What inspired you to write your first book? – Every summer, when I was a child, we would visit my aunt and uncle at their quaint little cottage on Salisbury Plain. It was called Scotland Lodge and was situated not far from the historical Stonehenge. My uncle worked as a farm hand for the local squire. My aunt tended the manor house. It was there as I roamed free, deep within the English countryside, that I experienced joy, enchantment and some very strange and frightening occurrences. It was like a fairytale kingdom with a sinister twist. The memories of my summers at Scotland Lodge stayed with me, as a sort of nagging unsolved mystery all my life. A few years ago I revisited my childhood wonderland (the old place still emanates a strange and eerie essence) and was led by some mysterious force into concocting this story and writing this trilogy. It is from my mystifying experiences at Scotland Lodge that this story has emerged.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)? – Yes, Merryweather Lodge – Ancient Revenge was my first book. I have four published books, my trilogy and one children’s book. I have just finished my second children’s book and hope to get it published by the end of the year.
How much of the book is realistic? – About 50%. Scary…! I know.
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life? – All of my characters are based on people I know, family members and friends. It’s up to them to figure out, who’s who…lol
Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why? – My protagonist’s aunt, Auntie Em. She is a little bit of my mom, a little bit of my grandmother. The good bits and the bad bits…
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? – Not one thing!
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to aspiring authors? – It’s not as hard as you think. A novel is a story about people; it’s as simple as that. It has a beginning, middle, an end, and a whole lot of conflict in between. The author creates the people, involves them in the conflict, and justifies their reason for being there. Writing a successful novel depends on four things –a little talent, lots of determination, a vivid imagination and skill. No one can teach you the first three but skill is something you ‘can’ learn. The average reader demands several things of a novel – a strong plot, action, well developed and colorful characters, believable character motivation, a well-defined back ground, a strong style that brings vivid images to mind, and good grammar. Readers want to be entertained and if you can put emotion, dreams, and desire on paper, you ‘can’ write a novel.
What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project? – The last page, of the last book, in my trilogy. I share my unearthly experiences at Merryweather Lodge, with my readers.
What is your favourite theme/genre to write? – Paranormal and horror but I also like writing children’s books.
What are you currently reading? – Excuses Be Gone! (for the second time) By, Dr. Wayne Dyer. I have read all his books. He inspires me!
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it? – I could never write erotica. Every time I write a love scene, I hear my mother’s scolding voice in my head, “Be a good girl, our Pauline. “She had high moral standards for her girls..lol
Do you have any pets? Yes, I love animals. I have a ginger cat named Sam U.L. And an adorable Shetland Sheepdog, named Maggie Mae.
Do you see writing as a career? – It is my life..
What do you enjoy most about writing? – Working from home and the freedom to write whenever I please.
Do you have a favorite place to write? For convenience, I write in my office, at my desk. But my favorite place to write is outside, in a secluded spot, surrounded by Mother Nature. She inspires me..
Where do you see yourself in ten years? – On the Bestsellers list! You can’t blame a girl for dreaming.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? – The editing. I hate it!!!
Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer? – I like to plan my stories but sometimes my protagonist gets her fingers on the key board and takes me where ‘she’ wants to go. I let her get on with it…
What age did you start writing stories/poems? – As soon as I could write and before that I wrote stories in my head and told them to my imaginary friend. She was always so attentive. lol
If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be? – England. I grew up there and it will always be home to me. If it wasn’t for my children and their families living here in Canada, I’d move back to England, tomorrow.
Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager? – My friends!!!
Have you ever hated something you wrote? – Not if it was published. Well, I wouldn’t admit to it…lol
What book do you wish you had written? – Harry Potter..! Who wouldn’t?
Do you spend much time marketing? – Oh yes, much more than I care to. Years ago one would write a book, get it published then sit back and collect the royalties. It’s not that way anymore. Most authors are not salesmen, public speakers or comfortable being in the limelight but we are expected to promote ourselves, as well as our books, even by the big publishing houses. I attend writer’s functions, book sales and hold speaking engagements, whenever I can. The internet of course, is the most powerful tool an author has. There are literally hundreds of sites that will promote your book, some are free and some are very costly. I blog, do online interviews, reviews and try to keep a consistent online presence. It can be extremely time consuming but it’s an important element in establishing ones writing career.
What genre is your next project? What is it about? – It’s a children’s fantasy.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book? – It’s called, Carly’s Incredible Dream. It’s about a young girl with huge imagination, who wakes up one day, in a land of dreams…
How do we find your books, blog, and bio? This is my website www.paulineholyoak.com all of my links are on here. Please pop over and visit me there. View my videos, read my articles and find out what makes me tick!
Connect with Pauline and her books:
My children’s book is available at. www.weecreekpress.com
My adult books are available at.www.whiskeycreekpress.com