Author Interview: The Green Hills of Home by Emma Bennet

Author Emma Bennet

Emma grew up and lived in London, before falling in love and moving to Wales to marry her own hero. Emma now lives with her husband, children, and many animals in a small Welsh market town, fitting in her writing around the many demands of little people and cats.The beautiful landscape around her home gave her the inspiration for ‘The Green Hills of Home’.

Her second novel, ‘The Spaniard’s Secret Daughter’, will be available late 2013.

Emma likes (in no particular order): cake, books, Cary Grant films, prosecco, chocolate, guinea pigs, knitting, quilting and happily ever afters!

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Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Gwen, the heroine of ‘The Green Hills of Home’ has many good qualities: she’s incredibly loyal and kind for example. She can, however, be more than a little hotheaded at times! I like to think that I share at least some of Gwen’s good qualities, I’m definitely a better cook though!

What was your favorite children’s book?
Enid Blyton was my favourite author as a child, especially her Malory Towers and St Clares books, I loved the idea of a boarding school with all thr fun of midnight feasts and tuck boxes, although I’m not sure I’d have wanted to go to one myself!

What is you favorite way to spend a rainy day?
Cooking a huge roast, playing a board game and then snuggling up on the sofa with a cup of tea and some sewing, whilst watching a film with my family, ideally something like ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ or ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with music?
I do sometimes put music on whilst I write – something calm and gentle – but I tend to switch off from everything around me when I’m writing anyway so there isn’t really much point!

Who or what inspired your last book?
I live in a market town in the Brecon Beacons – it’s an absolutely beautiful part of the World. I’ve only been here a few years, but can’t imagine ever leaving, so I tried to imagine what it would be like for someone who’s lived amongst this beauty all their lives, but is now being forced to leave. Before long I had my heroine, Gwen, and her beloved Welsh farmhouse firmly in my head!

Do you write as you go or do you have the book all planned out from page 1?
I really, really try to be organised and plan before I begin putting pen to paper, but I tend to end up getting overexcited, writing my favourite scenes first, and generally getting in a wee bit of a muddle! Much sorting out and editing ensues….

What is next on your to read list?
I really love the Little Wychwell series by the author Stella Stafford – they’re very gentile mysteries involving Priscilla, a middle-aged Oxford university academic, and various members of her friend Elodea’s crazy family. The books are very funny, clever and contain such wonderful characters that I really can’t wait for the next one to be published!

How do you juggle writing & family life?
For me, it’s a question of being very strict with myself as to when I’m working and when I’m ‘Mummy’. This generally means trying to make the most of every minute I get working, so I can often be found frantically scribbling away in the corner of a hall whilst a judo session goes on or as I’m waiting to pick one of my children up from Cubs! Then when I’m called upon to make fairy cakes and bicarbonate of soda volcanoes I switch off from writing completely and enjoy my family!

What made you decide to write in this genre?
I was introduced to the romance genre by my mother-in-law, and immediately adored the way that these books can sweep you away and immerse you in a relationship so completely. When I began writing it seemed obvious to me that this would be the sort of novel I’d write because I just love the idea of my happy ever afters bringing smiles to my readers’ faces.

What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process?
Definitely the first sitting down with a new idea and a pad of paper. I’ll frantically scribble down all the plans I have, oblivious of everything else! It’s after this that the real work begins!

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’ve got two new projects on the go, the first is a collection of slightly more serious articles, and then there’s my next romance novel, which should be out later this year and is called ‘The Spaniard’s Secret Daughter’ – it’s mainly set in sunny Spain and has a rather hot-tempered Spaniard as its hero, I’m absolutely loving writing it!



green hillsThe Green Hills of Home by Emma Bennet

Gwen Jones, a young Welsh writer, is desperate to save the family farmhouse from being sold from under her critically ill mother and herself. When she lands a lucrative three-book deal with an eminent publisher, she thinks her problems are all over. However, Gwen’s need to be near her sick mother means she’s unable to travel to London to work with her devilishly desirable editor, John Thatcher, and he must come and stay with her in Wales. Handsome and eminently capable, cosmopolitan John is used to getting his own way and has plans for the future which certainly don’t include being distracted by pretty Welsh girls; nevertheless when he journeys into the country to work with Gwen it’s not long before he finds himself falling in love with her, as well as the house she’s so anxious to save. But is John capable of loving anyone as much as his job? And when he has to decide between his goals and Gwen, which will he choose?