About Once Upon a Word: We're a large group of multi-talented authors working together, to bring you the best romances.

Monday, March 27, 2017

A CHAT WITH PAULINE MILLWARD @ Linda Swift @ Rebecca J.Vickery

Today my guest in Pauline Millward. When Letters from Hull was published,  one of my first Amazon reviews was written by her and this is how we got acquainted. I observed that she was an enthusiastic reader and this is why I chose her to give us the view from the other side of the pages. Welcome to Once Upon a Word, Pauline. Please  tell us a little about yourself.

I am 68 years of age and was born in Hull. When I left school at fifteen I became an office junior at a printing works, moving up to be in charge of accounts. Then I held the same job at another distribution place. From there, I moved to accounts for Cattles,  a well-known company in Hull, and worked my way up to being in charge of the wages department. At twenty-five, I left work to have my family, moving from Hull to Scotland with my then-husband who was in the Royal Navy. Once my children were in school, I opened a market stall on Hull and Hessle markets selling wool, etc. My supplier asked me to manage a shop for him in Hessle which I did until he retired. Then I worked at the local hospital in Cottingham as a technician, cleaning and steralising, then re-packing instruments for the theatres. I also spent time in the theatres watching operations which I loved.  When I re-married, I moved to Bridlington so transferred to Scarborough hospital where I retired in 2002 due to an operation that left me unable to continue the heavy work I was doing.

 I have lived in many places including France as well as Scotland but have always been drawn back to my roots. I have three children (two daughters, one son) and four grandchildren. I am loving life and am out many days during the week on long walks, even climbing the three Yorkshire peaks and Snowdon last year. Many more trips are planned for the coming months but I always have either books or kindle with me; I never go anywhere without them. I am a very avid reader and you will always find me with my nose in a book every spare moment I have. 

So what kinds of books do you read?  Which are your favorites?

I read many genres but my favourite ones are Historical Romance; this was the first type of book I read as an adult. Any story set around the war years, especially WWII. Crime stories are amongst my favourites at the moment. too.

I'm glad you like historical romance as that is my favorite genre to write. And I can see why WWII stories interest you since England was so involved in that conflict. But I'm afraid I'm not a fan of crime stories...yet.
The trend today seems to be toward shorter books. Do you have a preference in length of the books you read?
I prefer books around the 350/450 page length as that way the author can really get the full story across without skipping details.

That is music to my ears, Pauline, because this is the kind of story I love to write.
Can you tell me the main reason that causes you to buy a certain book? It is very important for authors like me to know what is most important to readers such as you.

When buying a book I do go for genre and author mostly in that order but I do always look for authors that I have read and like.

Dare I ask if  you prefer E-books or print books?

I never thought I would ever say this but I do love my kindle, it is so easy to pack in my case when going away. But having said that, I still do read print books occasionally when at home. 

My publisher will love your answer. Although Publishing by Rebecca J Vickery does offer prints, and most of mine are available in print, the main emphasis is on E- books. I wonder when you read a book if there are certain things that please you or turn you off?

I love a book that really grips you from the first few pages. What I don't like is bad grammar; this really puts me off a story and if it's too bad I do not or cannot finish the book. 

This is good information for all authors to know and heed. So do you ever read a book a second time if it is one of those that you really like?

I must admit I have never read a book twice, as yet. I have always had so many books on my shelves and now on my kindle that I just want to read new ones.

Most authors have websites and Facebook pages. If you visit either one,  what do you like to find there?

I do occasionally visit author websites and Facebook pages. Many promote their new books and put feedback from other readers which I like to read. It helps me to know what others like or even dislike about a book.

Do you often read blogs such as this?  And if so, do you leave comments?

I have to admit a blog to me is very new and I have not visited one before but I most certainly will after doing this. 

I'm happy  to hear you say this, Pauline, and so will our other authors be. We have many posts about a variety of subjects every month so we will look forward to your visits and your comments. I wonder how you choose the books you read?

I find many of my books via FB promo but I do visit Amazon frequently and scroll through the genres that I like to see if there are any that take my fancy. 

That is good to learn as I do try to promote my books on my FB page. I am very appreciative of the complimentary  review you left for Letters from Hull  and I know it takes time and effort to write reviews. Do you review every book you read?

Thank you. Letters from Hull was an absolute pleasure to read, I was there following in every footstep that you took in and around Hull and surrounding areas.  I don't always leave a review for every book I read but always do for ones that I have enjoyed.

That is a high compliment coming from someone like you  who reads so many books. I'm honored that my book made your list of those you enjoyed and reviewed.
Thank you so much for being my guest today, Pauline, and for telling us about your interesting life. I know authors as well as other readers will enjoy reading your comments and I hope many will take the time to share their own comments with us.

Thank you for inviting me as your guest today, Linda, and I look forward to more books from you. 

It was my pleasure. You have inspired me to begin a new story immediately! Do stay around to answer any questions our readers may want to ask. And readers, please note. If you have a problem posting your questions or comments, this should help. After typing your comment in the box,  DO NOT HIT ENTER. Instead look just below at the little blue box that says PUBLISH and click on that.

If you still can't leave a comment, go to my Facebook page (link below) and leave your message and I'll see that it gets on this page. 

My Amazon Book Page

My Website

My Facebook Page


  1. I really enjoyed meeting Pauline Millward and looking at books from a reader's point of view. Good job as interviewer, Linda.

    1. Thank you Rebecca, it was a great honour to do this interview with Linda, and as she says I am delighted to have you make the first complementary post.

  2. Thank you, Rebecca. I'm sure Pauline will be delighted to have our publisher make the first complimentary post. At this hour in Hull, she must be totally unaware that she is now "live" on this site.

  3. Wonderful interview, Linda. Great questions.
    Pauline, what a pleasure to hear your point of view as a reader. Enjoyed the post, gals. :)

  4. Thank you, Karen. I think we all can learn from our readers what is important to them. I know, I have found Pauline's view helpful. So many of our readers are writers themselves. It is enlightening to hear from readers who do not write.

  5. I enjoyed reading the blog and the fond memories that I recall since leaving Hull in 2000.

    1. Hi Bob, I am pleased you enjoyed reading the blog and also that you have fond memories of Hull, I may be biased but I think Hull has a lot going for it especially at the moment during our year of culture. There is a lot of history here that a lot of people do not realise.

  6. Thanks for commenting today, Bob. Interviewing Pauline brought back fond memories of our time in Hull for me, too. I wish we could have met her while we were there.

  7. Thank you for the comments, I was a little nervous when Linda asked me to do this blog but am so pleased that I did it. I love reading so much it is a big part of my life. I am sure my love of reading came from my mother, you could always find her with a book in her hands.

  8. Hi Pauline, I'm glad to see you here. I was concerned not hearing from you until I learned what delayed you.But a family medical issue comes first. I remember the Hull Royal Infirmary well as I was a patient there a couple of times. I was impressed with their service. I can relate to getting your love of reading from your mother. I believe I got my love of writing from my grandmother. Genes are passed on as well as observed habits, I think.

    1. HI Linda. I am here now thankfully.
      My love of reading has also passed down to my children especialy my 2 daughters, the younger one reads mostly the same type of books as me too which is nice as we can pass them on to each other.

  9. Hi, Pauline-"waving from Texas." Linda and I are true Cyber Sisters, down to trivial facts such as we have our hair cut at Quick Clips..unbeknown to the other. I told her about a week ago that I gave up paying $45 for a haircut that I truly need every six weeks, to pay $12 at Quick Clips. Amazing...she does the same thing.
    I've read many of the Hull letters long ago, when Linda toyed with the idea of a book. When she finally published them into this fabulous edition, I thanked Rebecca as much as Linda did. They are wonderful.
    I enjoyed reading your interview and how you and Linda connected.
    I missed my date to post this month...too many interruptions including some with my health and my husband's. But we're on the mend now and we're back to our pastimes..those things we do when retired.
    Maybe I'll have a post up in a few days..to make up for my missed day. I hope to see your name again.

    1. Hi Celia, Letters from Hull was the first book of Linda's that I read and I was so impressed with it that I have now read more of hers & have loved them all. Such a shame we didn't meet when they were here in Hull. I am pleasd you enjoyed the interview I loved doing it.

  10. It's so nice to meet you, Pauline. I've never been to Hull. How did it get its name?
    You must love a challenge reading and reviewing books of 300 pages and more. What do you do when you get a big tome like that and you know about 100 pages in you hate the thing? Do you plunk it to the ground and stomp on it, or do you manage somehow to slog through that thing so you can give an informed review? Of course, when the book is the kind Linda writes, it's a delight to read. I love her historical work.
    As much as I love to read Medieval books, the closest I ever came to writing one was my novel trilogy, Legends of Winatuke. But that's sorta cheatin' because it's a paranormal world stuck in a Medieval time period...not a true historic trilogy. I don't believe I've ever written a book over 200 pages. Actually, I favor writing short stories (and love reading short stories, too.) It's probably because I have a short attention span, or maybe I'm just lazy.
    I really like that you're a Kindle girl. I like all my research and resource books in paper, but for stories and novels I love Kindle. I like that I can just download books and there they are in seconds. I guess I'm all about instant gratification and operating off the childish ID in my mind. Kindle saves trees though. That's a good thing for us all.
    Now that I've probably killed any desire you may ever have to read my work, I ought to sign off.
    It's been a delight reading this interview and learning about you, Pauline. All good things to your corner of the universe.

    1. Hi Sarah, Hull is on the banks of the River Humber & River Hull, it's full name is Kingston-upon Hull because of its ties with Kingston,Jamaica. We were a very prolific shipping port & ship building back in the day, but alas no more.
      To answer your queation about what I would do if I got into a book then decided I did not like it, I have in the past discarded one I really cannot get into but most of the time I do plod through them. I like to think that a book will get better the more I get into it (not always the case). If I realy hate a book I dont review as I dontlike to upset the author, but I must admit there are not many that I have not liked as I read the description of a book carefully before buying.
      I love my kindle & as you say the books are there instantly. I will take a look at your books Sarah.

  11. How unique to have a reader/reviewer for an interview. Pauline, you don't know how much it means to an author to get a complimentary review. We get our inspiration to keep writing from wonderful folks like you.

    Linda, I thoroughly enjoyed thi interview with Pauline. Pauline, you take care. And keep reading.

    1. Thank you Laurean, I was very pleased to do this with Linda, it has been an absolute pleasure and I will certainly keep reading.

  12. What an interesting interview, and as Laurean says it's great to meet a reader/reviewer. I'm a UK writer, published in the U.S. so it's always nice to hear the views of a fellow 'Brit'!

    1. HI Hywela,Thank you, It has been an experience for me to do this and has been very enjoyable.

  13. I'm sure Pauline will check in with us again tomorrow. So for these last three comments, keep watching for her response. It is five to seven hours later in Hull that here, depending on which time zone you are in. So tonight I'll just add my thanks to Hywela, Laurean, Sarah, and Celia for helping to make Pauline welcome to our blog.

  14. what a lovley inteview that i enjoyed reading you dont see many readers giving them it usually the other way round. as you know pauline i am also an avid reader and am always looking up new authors i read the same genre as you anything about the war and crime books. thank you linda also i will be certainly looking up your books

    1. Hi Beverley.It was so nice of you to visit and comment on our blog today. Pauline was such an interesting person to interview and so lovely to work with. I hope you will come back and read our other authors' posts. And I will have another the 28th of this month and every month. You said you enjoy war stories. I wonder if you would like a story about our American Civil War? If so, I can suggest This Time Forever. I haven't written about World War II as yet but I hope to someday. Again, it's very nice to meet you.

  15. Thank Beverley, I am sure you will enjoy Linda's books as much as I do.

  16. Thank you for that recommending my books, Pauline. And for inviting Beverley Hopper and another of your online friends to visit here. Do feel free to invite anyone else to check out our blog and read your interview.


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