The Writer’s Pet: Jessica Redland and the Hedgehog Hollow series

Best-selling author Jessica Redland on her spaniel, Ella, and why she set her latest book series in a rescue centre for hedgehogs.

The Writer's Pet: Jessica Redland on her Hedgehog Hollow series and her spaniel, Ella, pictured
Jessica Redland's dog, Ella.

No. 10 in the series The Writer's Pet by Zazie Todd PhD.

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Jessica Redland is a best-selling author whose books are set in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside and coast. In her latest two books, she tells the story of how Samantha Wishaw finds love and friendship whilst working to rescue sick and injured hedgehogs. Redland’s writing is praised for being captivating and enjoyable – and who can resist a story about hedgehogs? 

The second book in the series, New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow, was just published on 7th Jan. Redland told me about her books, her pet dog, Ella, and why hedgehogs are in danger.

The Writer's Pet and the Hedgehog Hollow series by Jessica Redland. Both books pictured, along with a hedgehog

What is your pet’s name? 

I have a dog called Ella who will be 5 in March.

Type of pet?

She’s a sprocker spaniel. Her dad was a cocker spaniel and her mum a springer. I used to have two rescue cats called Felix and Pixie but they’ve crossed the rainbow bridge, Felix leaving us roughly a year ago. 

"How adorable are hedgehogs? That little snuffling nose? Those dark eyes? That furry face? Absolutely gorgeous."

What do you love most about Ella? 

She’s extremely affectionate and very cuddly. As soon as a family member arrives home, she searches for a gift to bring us and, on an evening, she likes to snuggle up against someone for a nap. 

What makes Ella happy? 

Ella loves cuddles. I’m not very tall and she’s a medium-sized dog so she can’t comfortably sit on my knee but my husband’s over 6 feet tall and she loves to jump onto his knee and relax. She also, like many dogs, loves chasing her ball and adores walks along the beach, running in and out of the rock pools.

The Writer's Pet: Jessica Redland's late cat, black-and-white cat relaxing
Jessica Redland's late cat, Felix.

Does your pet help or hinder your writing? In what way?

Ella doesn’t really help or hinder. She sometimes pads into my office and lies by my feet which is nice but it isn’t distracting. The cat we lost a year ago, Felix, tended to demand much more attention and would frequently nudge my legs until I stopped writing and gave him a fuss. If I was ever doing anything on my laptop on the bed or the sofa, he’d tend to drape himself over me so I couldn’t work!

"There is always a happy ending for my characters but there may be a few tears shed along the way as I do like to pull on the emotions." 

Tell me about your book.

I’ve written a series of books set in a hedgehog rescue centre. Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow was published last July, New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow came out this week and there’ll be a third and fourth book out in May 2021 and January 2022 respectively. 

The books focus on Samantha Wishaw who unexpectedly inherits Hedgehog Hollow – a North Yorkshire farm (England) – on the proviso that she fulfils the owner’s dream. Thomas and his wife Gwendoline had planned to run the farm as a hedgehog rescue centre but Gwendoline passed away before they were able to get things up and running. Samantha accepts the challenge and hopes to do them proud.

The series explores some of the amazing work Samantha does in rescuing sick and injured hedgehogs and abandoned hoglets (babies) while finding love, developing new friendships and settling into the community.

The Writer's Pet: Best-selling author Jessica Redland on her pets; fluffy black-and-white cat Pixie looking at the camera
Jessica Redland's late cat Pixie

What prompted you to set a book in a hedgehog rescue centre?

How adorable are hedgehogs? That little snuffling nose? Those dark eyes? That furry face? Absolutely gorgeous. So it was perhaps only a matter of time before they featured in one of my books. My auntie is a real-life hedgehog rescuer. She’s looked after poorly and injured hedgehogs and abandoned hoglets for the past forty years and it was at her house that I saw my first ever live hedgehog. Up until then, I’d sadly only ever seen ones that had been run over; something that breaks my heart every time.

In the UK, hedgehogs were classified in 2020 as ‘vulnerable to extinction’ which would be tragic. Through this fictional series, I can include real-life facts and information that might help the public be more aware of the plight of this gorgeous creature and perhaps make a difference.

The Writer's Pet: Jessica Redland's latest books are set in a hedgehog rescue. Pictured, a hedgehog walks across the lawn.
An English hedgehog.

What can readers expect from your books?

I write uplifting stories of love and friendship. While there is always a romance element, the plot is often driven by the relationships the main character has with their friends and/or family. There is always a happy ending for my characters but there may be a few tears shed along the way as I do like to pull on the emotions.

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow is my eleventh book. Outside this series, all my other books are set in a fictional seaside town called Whitsborough Bay which is modelled on my hometown of Scarborough with a blend of Whitby and a couple of other local seaside towns. I love using the coast as a setting but it was exciting to go inland into the country too.

Name your local/favourite independent bookstore that has your book for sale.

There aren’t any independent bookstores that stock my book yet and I don’t actually have one in my local town but any independent bookstore can order my books in for a customer so I’m sure your favourite store will be able to get it in.

My stories are available as eBooks on all formats, paperback, large print, audio formats and via streaming services. You can see more on my author profile page on Amazon

Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow and New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow are available in the Companion Animal Psychology Amazon store, and at bookstores near you. 

The Writer's Pet: Jessica Redland (pictured) and the Hedgehog Hollow series

Jessica Redland lives in Scarborough on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast - the inspiration behind the fictional seaside town of Whitsborough Bay - with her husband, teenage daughter and sprocker spaniel, Ella.

She’s a stationery addict with a notepad obsession who loves chocolate (although it doesn't love her), hedgehogs, 80s music, collectible teddy bears and lighthouses.

Her career has mainly been in HR as a trainer and recruiter but, in June 2020, she became a full-time author. She’s so very grateful to anyone who has bought or borrowed her books in whatever format, helping her fulfil a long-held dream of writing full-time. She still can't believe she gets to spend every day chatting to her fictional friends and making stuff up.

Website:   Blog: 

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See all of the featured authors in The Writer's Pet. If you're a traditionally published author and think your book would be a good fit for this series, see the guidelines for The Writer's Pet.

Zazie Todd, PhD, is the author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy, which is a finalist in two DWAA awards. She is the founder of the popular blog Companion Animal Psychology, where she writes about everything from training methods to the human-canine relationship. She also writes a column for Psychology Today and has received the prestigious Captain Haggerty Award for Best Training Article in 2017. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband and two cats.

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