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17 April 2020

A Novel Conversation with Pauline Barclay and Trish

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To be a little different from the usual 
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Girl, Hair, White, Dress, Female, Sunset

Q: Hello, I’m Helen, host of Novel Conversations, please do make yourself comfortable. Would you like a drink? Tea, coffee, wine – something stronger? You’ll find a box of chocolates and a bowl of fruit on the table next to you, please do help yourself. I believe you are a character in Pauline Barclay’s’s novel The Birthday Card. Would you like to introduce yourself? Are you a lead character or a supporting role?  
A: My name is Trish, short for Trisha, thankfully no one calls me Trisha. I am seventeen though my Mama suggests I am more like seventeen going on twenty-seven! Mother’s eh? To answer your question about main character, you bet, I would like to be the main character, but Mama is. If I’m honest, she deserves to be, but I’m a good second.

Q: What genre is the novel and what is it about?
A: The Birthday Card is set in the new millennium, so no history, though you could argue there is histrionics in the story! *laugh* Seriously, I would say it’s about life, our life, me and my Mama. We don’t have the most exciting of lives, despite Mama being a little crazy at times, but we do see life even if it is from the opposite side of the lens at times! Interestingly our lives got a lot more exciting after Mama decided to buy our old neighbour a birthday card and bake him a cake. I couldn’t see the point, though Mama was set on getting the perfect card. Believe you me that was one perfect card and nothing was ever going to be the same again.

Q: No spoilers, but are you a ‘goodie’ or a ‘baddie’? (Or maybe you are both?)
A: I’m a goodie really, though I’m sure Mama would disagree at times. Being a teenager in our modern world means you let your hair down from time to time. Mama must have or I wouldn’t been here… right?

QTell me about another character in the novel – maybe your best friend, lover or partner … or maybe your arch enemy!
A: Just thinking about the person I’m about to reveal, makes me roll my eyes. Mr Greedy, that’s not his real name, it’s what Mama calls him because everything in his corner shop is at sky high prices. The only reason we shop there is because we’re allowed a slate (credit for those who’ve never needed one or heard of it). He’s old and old fashioned and the stuff he sells, I swear, is well out of sell by date. I hate going in there as I’m sure he’s checking me out… How gross is that!

Q: Is this the only novel you have appeared in, or are there others in a series?
A: Oh no. I’m seriously enjoying myself in Sometimes It Happens… Mama went ballistic with me, maybe she should have, but maybe she just over reacted! Who knows?  But then what happened at that posh place, I promise you, you couldn’t make it up. Sometimes It Happens… is a follow-on from The Birthday Card. You know, I still can’t get my head around the fact my life has been spilled all over the pages of two books and we met some people more crazy than my Mama.

Q: What is one of your least favourite scenes you appear in?
A: There are a few, but I guess it has to be the one when Mama had a melt down because she’d lost something she thought was important. Seeing her so upset and crying made me sad, it was so out of character for her. No matter how crazy and giggly my Mama is, she’s still my Mama and I love her to bits.

Q: And your favourite scene?
A: There are a few and because I don’t want to give anything away, I’ll stick to the surprise present I bought her from the charity shop. It was a priceless moment.

Q: Tell me a little about your author. Has she written any other books?
A: Ms Barclay. She’s ok, she asks too many question when she’s writing about me and Mama. Though our books are only two out of the seven she has written. All of her books are good-feel emotional stories. She knows how to make you smile and in equal measures she knows how to have you weeping. When she’s not writing and pestering her characters, get this… she runs!

Q: Is your author working on anything else at the moment?
A: Well she is supposed to be, Mama’s nagged her for a third book, but we wait and see. I do know she’s written around 30,000 on another book, another tear-jerker, but so far it’s not come together how she wants it. We continue to wait!

Q: How do you think authors can be helped or supported by readers or groups? What does your author think is the most useful for him/her personally?
A: I don’t know how to answer this one, though Pauline does run a successful international Award Programme for Independent authors and authors from small Independent Publishers, Chill Award. The books are read and evaluated against a five point criteria. It is designed to shine a bright spotlight on great books from Indie authors. You can find out more at

Q: If your author was to host a dinner party what guests would he/she invite and why? Maximum nine guests – real, imaginary, alive or dead.

Margaret Mitchell because she loves Gone with the Wind

Margaret Mitchell in 1941

James Martin, she loves to cook and loves the way he cooks… really!!

James Martin at the Good Food Show Winter 2014.jpg

I’m not sure if our author would choose this character, but I’m sneaking this one in as I so love him… Jesamiah Acorne. Fit does not cover it!

You might think this one odd, but our author would invite my Mama! Yes, Doreen Wilkinson. There is no doubt she would most certainly brighten up any party, I can vouch for that.

Pink Shoes, Wedding Shoes, Bows, Wedding

Maureen Lipman, because she loves her sense of humour.

James Patterson because she wants to know how his mind works with his nail biting stories.

James Patterson.jpg

Helen: Thank you Trish it was a pleasure talking to you. Would your author like to add a short excerpt? Meanwhile, chatting is thirsty work, would you like a refill of that drink…? I’ll have another Gin and Tonic.
Salute! Here’s to writing a best seller!

Round of applause please for our author, Pauline Barclay…

My passion is to write about events that happen in life and change everything for those involved as well as those caught up in the maelstrom. I want my characters to sit at your side, steal your attention and sweep you up in their story. Stories that will bring tears to your eyes, have you laughing out loud and sometimes, what they share with you, will stay  in your hearts for a very long time.

I am from Yorkshire, UK, but have lived in several different locations in the UK and overseas  Years ago I gained a BA (Hons) degree from the Open University, today I spend my time writing fiction. I have six books published. I am now busy working on book seven. When not writing I love to run, walk, cook, read, take too many photographs, play around with my Photoshop and spend time with my family and friends.

I am also the founder of Chill with a Book Awards for Independent authors.

CONNECT WITH Pauline Barclay
Instagram @paulinebarclay

EXCERPT … The Birthday Card
Doreen’s eyes snapped open. ‘What the bleedin’ hell is that?’ she wailed. A loud buzzing noise reverberated around the room. Unsure where she was, all she wanted to do was stop the incessant noise. Automatically, she stuck her hand out from under the duvet and, reaching out, banged it down hard on, what she hoped, was the alarm clock. ‘Thank God that’s stopped,’ she groaned. Closing her eyes she tucked her arm back under the warm duvet.
Her head throbbed. If she had not realised she was in bed, she would have believed someone had got hold of her and was beating her head against a brick wall. The pain was of nightmare proportion. Rolling on to her back, she gingerly opened her eyes and stared up at the ceiling. As her eyes focused, it all slowly came back to her. ‘Oh Gawd,’ she sobbed, now understanding her thumping head. What had she been thinking to down all that whisky with old Jack and his cronies? Why had she not just nibbled at a piece of cake then got to her feet and bid everyone a goodnight? But no, she had lingered and the party side of Doreen had run amok! What had she been thinking?
‘You can’t go without another drink,’ Jack had insisted, easing himself up from his chair and parking himself on the edge. ‘Annie, make sure me best neighbour’s glass is replenished,’ he had wheezed, as if Annie was the other side of the flat rather than standing next to him.
‘Blimey,’ she cried as her mind’s eye saw her glass; it was full, in fact she couldn’t remember her glass ever being empty. Every time she had looked at it, it was full despite her drinking. At some point a large bowl of crisps had appeared followed by slices of the chocolate cake she had made. She was not sure she’d had a piece of cake, but she must have had the crisps because she could still taste chilli despite her sour breath. She had never liked chilli crisps so why did she eat them?  ‘Oh no,’ she sobbed as another memory flooded in, placing her hands over her face in an attempt to stop the fiasco replaying. She had leapt up from the foot stool and had belted out, Simply the Best, using an empty beer bottle as the mic. And worse, as if it could be worse, she had thought she sounded as good as Tina Turner and, getting into the spirit of the party, had leapt up on to the coffee table and with a theatrical flourish had whipped off her apron. With her arm lifted high she had flapped it above her head like a banner and had almost smashed the ceiling light.
The room had buzzed with her cavorting, everyone had clapped, whistled and cheered as the single bulb and its shade swung like a pendulum, creating a strobe effect in the smoky room. Jack had tried to get up on the coffee table, crying he was Ike and wanted to join in. Thankfully, he had been pulled back by Annie, and after gyrating around the room like a baboon, he had slumped back in his chair puffing like an old steam train.
‘Go you, gal,’ Annie had shrieked trying to get Jack back in his chair.
‘Go you, gal,’ Doreen muttered and groaned loudly as the memory of the evening played out in full digital surround sound. She squeezed her eyes tight shut in an attempt to blot out her extravagant behaviour at Jack’s birthday bash, but it was a waste of time. She was supposed to be the cake maker, not the bleeding karaoke turn.
Having remembered more than enough, all she could think right now was that Jack was going to see her in a new light. The last thing she needed was an old man thinking she was a goer. There was nothing she could do about it and, right now, all she needed to do was get something down her neck to stop the pounding in her head. The other would, hopefully, be a two day wonder and any fallout from her mad moment she would deal with when she had the wherewithal and her head was not thumping.
Determined to sort her head out, Doreen pushed the duvet off and struggled to sit up. The room appeared to be on a slow spin. ‘Crikey,’ she bleated and lowered her feet on to the thin carpet…

Thanks, Helen for inviting me to your fab Blog, it’s been fun, but could have been so much cooler had I met your Jesamiah. Maybe next time eh?
Love Trish x

This author has been awarded an 

On an Amazon near you

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so very much for chatting with my lovely Trish. x


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