Author Interview: Poppy Dolan
Hello Poppy, a huge, warm welcome to Bookaholic Confessions! Thank you so much for participating in this interview. Would you like to start by introducing yourself…?
Hello! I’m Poppy. I write women’s fiction really because they’re the kind of books I’ve been hooked on since I was a teenager. Besides writing, I’m a keen baker of anything that involves chocolate.
Can you tell us a bit about your new novel, The Bluebell Bunting Society? (Released 27th March 2017)?
This novel has my character Connie at the core – she moved back to her home village a few years back when her beloved Gran died, and since then she’s kind of been hiding from life. When the local community hall that she’s the caretaker for gets threatened with closure, it forces her out of her old ways of thinking and brings her closer to others in the village. A lot of lovely bunting gets made!
I love the premise for The Bluebell Bunting Society and I can’t wait to start reading! What inspired you to come up with the idea for the storyline?
I live in an old village that has lots of local history and one day I got thinking about who keeps it all going – they must do it out of love. Also, I just can’t help but love any occasion when bunting is out and about! I’ve made a lot of it myself over the years and it always cheers up a wedding or a fete or any kind of party. You can’t go wrong with bunting.
Is your lead character, Connie, completely fictional or is she based on anyone in real life? Would you say there are elements of yourself in Connie?
There’s a bit of me in Connie – I don’t think I’ve written a character yet that doesn’t have a smudge of me in them. But she’s a lot more patient and selfless than me! Plus, I don’t think I could handle a group of little girls doing Taylor Swift dance routines as well as Connie can…
How long did it take you to write The Bluebell Bunting Society?
I wrote this book in five months, which I really can’t believe now! I work full time and I have a family, so I have to write whenever I have the chance, often at an hour at a time, so that certainly focuses the mind!
What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t an author?
I’m only really a part-time author but if I was going to try my hand at anything else, I think I’d love to own a haberdashery. I am a fan of all kinds of crafty hobbies and I’d love to have an Aladdin’s cave of a shop with a great coffee machine and cake too. But that sounds like way too much fun to be a reality!
Can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication?
I self published my first book, The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp, a few years ago and could not believe it when it took off! I then worked with Novelicious Books on my next book There’s More to Life Than Cupcakes and I had an absolute blast with them – I think everyone knows that I heart Kirsty Greenwood big time! Now I’m being published by Canelo and I couldn’t be happier – they are so smart and attentive, and I love love love my cover!
Who are your favourite authors and what kind of books do you enjoy reading? What has been your favourite book of 2017 so far?
My favourite book of the year so far is The Silent Fountain by Victoria Fox. It’s intriguing and dark, and reminded me of Kate Morton, who I love. I also can’t wait to read Cathy Bramley’s new series which has just started – The Lemon Tree Cafe. Her books are always the best feel-good fiction.
And finally – can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
My new work in progress taps into my love of craft! It’s called The Wooly Hat Knitting Club and the two characters at it’s heart are a brother and sister who own a haberdashery together. Except it’s the brother who’s the craft expert and the sister who’s more at home in a boardroom than a knitting class. It’s a lot of fun to get totally lost in another world, with my favourite hobbies thrown in for good measure!
A huge thank you to Poppy and to Bethan at ed pr.
When the going gets tough, the tough get sewing…
Welcome to Bluebell Hall. Pull up a wonky chair, grab a cream bun and settle into a story about a little village, a determined caretaker – and bunting…
At twenty-nine, Connie isn’t quite where she thought she’d be. When her beloved gran died Connie returned to Hazelhurst, the village she grew up in, and took over her gran’s old job as caretaker at the village hall. It might not be the stuff of dreams, but Connie loves working at Bluebell Hall – the heart of the community.
So when Bluebell Hall is threatened with closure, Connie is determined not to let greedy property developers get their hands on it. She hatches a plan bonkers enough that it just might work. All it takes is a needle and thread, scraps of old material and willing hands. Can Connie convince the people of Hazelhurst that their village hall is worth saving? And will she save herself in the process…?
Poppy Dolan lives in Berkshire with her husband. She’s a near-obsessive baker and a keen crafter, so on a typical weekend can be found moving between the haberdashery and kitchenware floors of a department store, adding to her birthday wish list. She has written three novels: The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp, There’s More to Life than Cupcakes and most recently The Bluebell Bunting Society. The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp made it into the Amazon top 100 bestseller chart, so clearly someone other than her mum must have read it. She’s currently working on her fourth novel – it’s about friends, siblings and crafty things – and drinking far too much tea.