Well Pauline, thank you for making it to Sally Lunn’s for a special interview and I’m amazed that I’ve been able to lure you away from all that sunshine in Lanzarote Many people may not know that you and I go back a long way;we met on line in 2009 when our debut novels – Magnolia House and When Tomorrow Comes were published at the same time.
What fascinates me is that all your books have been set in different times and in their own right are very different stories, is this deliberate or just as the inspiration comes?
It is a little of both. I want my books to be different. The idea is that once you’ve read one of my books you know the next one will not be the same. The characters, setting and time will be very different.
Having asked the question above, I can see there is a common thread for all of them though. What attracts you to a story when you decide to write it?
Now I am intrigued because I don’t set out to create a common thread or any relationship with any of my books. You must divulge when you have time! Sorry, I digress! What attracts me to a story? Gosh a difficult one, lots of different things, even smells can trigger of a memory that spills over into an outline of a story. Also I pick up ideas from listening to people, sometimes it is just a phrase, others a full story. From this I begin to formulate an idea for a story.
There were several working titles for this book. The summer of sixty-five, at the time, seemed appropriate, but I was never totally comfortable with it. In the end it did not convey what I feel the book is about. I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to come up with a title that reflected more about what was happening to all the characters in the book. Storm Clouds Gathering just came into my head one day and I knew that it was perfect.
Have you a new project? If so is it under wraps or are we allowed to know a little bit about it?
Yes there is a new project and I have written around 24,000 but keep deleting and changing things around! The working title is Maddisons (we two dd’s!!) Though I am confident this will not be the published title. Maddisons is set in the present time and is a story about the price of trust. I’m sorry, but at this stage, I don’t want to say any more, though I can say, love does come into the story, but the trust I am talking about is more about action and the dire consequences of what happens when you give your trust to someone you believe loves you.
Which is your favourite book out of the four you have written?
Mmmm! This is a question I am asked regularly and it is a tough one. I loved writing Satchfield Hall and my characters from Storm Clouds Gathering are still very close to me. But having said this, Mrs Leonard from Magnolia House stole my heart with her heartrending story and Doreen from Sometimes It Happens… made me laugh. Honestly, Joanna, I don’t know!
And lastly to change the subject completely, if you could invite four guests for dinner who would they be and why?
Paul O’Grady, because he’s fascinating.
Jamie Oliver as he has inspired so many young people to cook
Bruce Forsythe as he has brought dancing back into fashion for all ages
Colin Dexter for entertaining us with his brilliant Inspector Morse, both on-screen and in books.
If you would like to know more about Pauline and her books her social network links are below: