This week's author: Meet Fiona Harrison

A prolific reader as a child Fiona Harrison tells Sue Leonard how she wrote stories about Roland Rat who would help Margaret Thatcher run the government.

This week's author: Meet Fiona Harrison

She has worked as a journalist for 15 years.

“I did my NCTJ training, then cut my teeth on local papers before making the big move to London. After a couple of years shifting my way around the tabloids, I got a staff job on a couple of magazines. I worked at the consumer end for a while before going freelance.”

Fiona has always secretly harboured dreams of writing a novel. And when she was asked to ghost-write a couple of novels for the celebrity market, she was thrilled.

“It made me realise that I was more than capable of writing my own book”

Who is Fiona Harrison?

Date/place of Birth: September 30, 1976/Truro, Cornwall

Education: Hayesfield Girls School, Bath. University of Portsmouth. De Montfort Uni in Leicester for Postgrad.

Home: Just outside Reading, Berkshire

Family: Husband Chris, and two cats, Pico and Lola.

The Day Job: “I’m still a journalist and still work on consumer pieces for magazines, but lately the writing has been full-time.”

Interests: Running. “I ran my first half marathon earlier this year. I hated every step, but plan to run another one.”

Favourite Writers: Emily Barr; Marian Keyes; Colette Caddle; Colm Tóibín; Victoria Hislop; Clare Mackintosh.

Second Novel: I’ve started writing a sequel.

Top Tip: “Just write. Get experience. Never be too precious. Any form of writing is worthwhile, so get stuck in.”

Twitter: @fionajourno

The Debut

A Pug Like Percy; HQ, €12.86/Kindle, €1.18

On a cold winter’s night, Percy is abandoned by his owner, and place in an animal rescue centre.

When he’s rescued, he’s hoping his new home with Gail and Simon will be forever.

But their daughter, Jenny is unwell, and the family is at breaking-point. Can Percy ensure that they can all have a happy ending?

“My initial inspiration came after I adopted my cat, Pico, from a rescue centre almost four years ago. I wondered what it would be like for the animals that had been abandoned and started playing about with the idea of writing something from a pet’s perspective.”

Verdict:  A sweet, sentimental tale that will appeal to dog lovers of all ages.

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