Amersham resident Pernille Hughes’ third novel, Ten Years, hit the shelves on August 30 to rave reviews from critics and customers alike.
Ten Years follows Becca and Charlie, two people who have known and hated each other since university. When their mutual friend dies, they are forced to come together to complete their loved one’s bucket list. Over the course of ten years, Becca and Charlie come to learn that those who bring out the worst in you, can also bring out the very best…
Alex Brown, author of Bridget’s Bicycle Bakery, said: “Took my breath away…I haven’t laughed or cried as much since PS I Love You.”
Rachael Lucas, Sunday Times bestseller, said: “I absolutely loved this gorgeous, funny, touching book – it’s utterly romantic, with gloriously real characters you’ll fall in love with.”
My Local News sat down with Pernille to discuss her career as a writer to date, and what to expect from her latest romance novel.
Have you always wanted to be an author?
I’ve been making stories up since I was a child. I wanted to be a journalist when I was a teen, but my English teacher said I wouldn’t be good enough. I didn’t write for ten years as a result. But then I was at home with my four children under five (Babies’ conversation is pretty rubbish), I tried many projects and sent them out to publishers. The comments in the rejections were lovely but ultimately it was a no.
When I came runner up in a Women’s Fiction short story competition, I realized that my writing voice lay in Romantic Fiction. There was nothing left to do but try a full length book and that was what became my debut Punch-Drunk Love.
What can readers expect from your latest novel?
I write funny romance. I believe love and laughter go hand in hand, and so like to combine the two in my stories. I look at real, relatable feelings but in a way that brings levity to the subject and the reader. This new book, Ten Years, tackles grief and the way we change over the years. It’s perhaps a little heavier than my first two books, but there’s lots of comedy in there to balance things out.
What advice could you give other budding writers?
Aside from ‘Read read read – once as a reader, then as a writer’, I always say to writers and aspiring authors “find your tribe”. Perhaps it’s a local writing group, say Chiltern Writers for example. Listen to writing podcasts such as The Bestseller Experiment. Writing itself can be lonely, but being a writer needn’t be. The writing community is very supportive with advice. Just ask and someone will answer.