Do you find the time to read? Yes, especially since I was given a Kindle.
Last book you purchased? Tell us about it. ‘Thomas Beckett: Warrior, Priest, Rebel, Victim’ by John Guy. Becket was made Archbishop of Canterbury by King Henry II in the mid-twelfth century. It was a time of continual war between England and France. Henry refused to be ruled by Rome in matters involving taxes, laws and money; Becket opposed him and ended up being murdered in his own cathedral.
Who do you admire? Anyone who has worked hard to develop their talent.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season.” Book of Psalms 1 It embodies all the love I feel for the dearly departed.
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? A place called Hot Sand Cove on the south east coast of Ireland. White sand, clear warm water and coloured fish. You can only get in there by small boat—but don’t ask me exactly where it is. It’s a secret!
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? My parents always encouraged me to read and write. They expected me to write.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I began writing short articles for the Christmas supplements of local newspapers when I was aged ten. Then I read Edgar Allan Poe and began writing ghost stories.
How long have you been writing? From age ten.
When did you first know you could be a writer? One October evening I was in Paris, walking down the Champs Elysee and, like a thunderbolt, I suddenly knew I would be a writer. I was in my thirties. Even though I’d always written, to actually be a writer was something else.
What genre are you most comfortable writing? Literary fiction, although I also enjoy writing thrillers.
What inspired you to write your first book? On a long plane journey I read a thriller by Peter James called ‘Billionaire’; when I finished it, I said to myself, ‘I can do that.’ Ten days later I’d written the first twenty thousand words of my first novel, ‘Noble Lord’.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began? All the books I had read. My life to date. My struggles. I’ve always had the help of good editors and an agent.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? To find my own distinctive voice. It sometimes takes months and months to get it right. But you have to get it right—otherwise, what’s the point?
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? ‘The Sea and the Silence’ taught me that Ireland in the 1940s was a hidden world within a Europe in flames, but that love takes no heed of place or time. And that I love women, but I think I knew that already.
Do you intend to make writing a career? It is my career.
Have you developed a specific writing style? Yes. I write in a way that people now recognize.
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Genre - Historical Fiction/Historical Romance
Rating – G
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