Meet The Family – Helen Bridgett
Helen like myself is a debut author and her novel Summer at Serenity Bay is being released tomorrow.
Hi Helen and welcome to my blog “A Story About A Girl” I was so excited to get to sit down with you again now your debut is closer to be released! I can’t wait to here what you have instore for us.
What inspired you to write “Summer at Serenity Bay?”
First of all, I’ve recently moved back to the North-East of England and I’m rediscovering all the fabulous beaches we have up here. They really are the best in the world!
Also – I love being outdoors and do believe that a simple walk along the coast can cure most ills. I wanted to write something that expressed my love of these two elements and of course I always aim to put a smile on readers’ faces!
What made you decide to submit with Ruby fiction?
I took the advice of the writing community! I asked other authors to recommend publishers and Ruby Fiction were strongly recommended. I love that their books are selected by a panel and it has been fabulous working with the team.
If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself?
I probably wouldn’t listen to any advice I gave myself!
However, I would say to all new writers – reach out to the writing community. Everyone has been there before – we’ve had the same concerns, faced the same issues – ask someone and they will help you. I’ve found other authors incredibly supportive.
If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?
I really don’t know. Even between books I get twitchy. I like to think I’d spend more time hiking and perhaps I’d find another creative outlet like photography but I’m slightly addicted to writing at the moment!
How did you deal with rejections when you started out?
To begin with you take it on the chin – everyone is rejected when they start out and you’re kind of prepared for that. However, after a time it does get you down. The best advice I can give is to walk away from the submissions process for a while, then re-look at your synopsis, first few chapters and submission letter. Are they the best they can be? Re-write and get back on the horse!
What would you say to someone who wants to write?
Just do it. There are many forms of written word and you it poetry, short stories or perhaps scripts. To complete a novel means sitting down at your pc every day – every day and writing. Hitting that word count, plotting the story, revealing your characters and entertaining readers. It’s not an easy task and you have to really want to do it. I would say, however, that it’s a fabulous feeling when you complete your first novel.
Do you have any writing routines or rituals if so what are they?
I try to fit in some exercise during the day otherwise you end up with really stiff shoulders and an aching back. So I walk the dog, write for a couple of hours then do some pilates and another couple of hours writing. I like to set myself a word count for the day and I also leave the manuscript in a place that’s easy to pick up the next day – so, for example, I’ll write the first line of the next chapter before finishing. You spend all night thinking about it so the words flow when you open the pc the following day!
Which authors inspired you to write?
This is always a tough question to answer because I read all genres. Like many people I began with Enid Blyton and she was the first author to transport me to other places through the Faraway Tree, The Wishing Chair and even Mallory Towers – so I’ll say Enid was the very first inspiration.
Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?
Ooh – Andy could be played by Chris Hemsworth, Chloe by Lily Collins, Roisin by Jessie Buckley and Heather by Dame Judi Dench. I hope they’d get on!
Claire – Chris seems to be a very popular choice with the ladies of Choclit and Ruby Fiction
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
Well first of all I hope that readers enjoy Serenity Bay but later this year I have two short stories appearing in anthologies. Next year I’ll be releasing my first crime novel with Ruby Fiction.
More About Helen
Helen Bridgett lives in the North East of England. Outside of writing feel good fiction, Helen loves the great outdoors and having a good laugh with friends over a glass of wine. Helen lives with her husband and their chocolate Labrador, Angus; all three can often be found walking the Northumberland coastline that inspired Serenity Bay.
Escape to Serenity Bay this summer with this fabulous funny, uplifting read.
What happens when you send a group of celebrities to a tiny seaside village? Advertising executive Chloe Walsh thought she was visiting her friend Roisin to get away from it all, but little does she know her kooky friend has a master plan to breathe some life into her sleepy seaside village through a new wellness retreat – and she needs Chloe’s skills.
So starts a community effort to put the retreat, Serenity Bay, on the map. Everyone from Andy at the Surf Shack to Tony at the chocolate shop is involved – even Roisin’s Gran has a few ideas! But Chloe strikes gold almost too soon, attracting the attention of a major production company. Now a colourful group of celebrities are preparing to descend on Serenity Bay to film a reality TV show. Is the village ready for the fun and scandal that are bound to follow
I caught up with Helen as part of the ChcoLit festival, see our video chat HERE!