Today I am delighted to be chatting about books, writing, and romance writing in particular, with author… Helga Jensen-Forde.
Welcome to the blog, Helga. Tell me a bit about the type of books you write and where you are in your publishing journey.
I have just published my first romantic comedy called Twice in a Lifetime, with my second novel due out next year. I am also about to complete a Creative Writing MA at Bath Spa University.
The world can be a stressful place. I much prefer to live in a world of romance and happiness and dreams coming true, and through my stories, I try to make this happen. I like to take my reader to a place full of fun, romance and happiness.
What inspires your stories?
My inspiration comes typically from something I have experienced or seen, and I will then elaborate on that teeny idea. I travelled the world as cabin crew, and seeing all these different places and things that happened gave me lots of inspiration.
Who are your favourite romance authors, past and/or present?
This is a hard one, as I love so many. Narrowing down a few authors is a tough task as there are just too many to mention! I adore Jill Mansell’s books, also Julie Caplin, Pernille Hughes and Natalie Normann.
(Some of my favourites in there too!) If you had to pick one romance novel for me to read, which one would you recommend?
This is a tricky question as so many are fantastic. However, I do love The Little Café in Copenhagen by Julie Caplin. All of Julie’s books are so sweet, and I love her writing style.
Welcome to the little cafe in Copenhagen where the smell of cinnamon fills the air, the hot chocolate is as smooth as silk and romance is just around the corner…
Publicist Kate Sinclair’s life in London is everything she thought she wanted: success, glamour and a charming boyfriend. Until that boyfriend goes behind her back and snatches a much sought-after promotion from her. Heartbroken and questioning everything, Kate needs to escape.
From candles and cosy nights in to romantic late-night walks through the beautiful cobbled streets of Copenhagen, Kate discovers how to live life ‘the Danish way’. Can the secrets of hygge and happiness lead her to her own happily-ever-after?
Excellent choice. Which romantic hero or heroine would you choose to spend your perfect romantic weekend with? Where would you go and what would you do?
That would most definitely be Jamie in Twice in a Lifetime. He is a true gentleman who would pick you up from home and whisk you away somewhere for a nice meal. If it was a whole weekend away, we would stay in a beautiful country hotel and go on a picnic, with a bottle of champagne, some sausage rolls (of course) and perhaps some smoked salmon. The sun would hopefully be shining and we would chat on our picnic blanket while sipping (or even guzzling!) champagne. It really would be the perfect weekend.
What is your favourite thing about being a member of the RNA? What do you think you have gained from membership?
The RNA is one of the best organisations you could ever join. From joining the RNA New Writers’ Scheme and having feedback on my initial draft to the opportunities to meet agents and publishers is just fantastic. The members are also a lovely bunch, and I have made so many friends who are at different stages of their writing careers. Perhaps my one favourite things, though, is meeting like-minded people and industry specialists.
What one piece of advice or tip would you give to new writers starting out in the romance genre?
Research the genre, read lots of similar books and don’t give up. Keep writing, and one day you will eventually succeed.
Tell us about your most recent novel.
Twice in a Lifetime is a romantic comedy with a slightly older protagonist. I wanted to show that women in their 40s and 50s can have fun too. Amelia is sadly betrayed by her husband who runs off with ‘Tanja Tart’. She needs some magic back in her life. So, when she finds the phone number that was given to her twenty years ago by a handsome stranger in New York, Amelia wonders whether he might be The One That Got Away. You can buy it as an ebook here.
Amelia might have met The One. But is she twenty years too late?
After her husband left her out of the blue, the only relationship 48-year-old Amelia Simpson has enjoyed recently is with Nutella and Pinot Grigio. While her 8-year-old twin boys, Jasper and Rupert, keep her busy, Amelia dreams of a life more than washing muddy rugby kits and weekly chats with best friends Sian and Jamie.
Amelia needs some magic back in her life – but magic seems in short supply in her small Welsh town. So when she finds the phone number that was given to her twenty years ago by a handsome stranger in New York, Amelia wonders whether he might be The One That Got Away.
But when Sian takes matters into her own hands, launching a worldwide hunt to find the handsome stranger Amelia met outside Tiffany’s two decades ago, Amelia finds herself on a flight to the Big Apple to reconnect with her ‘Perfect Patrick’.
But as the two explore the sights of NYC, has Amelia reconnected with The One? Or will she discover that the sparkle she was missing is actually closer to home?
About the Author
Helga Jensen is an award-winning British/Danish author and journalist. Her debut novel was a winning entry in the 2017 Montegrappa First Fiction competition at Dubai’s Emirates Literary Festival. Helga is currently working on her second book and a Creative Writing MA, whilst continuing to work as a freelance journalist. Having lived in the Middle East for the past 25 years, the former airline stewardess is now in the UK to complete her MA before deciding where to move next. She lives with her wonderful family, which includes a crazy Labradoodle who never stops making her laugh. Helga loves chocolate, wine, nice people and everything dog related. When she isn’t writing she is probably eating.
Connect with Helga:
Facebook: Helga Jensen