books · novels · romance · the silk romance · writing

My leading lady, Sophie, plus some useful sites for writers

A couple of weeks ago I divulged the exciting news that my first novel, The Silk Romance, is a contender for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Award for new writers. For the past few weeks I’ve been interviewing many of the other authors who are up for the same award, and showcasing their novels.
Today I thought I’d write a bit about my own nominated novel, and so I’ve accepted fellow author Anne Stenhouse’s invitation to a “blog hop” on fictional leading ladies.
(Anne’s novel Mariah’s Marriage was a contender for last year’s New Writers’ award, and Anne has written a lovely post about her own historical heroine, which you can read here.) Thanks for inviting me, Anne!
helena fairfax, the silk romance, lyon
Lyon, the setting for The Silk Romance

So, here are Anne’s questions:

What is the name of your main character? Is she real or fictitious? The heroine of The Silk Romance is called Sophie Challoner, and she’s fictitious.
When and where is the story set? The story is a contemporary romance, set in the beautiful historic silk-weaving district in Lyon, Le vieux Lyon (Lyon's old quarter)France.
What should we know about Sophie?
Recent tragedy in Sophie’s life has made her reserved and “buttoned-up” with strangers, but the night Sophie meets Jean-Luc Olivier, her true, more passionate personality is released – and Sophie does something reckless she can never forget!
What is the main conflict? What messes up her life? Sophie and Jean-Luc have different goals. Ever since Sophie’s mother died, Sophie has taken care of her family. Her father has mental health problems. Her teenage brother is a gifted musician, whose lessons Sophie pays for.  Jean-Luc Olivier messes up the ordered life Sophie has created for herself – in a big way!
What is her goal? Sophie’s goal is to keep the promise she made her mother and to take care of her family. Her growing love for Jean-Luc interferes with this goal, and eventually she must make a decision – return to her family in London to keep her promise, or remain with the man she loves in France.
* * * *
I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing a little about my diligent Sophie! If you’d like to read more, the novel is available from all major ebook retailers. You can also read a sample on Amazon by “looking inside”.
Useful sites for writers
Usually at the end of a blog hop, I would link to authors with similar posts. Today I thought I’d change things around a little by giving a link to some blogs I follow that I find really useful.
The first is the website Novelicious. This is a great site for both writers and readers of romance, with interviews with publishers, agents, authors, book reviews and links to fab literary things to buy. Every week I find something useful here.
Romance University is another site I’ve been following for a while. RU holds a set of weekly “lectures”, but they’re nothing like as stuffy as that sounds, and they’re useful to writers of any genre, not just romance. The list of topics is varied, from how to intensify conflict, to writing query letters, to use of dialogue in historical fiction. There’s even the occasional “lecture” from a policeman on the use of different firearms – helpful hints for the suspense writer!
Romance is My Day Job is the blog of Patience Bloom, who is senior editor at Harlequin. Although recently Patience has been using her blog more often to promote her own novel, very often she will post about useful writerly stuff such as her pet peeves as an editor. Patience doesn’t blog very often, but when she does I’ve taken down many a note or two!
* * * *

I hope my post was of interest, and you’ve enjoyed hearing about my leading lady! If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. And if you have any websites for writers that you can recommend, I’d love to hear from you!





10 thoughts on “My leading lady, Sophie, plus some useful sites for writers

  1. I loved the romance of Sophie and Jean-Luc and what a fantastic setting for the story. The questions you answered will help me with my current WIP to help me figure out my heroine’s story and see if I’m on the right track. Thanks for the links too.


  2. I’m almost finished the Silk Romance, Helena, and I’ve really enjoyed Sophie’s journey with Jean-Luc – as well as the lovely setting. Thanks for those links!


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