Romance Reading Month Interview, Part 1

Posted on 3rd March, 2020

You may remember my mentioning that February was Romance Reading Month. As part of the celebrations, members of the Romantic Novelists Association were featured on the Love Reading book blog site. In case you missed it, this is my interview.


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Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey, please?

I was a child-writer, mostly writing boarding school stories. In my teens I loved historical novels and started writing them. When I was in my 20s, I had a literary agent who loved what I had written, but nothing ever came of it. I then spent years writing purely for pleasure before I decided to aim for publication again and I wrote three novels in order to have a body of work to offer. Laura Longrigg at MBA signed me up. Those three books, plus another one, A Respectable Woman, have all been published by Allison & Busby. I now also write as Polly Heron for Corvus.


Can you tell us how you became involved with the Romantic Novelists Association and what it means for you to be part of it?

Like so many writers, I joined the RNA as part of the New Writers Scheme, in which you can submit a novel to be critiqued by a published author. I put three books through the process and the feedback was invaluable, so I am grateful to the RNA for that. The other wonderful thing about the RNA is the writers I’ve met and become friends with. Writing can be a lonely business – for years no one else knew I wrote – but now I can’t imagine being without the support of fellow writers. The RNA throws great parties too!


What was the inspiration behind your latest release writing as Susanna Bavin?

The inspiration behind The Poor Relation came from reading about the lives of suffragettes. I also wanted to write about a heroine who was determined to become a writer, but could only achieve this against the odds. And the will, which causes so much trouble in the book, was based on a real will. Trust me – it’s a very sobering moment when you’re told that you have inherited something, but you can’t have it until another person dies.

Do you find it hard to let your characters go when you finish writing the book?

I feel very invested in my characters. It’s my job to know them inside out, so when the story finishes, there is a little moment when I gulp at the thought of not being with them again, but then it is time to start work on the next book and – hurrah – I have a new set of characters to become involved with. As Polly Heron, I am writing a trilogy for Corvus and some characters carry on from one book to another, so I don’t have to say goodbye to them just yet!


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That's the first half of the interview. I hope you found it interesting. I'll post the second half later this week.


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The Poor Relation on Amazon UK  and on Amazon US 



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