It is a pleasure to welcome author Pauline Barclay to my blog today! She is a wandering soul who started off exploring the United Kingdom, then crossed the channel to spend time in the Netherlands, before settling in the Canary Isles. In short, a woman after my own heart!
In addition to being a lovely human being, Pauline is a fanatic rollerblader, the author of six women’s fiction novels, and the founder of the Chill With a Book Awards.
Please take a moment to learn more about Pauline, her books and the Chill Awards. Happy reading!
Spotlight on Pauline Barclay
Please tell me a little bit about yourself, your books and writing career.
I was born in Yorkshire, UK. I went to school there until I was fourteen and then my dad’s work moved the family to Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK. After marrying, Clive and I moved to Surrey, UK where we lived for a number of years before moving to Leiden in Holland. Today, we live on one of the beautiful volcanic islands of the Canary Isles.
I have always loved writing. As a child I would write poems and once I wrote a song which was sang at a parents’ day at my junior school. For many years I worked in the oil industry in communications, writing magazines, press releases, articles etc.
Today, I spend time writing fiction. My passion is to write about events that happen in life and change everything for those involved as well as those caught up in the maelstrom. I want my characters to sit at your side, steal your attention and sweep you up in their story. Stories that will bring tears to your eyes, have you laughing out loud and sometimes, what they share with you, will stay in your hearts for a very long time.
I have six books published, plus a 20 minute short festive story. I am now busy working on book seven. When not writing I love to run, walk, cook, read, take lots of photographs, play around with my Photoshop and spend time with my family and friends. And, I am also the founder of Chill with a Book Awards for Independent authors.
Who would you like to sit next to on a long flight?
One person would be Margaret Mitchell who wrote, Gone with the Wind. This is on one of my favorites. It is a timeless read and Ms. Mitchell published just one book and it is still a best seller. I would love to talk to her and learn about her writing journey for this wonderful book.
Why do you write the kinds of books you do?
I love to write about things that happen in life and how the consequences affect not only those directly involved, but those caught up in the maelstrom. I want my books to be filled with emotion that has the reader empathizing with my characters as they turn the pages and the story unfolds.
Tell me something about yourself that has nothing to do with writing?
I love to rollerblade. Over the years Clive and I have rollerbladed in many places, Boston, USA, UK, Paris, Canary Isles and Holland. We have travelled thousands of miles on our blades and loved every minute. Here’s a picture of us finishing a marathon some years ago.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
Many things, running being one, though I am not a marathon runner, well not yet, but I hope one day I will be able to sign up to do one. Over the years I have ran several 10k races over and completed a few marathons with my husband on our blades! Here’s a picture of me out on one of my run courses.
What is the inspiration behind your latest novel?
My latest published novel, The Wendy House was written after I met a young lady who told me about her abusive childhood. She asked if I would consider writing a book about abuse. Although she talked at length about her experience I was asked to write the book as fiction with no connection to her. She has since read the book and whilst it was traumatic for her she felt it dealt with the issues very well and wished her own outcome was the same as my story.
Who is your favorite character and why?
I love all my characters, especially Jane Leonard in Magnolia House who found out how a simple act of kindness turned into a nightmare, but if I have to choose, just one, it has to be Doreen Wilkinson from Sometimes It Happens…. Doreen is full of life yet totally out of her comfort zone since she won the lottery. Catapulted into a new life Doreen finds not only is she trying to deal with the present, but the past suddenly catches up too. As Doreen and her teenage daughter take the holiday of a lifetime, Doreen will have you laughing out loud, have you rooting for her and sometimes the things that happen will have you crying, but it is her indomitable spirit that I love so much about Doreen Wilkinson, maybe she will have to make another appearance in the future!
Do you read books by other authors when working on a first draft, or do you prefer not to?
Reading has been part of my life since I was young and I can’t imagine life without a book at my side. So to answer your question, yes I do… lots of them!
Not only are you an author, you are also the founder of the Chill with a Book Awards! Why did you set up this award and how does it work?
I set Chill Awards up in September 2016 for Independent Authors. I am an Independent author and found that as I trawled through award programmes for published authors, most excluded Independent authors. Feeling disappointed at this, I decided to develop an Award Programme that would be for Independent Authors – authors who self-publish or with a small independent publisher. Within months of launching the Award Programme it became international, books being submitted from all over the world: UK, Europe, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Southern Ireland. The publishing world is tough and even tougher for those who publish under the banner of Independent Author. I am passionate about the Awards. Running the Programme takes up a huge chunk of my time seven days a week, but if Chill Awards can help shine a light on well written, Independent published books, then, for me, it is all worth it.
To find out more about the Awards, submissions or about becoming a reader, please visit the Chill With a Book Awards website. www.chillwithabook.com
[Jennifer says: As a Chill With a Book Award winner, I know first-hand how hard Pauline works to let the world know about all the winners! Her efforts are immensely appreciated.
She has also initiated a new series called Yesterday Uncovered! These short, weekly articles written by guest authors will shine a spotlight on a different decade (and book), every month this year.]
A HUGE thank you, Jennifer for inviting me to your wonderful blog and letting me chatter away on one of my favourite subjects, writing. Wishing you a fabulous day.
Thank you, Pauline! It is great to learn more about you as an author and the books you’ve written. I’m glad you had time to stop by. 🙂