Helen’s heartfelt romance
A big welcome to author Helen Pollard, talking about her latest novel, Holding Back.
Helen writes contemporary romance with old-fashioned heart. She believes there will always be a place for romantic fiction, no matter how fast-paced and cynical the world becomes. Readers still want that feel-good factor – to escape from their own world for a while and see how a budding romance can blossom and overcome adversity to develop into love … and we all need a little love, right?
Laura Matheson is a natural at avoiding romance, so when she is drawn to mystery guest Daniel Stone while helping out at her friends’ hotel in Portugal, she assumes all she needs is a little extra willpower.
Daniel is at the hotel on business. The demands of work and a manipulative ex-girlfriend mean he doesn’t have the time or energy for romance, but Laura is a distraction he finds hard to ignore.
As they negotiate a minefield of misunderstandings and mutual attraction, will they both continue to hold back? Or will they finally allow love into their lives?
Helen tells us how the book came about…
In interviews on writers’ blogs, I’m often asked what inspired my books.
It’s not always easy to answer. At any given point, I have numerous ideas buzzing around in my head … so what makes me grab hold of one in particular, above all the others?
I tend to find that it’s often a very specific thing that I finally alight on – maybe a single scene between people, a small aspect of a character’s personality, a particular place … And when my inner sense of that one thing is strong enough, slowly but surely, everything else will fit into place around it in my mind; a rough idea of the characters and the story. Hopefully, it’s at that point that the characters will come to life for me and start to do their own thing; show me where they think the story should go. If they don’t, then that particular idea will go on the back burner until another little bolt of inspiration hits and sparks it back to life.
In the case of Holding Back, it was definitely the setting that captured my imagination first. I’d visited the area of northern Portugal where it is set a couple of times a few years ago, and it was so beautiful and friendly there that it stayed with me, nagging at me for its own story, until my imagination came up with the characters and plot to go with it.
Luckily, I wrote a rough draft soon after I came back from my visits, otherwise I might not have been able to rely on my memory to give a true picture of the place! But when I came to write it properly, I knew my notes from back then were accurate for the time and could deliver the feel of the place, so it was just a question of doing a little internet research in case any of the places I mentioned had changed dramatically!
As for the characters, I wanted my couple to be quite different from my first published romance, Warm Hearts in Winter. In that story, the hero and heroine rather like each other from the outset, and it’s mainly a question of them both getting past their personal demons to consider a future together.
In Holding Back, Daniel and Laura might be attracted to each other from the start, but they certainly don’t get on at first, and their backgrounds mean that they are both too stubborn and resistant to allow themselves a romance. And, as usual, they developed a mind of their own as I was writing their story … so getting them together turned out to be quite a challenge!
A Yorkshire lass, Helen is married, with two teenagers and a psychotic cat. When she’s not working or writing, it goes without saying that she loves to read. She also enjoys a good coffee in a quiet bookshop, and appreciates the company of family and close friends.
Thank you for the post, Helen, and best of luck with the book!
Find Holding Back at:
Barnes & Noble:
For more about Helen, visit:
Website & Blog: http://helenpollardwrites.wordpress.com