It is my great pleasure to welcome fellow One More Chapter author, Pernille Hughes to Off the Beaten Track today to celebrate the publication of her next book, Ten Years.
My thoughts on the book
This is a highly original story that had me hooked from the very first page. The author brings to the page two real, complex and well-drawn characters that I championed all the way through. This is a true slow burn and I loved seeing how the characters evolved each time they met up – how they change as people and how their relationship evolves.
No spoilers but a VERY satisfying ending , including a lovely twist. An absolute must read.
And loving this cover!
Pernille joins us to tell us more about her and this fabulous read.
Tell us what inspired you to write Ten Years.
The book came from a conversation over lunch with my lovely editor Charlotte Ledger. Normally I write comic romances, so writing Ten Years, blending funny and sad, was something new. I’d once heard the brilliant psychotherapist Julia Samuel on the History Hit podcast talking about our
modern attitudes towards grief. She described grief as “love that doesn’t know where to go.” That idea stayed with me and certainly sat with me in the writing of Ten Years. Becca and Charlie had to see that you can’t shoo the pain away or ignore it, you have to accommodate it, find a place for it
I also had the notion buzzing in my head of ‘all magic comes at a price’ which I think I might have got from Once upon a time, the TV show? It was something that came up at the end of my last book Probably the Best Kiss in the World, where Love is the ‘magic’. I was still thinking about it here. What would the price be for Becca and Charlie? Essentially, I came to the conclusion that if you’d asked them, they’d have said the same; in losing Ally, they’d already paid upfront.
When did you start writing seriously?
In 2012 I came runner up in a competition to have a story in a Women’s Fiction short story anthology. The Sunday Times had also printed 36 short stories of mine in their Travel section (Confessions of a Tourist), and those two things combined showed me that Women’s fiction was where my voice lay. So, I started writing a full-length novel (Punch-Drunk Love) and sending it out, which got me an agent, and it was published in 2018.
What do you love most about being an author?
The writing community, especially the romance writers community. It’s so generous and supportive. There’s no need to be competitive, as we
physically can’t write the books as quickly as readers read them, and so the focus is on revelling in the love of books and welcoming other writers who want to share their stories.
What are you working on now?
A bit of a passion project, one of those that sits in your head and keeps knocking to be let out. It germinated from a guided tour through Highgate Cemetery, which I would recommend to anyone interested in British social history, or just an interesting walk on a sunny day. It’ll still be a romance of course! I’m ‘out of contract’ so who knows whether it’ll ever see the shelves, but I need it to come out now, it’s been in there too long.
What do you hope readers will take away from Ten Years?
While I really wasn’t setting out to hammer anything home, I suppose there were a few things I worked to get across; that we all grieve differently, for example, and that ‘people change’. Also, that ‘good teams’ needn’t be identical people. Becca and Charlie are wildly different, but they bring out the best in each other. That yin yang image of two-different entities ‘clicking’ together to make a working whole is one that resonates with me.
More about the book
Becca and Charlie have known each other since university.
Becca and Charlies have also hated each other since university.
Until now. Until Ally’s bucket list. The death of their loved one should mean they can go their separate ways and not look back. But completing the list is something neither of them can walk away from.
And sometimes, those who bring out the worst in you, also bring out the very best…
Over the course of ten years, Becca and Charlie’s paths collide as they deal with grief, love and life after Ally.
Where to get it
More about Pernille
Before she moved to writing full-time, Pernille Hughes studied Film & Literature at university. After she graduated she went on to market Natural History films before working in Children’s television, which meant living in actual Teletubbyland for a while! From 2011–2015, she was a regular contributor for The Sunday Times column ‘Confessions of a Tourist’. She’s had two novels published to date – Punch-Drunk Love and Probably the Best Kiss in the World – and her new book Ten Years is released on August 31st 2022.
Pernille lives in Buckinghamshire, England and while the kids are at school she scoffs cake and writes stories in order to maintain a shred of sanity.
www.pernillehughes.com (Free short story here!)