Summer Ice Cream Social – My guest today is international best selling author Helen Hollick!

Summer Ice Cream Social banner

Welcome, Helen Hollick, to Avalon Graphics’
Summer Ice Cream Social!!

Helen Hollick

Helen Hollick

[Cathy of Avalon Graphics] First things first – I have to ask what your favorite ice cream flavor is: [Helen] Rum and raisin (of course! LOL) [Cathy] Of course!

[Cathy of Avalon Graphics] Helen, please tell me a little bit about yourself!
Hi Cathy, thank you for inviting me to your Summer Ice Cream Social, just let me finish this cornet I’m licking as it’s starting to melt….(licks fingers)  Yum. That was tasty!

So a little about myself? I’m the wrong side of 59, I live in Devon, England, with my husband, Ron, daughter Kathy and her partner, Adam – and Baz the dog, Mab and Sybil the cats and four horses, Lexie, Jasper, Ishi and Squidge. Though Squidge is only a small pony, so perhaps he counts as half a horse?
[Cathy of Avalon Graphics] For anyone interested in seeing photos of all the Hollick family pets visit ‘Leaning on the Gate‘ for a wonderful collection of photos and a diary of country living.

We moved here to Devon in January 2013 having finally managed to escape the hustle and bustle of busy London. Swapping to the idyllic countryside is so wonderful! It is beautiful here.

I write historical fiction and pirate-based adventure fantasy, achieving an ambition a short while ago of making it on to a bestseller list (USA Today with The Forever Queen).

Forever Queen cover

Available on Amazon

Just a few curious questions I’m putting to my guests while we are enjoying our ice cream today:

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Here in Devon *laugh*. Having finally achieved a life-long dream I’m not going to turn away from it now! We live in a beautiful farmhouse that was originally built circa 1770, with fantastic views. I’m here to stay!

What inspires you every day and why?

My readers. Occasionally I think “Why am I doing this darn silly job?” especially if I can’t think what to write for the next chapter, or when I’m struggling with keeping up with marketing myself and my books on various social media sites – this can get a bit overwhelming. Or occasionally, I get low when a not very pleasant e-mail or unkind comment comes to my attention – which can be really shattering for self-esteem and confidence. I am more than happy to receive constructive criticism, if something is not working, I want to know about it, and it is always good to know what your readers do or do not like, but sometimes people can be really hurtful (even spiteful). On these (fortunately rare) occasions I do consider giving up – but then I receive a lovely message from a reader thanking me for writing such an inspiring/entertaining/enjoyable book, and I realise why I write: because I have a story inside me that I want to share with people who like reading the sort of books I want to write. So yes, my inspiration is the lovely, lovely people who are my readers. I write for them, because I know they want more and I do not want to let them down.

The-Kingmaking

Available on Amazon UK

What is your favorite food?

Chocolate!

What is your fondest memory?

I have three: the first time I held my daughter in my arms. The day I was accepted for publication and seeing my present home for the first time.

 What is your pet peeve and why?

People who think they know it all. What’s the saying? Empty pots make the most noise?

Favorite book in the world?

Rosemary Sutcliff. Mark of the Horse Lord.

The Mark of the Horse Lord

Favorite scent?

Can’t decide between roses or fresh-cut hay. I think I’ll plump for the hay.

 How did we meet?

Through an e-mail. This lovely lady mailed to say she had enjoyed my Arthurian Trilogy. I mailed back to say thank you and we started a conversation, in which I said I wasn’t keen on the US or (then published) UK covers. I then discovered this fantastic person was a talented graphics designer – and promptly commissioned her to do me some better UK covers.

Helen Hollick post card

We moved on to also designing the graphics for my website and various marketing material – and even better than all that (which in itself is wonderful!) we are now good, good friends.

Helen Hollick blog tour 2013

So thank you Cathy Helms, for not only giving me the confidence to keep writing, but for also making my books look beautiful. And for being such a dear friend!

Helen, thank YOU for sharing your amazing talent in storytelling with the world! I certainly bless the day that I discovered ‘The Kingmaking’ and found the courage to write to you with my admiration for your work! And I have been double-blessed in receiving both a very dear friend and a thriving book cover design business in return! I truly owe much of my success in recent years to your support and encouragement! Never stop writing – I cannot wait to read Jesamiah’s continued adventures and to get yet another glimpse into the world of Dark Age Britain through your eyes and masterful narrative. Thank you for stopping by for some delicious ice cream and to chat!

Check out Helen’s books and more information on her website, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and her wonderful blogs:

Website: www.helenhollick.net
Main Blog: http://ofhistoryandkings.blogspot.com/ 
Leaning on the Gate – Devon Diary: http://leaningonthegate.blogspot.co.uk/
Newsletter: http://h2unews.blogspot.co.uk/  (only those subscribed will receive my regular newsletter)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HelenHollickAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HelenHollick @HelenHollick

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10 comments

  1. Helen Hollick · July 8, 2013

    HI Cathy, thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog – I know I have said this before, but I am so honoured (and so lucky) to have found you as my graphics designer – but more than this you are now a good friend, which means more than anything to me.

  2. Cathy Helms · July 9, 2013

    I can never say enough just how lucky I feel to have you in my corner and how much I treasure our friendship!! You inspire me daily and I will always attribute my success in book cover design to you for giving me a chance in the beginning, and continuing to be my biggest supporter! Thank you again for stopping by for some ice cream and a chat!!

  3. paulinebarclay · July 9, 2013

    A lovely post from two fab people. xx

    • Cathy Helms · July 9, 2013

      Bless you and thank you, dear Pauline! xxx

    • Helen Hollick · July 10, 2013

      Thank you Pauline!

  4. Geri · July 10, 2013

    What a lovely way to spend a few moments- with 2 women that I greatly admire. Such talent and creativity coming together to make great books!

    • Helen Hollick · July 10, 2013

      You’ll have us blushing Geri *laugh* – but thank you!

    • Cathy Helms · July 10, 2013

      Yes, Geri! Blushing here!! Thank you so much!! Very kind words!!

  5. Tamian Wood · July 14, 2013

    An Ice cream social! What a fun idea! Great interview. I’m looking forward to more stories…

    • Cathy Helms · July 14, 2013

      Thanks Tamian! More on the way – one tomorrow in fact 😉

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