in well and Christmas was a definite highlight. I haven’t had a UK Christmas since 1999, so it was lovely to do my Christmas shopping in the beautiful city of Bath with the cold, the lights, the atmosphere. I’m a bit over the winter now though…roll on spring! I can’t wait to see a bit more of Europe J

How long did it take for your possessions to catch up with you?
We sent some things via air freight, but only the essentials and so it took 4 months for our belongings to finally reach us!

Was there anything in particular that were you desperate to unpack?
Odd as it sounds… my foam roller and my fitball! I find I get sore with sitting at a desk for so long, so I try to do stretches / exercises every day.

Anything you wished you’d left behind?
A friend recently relocated to the UK from South Africa and they got rid of everything that wasn’t of sentimental value. Every time I step on some Lego or trip over a Barbie, I almost wish we’d done exactly the same!

Which part of the writing process do you enjoy most?
I love each part of it if I’m honest. I love starting with the blank page and thinking of something new, I love getting the first draft down, editing and re-editing.

Which part of the writing process, if any, do you enjoy least?
If I had to pick something it would be the amount of times I’ve had to re-read my manuscript to spot check different versions before publication day. You get to the point where you could recite it word for word, but it’s a vital step not to be skipped.

Do you have a favourite writing spot?
My desk in the study, although I’d love to go to somewhere in Europe on a writing retreat one day – I have dreams of a quiet couple of weeks in Italy or somewhere equally beautiful, with nothing but my laptop, my ideas and maybe some wine for company. I wonder if it’ll ever happen!

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A bit of both. I like to plot but I think it’s essential to stay flexible during the writing process as characters often behave in ways we’d never expected, allowing the plot to really open out.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m doing final edits to another two books ready for submission J

How does it feel to be a published author?
Amazing! It sometimes felt as though I’d never get there. Mind you, I’m now beginning to understand what writers mean when they say that publishing the book is only the start. There is a lot to do now to promote my book, submit the next and get going with something totally new.

Exciting times!

Helen J Rolfe.

The Friendship Tree is available from:
Amazon UK:

To find out more about Helen J Rolfe, you can visit her website:
Or, connect via the following:
Twitter: @hjrolfe

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