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Rosie Pugh: My Biography

Rosie Pugh is currently a student at Jesus College, Oxford, where she is studying Classics and English. When she isn’t lurking in the libraries of Oxford attempting to decipher Ancient Greek, she calls a small village in rural Worcestershire her home.

The Pearliad is her first published novel. She is currently working on her second YA novel, Intercalarium.

How did you go about finding a publisher? What advice would you give to other young authors?

Even though it may seem like I’m young and new on the scene, I’ve actually been trying to get to this point in my writing career for 6 years. I finished my first novel at the age of 15 and sent it off to dozens of literary agents with no luck. It was a similar story with my second novel, The Pearliad – seven submissions resulted in seven rejections.

In 2012, while I was in my second year at university, I was offered a three-book publishing deal with Limehouse Books, a small, independent publishers, for my Young Adult trilogy. To my absolute delight, The Pearliad was published in February 2014.

In Summer 2014 I decided to write something separate from the Arca Trilogy: Intercalarium, a stand-alone Young Adult novel. I’m aiming to complete the Arca Trilogy in Summer 2015.

So advice-wise – all I can really reiterate is what I have heard from dozens of authors: don’t give up. You can’t let rejection, even a whole string of rejections, stop you from doing what you love. And sometimes what you first consider as a disaster is a blessing in disguise.

Where do you write? Do you have any rituals you like to do?

I’m not one of these people who can write in a coffee shop or any other kind of public place. I write on my laptop, normally in a comfy chair or sofa at home, without music. I love it when the only sounds are the ticking of the clock and the snoring of my dog! Weather permitting I move from the sofa to the summer house – I love my garden, I could spend hours out there.

I don’t really have any rituals. Typically I will read over the chapter or so I have just written before I start, and then I’ll only write about a chapter a day, but I like to get things as close to perfect as possible first time round. As I’ve gained more experience of writing full-length novels, I now plan a lot more than I used to.

What is your favourite thing to read?

I wouldn’t say that I have a favourite genre. I like books with variety within them, incorporating some adventure and intrigue and romance into a strong plot. So I read everything from fantasy, sci fi and dystopian fiction to mystery and historical fiction. My favourite author since the age of eleven has been Wilbur Smith; his books have probably had the biggest influence on my writing style. I also try to keep up with Young Adult fiction as much as possible, seeing as that is the age group I am writing for.

In terms of real ‘literature’, I have chosen to specialise in texts from the medieval and Renaissance periods and the way they interact with classical literature, which I find absolutely fascinating.

My favourite …

Children’s books:  Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden

   Poison by Chris Wooding

   The Harry Potter Series by J K Rowling (obviously!)

Young Adult books:  The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

   The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfield

   The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Adult books:   Anything and everything by Wilbur Smith

   The Last Witchfinder by James Morrow

   The Earth’s Children series by Jean M Auel