Sensible Sophie Challoner works hard and is a devoted carer of her father. One night her grandmother throws a ball for her in Paris…and Sophie does something reckless and wonderful that she can never forget. Jean-Luc Olivier is not a man to treat lightly. And so when fate takes a hand years after the ball, reuniting him with Sophie in Lyon, he is determined not to let her go a second time. But it seems the fates are conspiring against their happiness. Jean-Luc has secrets of his own. And when disaster strikes at home in London, Sophie is faced with a choice—stay in this glamorous world with the man she loves, or return to her family to keep a sacred promise she made her mother.
Please welcome Helena Fairfax:
Hi Andrea, and thanks so much for having me today!
1) What genre do you write in? Why?
My first two novels are contemporary romances. I write in this genre because these are the books I love to read! With a contemporary romance, you are swept into the story from the very first paragraph, and the focus is firmly on the love story.
Having said that…! I’ve nearly finished writing a longer romance and have really enjoyed developing the secondary characters and plots.
2) What/Who inspired you to start writing?
Ever since I read my very first picture book, I’ve loved being immersed in stories. I read a wide variety of genres, but romances are the novels I return to again and again. I was inspired by reading the Brontës, Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. I love their books, and have read and re-read them.
3) Is there a book or two that you wrote and love that’s not published? If so, tell us more. Or tells us about your current WIP.
I haven’t ever written a full unpublished book, but have plenty of scenes scribbled down that should never see the light of day! My current WIP focuses on the growing love between a young widow and a family friend. It explores the themes of love and loss, and also the bonds of love between friends, between family members and teenage love.
4) Who would play your characters in a movie?
For my current WIP I’d choose Daniel Day-Lewis and Sienna Miller. (If only!)
5) When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
From a very young age, but it wasn’t until fairly recently that I had the confidence to send my work to a publisher. I wish I’d done it years ago!
6) Any suggestions for would be writers?
Read lots of books in the genre you want to write in; follow bloggers/book reviewers in your chosen genre; and most of all, write every day – and don’t give up!
7) What makes a good story to you?
A good romance must have a strong internal conflict between the hero and heroine – something that forces them apart, so that the reader is on tenterhooks, wondering how on earth they will ever get together.
8) Do you believe writers are born or made or both?
Great question! It needs hard work and perseverance, but if you have those qualities you can do it. I think the truly outstanding writers, though, are born, not made.
9) Besides getting published, what was your awe moment?
The birth of my children.
Thanks for being such a great hostess, Andrea. I’ve enjoyed your thought-provoking questions!
Helena Fairfax was born in Uganda and came to England as a child. She’s grown used to the cold now and that’s just as well, because nowadays she lives in an old Victorian mill town in Yorkshire, right next door to windswept Brontë country. She has an affectionate, if half-crazed, rescue dog and together they tramp the moors every day—one of them wishing she were Emily Brontë, the other vainly chasing pheasants. When she’s not out on the moors you’ll find Helena either creating romantic heroes and heroines of her own or else with her nose firmly buried in a book, enjoying someone else’s stories. Her patient husband and her brilliant children support her in her daydreams and are the loves of her life.
You can find Helena on her blog: http://www.helenafairfax.com