Friday 23 November 2012

The Next Big Thing?

I’ve been invited by Chris Chalmers, author of the wonderful award-winning novel, Five to One (he blogs at ) to take the Next Big Thing questionnaire, where authors talk about what they’re publishing next.

So here goes...

What is the title of your next book?

Pappa's Girl 

Where did the idea for the book come from?

The idea for Pappa's Girl first came to me when I took part in a non-fiction seminar during the last term of my MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. I immediately thought of writing about Finns who emigrated to Sweden in the 1970's. Instead, however, a story about a fictional family grew in my mind, and I wrote a short piece for my next class. Eventually on firm advice from my excellent tutor, Lucy English, I changed my MA project at the last minute and started writing Pappa's Girl.   

What genre do your book fall under?

Romantic fiction.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

This must be the most difficult question! I think I'd love to see Finnish actors 'do' all the parts but really couldn't tell you who. Can I take a rain check on this one…?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Emotionally anaesthetised by her displaced childhood, and her parents' violent break-up, Swedish teacher Ulla learns how to love and be loved through going back to her Finnish roots.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Pappa's Girl will be published on Kindle later this month.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Three to four months. Finishing it has taken me years, though!

What other book would you compare the story to within your genre?

There is an excellent Swedish novel on the same subject, Beyond, by Susanna Alakoski. It's much darker than Pappa's Girl.  The novel has also been made into a film starring the then married couple Noomi and Ola Rapace. (You may have noticed I have something of a crush on Ola, but I digress).

Who or What inspired you to write the novel?

The inspiration for Pappa's Girl came from my mother. Although the novel is not biographical by any stretch of imagination, I wanted to write about some of the difficulties I knew she had encountered when she first moved from Finland to Sweden.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

As well as a story of love, Pappa's Girl, also shows the reader, through the eyes of an 11-year-old girl, Ulla, what it's like to move to strange new country, where according to her beloved Pappa 'everything is bigger and better'. 

And that's it! I hope you enjoyed reading about My Next Big Thing. I will now pass the task of answering these same questions to another writer. Next week in the spotlight will be the veritable authoress and blogger extraordinaire, Karen Gowen.  

I look forward to reading about her new project.


Karen Jones Gowen said...

Helena, Thank you for passing along the torch to me! I'll be posting about my cookbook. Easy haha! I started The Englishman and LOVE IT. Can't wait to get back into it and read more about this charming couple. It's true, right?

Unknown said...

I look forward to reading about your cook book! And very glad you are enjoying The Englishman.
Helena xx
PS. It's a fictionalised account of how I met my husband.