Helen Quinn


I am a writer who loves books and writing in equal measures. I live in Dublin, Ireland with my son and a cat called Mystery. Tales from Aulora is my first novel.

I am working on a second novel and in addition to this I write short stories and poetry. You can find out more about me and my writing at http://www.helenquinn.ie

Smashwords Interview

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story that had a massive impact on me was 'Alice in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll. I was eight and had bought it in a jumble sale (a place where you buy second hand goods). I struggled to understand parts of it but I loved the rich imaginative world where everything was turned upside down. I was Alice going down the rabbit hole, I was Alice getting smaller and taller. I wanted my own blue caterpillar and I was terrified of the Queen of Hearts. I read it several times as a child and when I read it again as an adult I got something new from it in terms of its literary merit but I still loved the sense of stepping out of the everyday and into a fantastical world.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I love this question. I was a reader first before I became a writer.

So top five books. I have a lot of favourite books but the five I have selected have thrilled me as a reader, inspired me as a writer, have lingered with me long after I have closed the book and I reread them on a regular basis. A couple of them have changed my life on a personal level.

'The Heartbreaker' by Susan Howatch
This is a tough and beautiful book. It is part of a trilogy but can be read as a stand alone book. It brings together a former high-flying career woman called Carter who is fundraising for St. Benet's church and a male prostitute called Gavin who was a client of one of Carta's friends. Gavin refers to himself as a leisure industry worker who relieves stressed out executives (who are quietly homosexual). Gavin is straight though and cruises for women at the weekends. He lives with his pimp, a woman who is into the occult so the novel brings together religious good vs evil, powerful characters, deals with sex addiction, love and it turns our expectations of human sexuality and gender theory on its head. This for a book that I read once a year and get something new from it every time.

'Cloud Atlas' by David Mitchell
This is perhaps the most beautifully written novels I have read to date and one of the most clever. It is a multi-layered novel that reveals the interconnectedness of humans, it spans from the 18th century to a post-apocalypse era way into the future. It deals with the themes of reincarnation, what is good, what is evil and it is quietly funny in many parts as well as being dramatic. The characters are very powerful and unforgettable and I am in love with Robert Frobisher, one of the moment amazing characters of all time. Finally it is beautifully written, David Mitchell is a stunning writer, I half jealous and half in awe of his ability.

'The Road less travelled' by M. Scott Peck
This book changed my life in essence. I have read it regularly since 1999 and set me on my personal development journey which I continue on with today. M. Scott Peck is a fine writer as he weaves the personal into the objective into the book.

'The Dilbert Future' by Scott Adams
Apart from being very funny, this book inspired me to create 'Tales from Aulora' when Adams introduced me to the concept of affirmations as Bill and Bob were born in my mind's eye when I read about them for the first time. So thanks to Scott Adams I created the fictionalised world of where wishes go.

'Walk the Blue Fields' by Claire Keegan
An Irish short story writer, Keegan is an awesome writer. Her collection of short stories took my breath away, I was often left crying or deeply moved.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Helen Quinn online

Where to buy in print


Tales from Aulora
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 70,380. Language: British English. Published: July 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Do you believe in wishes? If so find out more in Tales from Aulora, the fantasy novel that unveils the secret world of wish-making. Discover how Bill and Bob attempt to grant eight human wishes from Britain and Ireland that include desires for love, fame, safety and much more.

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Smashwords book reviews by Helen Quinn

  • The Waiting Room on March 29, 2014

    Waiting room is a stunning book. The quality of writing is superb, powerful writing and one of the most erotic books I have ever read. Thanks Remittance girl for marrying together eroticism, story telling and a beautiful insight to human sexuality and relationships that is honest.