Today I am pleased to have author Kerry Dwyer on my blog.
How did you come up with the title of your current release?
The title came before the book. I thought of it during our walking holiday in Ireland. It seemed logical to me. We were walking or rambling and I was rambling on to my husband about everything and nothing. I saw the title as very relevant as the subjects are somewhat tangential. The Freudian use of the word ‘rambling’ means talking using free association which is a therapeutic technique. People in this type of therapy say whatever comes to their mind. That is exactly what I do in this book.
What was the most difficult thing to write in this book?
I started to write about accents and the way that they can separate or join us. It brought back memories from my childhood of moving from the North to the South of England. My accent isolated me from other children who laughed at my northern tones. As a young girl I quickly picked up the southern accent in order to be accepted into this new peer group. I worked hard to do this very quickly. This new southern accent then separated me from my cousins and other family in the North of England. I don’t think I had thought about how painful that time was before I started writing about it. I made light of it in the book but it was a difficult thing to write about for me.
Have you started your next project?
Yes I have. It is a very different book. The working title is ‘The Book Exchange’. It is a fictional book based around an English book club in France. I regularly attend such a club and found the idea of people coming together and sharing small snippets of their lives, some of them quite intimate, intriguing. The book is still in the early stages but has grown considerably from first conception. I wrote the first fifty thousand words for NaNoWriMo in 2011, the word count has almost doubled but I think some of that will have to come out in editing.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
For Ramblings In Ireland I just started writing. The story was already there. I had the holiday as the basis and I knew pretty much what I wanted the end product to look like.
For The Book Exchange I planned it. I have the time line on a white board and I have also drawn a rough sketch map of the area where the characters live. The time line helps me to see gaps where there is nothing happening and I know I need to put something new in. It also helps me to relate one characters activities to another’s, to the season and to what is happening in the background. The map is a visual aid when I am moving characters from one place to another. I would like to include the map at the beginning of the book but it will have to be drawn much more professionally than my rough sketch.
Do you write full time?
Sadly no, although I would love to. That is one of the things that I find the most difficult, finding the time to write. I have a full time job and I also have my family. Writing has to be fitted around those two important commitments. My family are not very demanding but I like to spend as much time as I can with them especially at weekends. I write when I can which is mainly in the morning when the house is quiet and before I start work. Although I also have time at the end of the day I find that I am too distracted by my day to concentrate on writing very much.
What is the worst thing about being a writer?
For me the worst thing is marketing. This is because I am an independent author. Authors published by big companies have a lot of resources to push their books forward. I read some advice recently on the internet about promoting books. It gave as an example The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Publicity included poster campaigns, a publicity day with jugglers and Tarot card readers and a circus tent, the list went on. Well that is great when you have the backing of a publishing house. Most independent authors need to do it themselves on a limited budget primarily through social networking channels. That is not what I want to be doing with my limited free time.
Marketing does have its positive side. I have found that guest posts and interviews on blogs are fun and allow some creativity and certainly interaction. I have met some lovely people through blogs and I am in regular contact with many of them. I like to read blogs and interviews or guest posts with authors. They give insights into their lives and you can see if you enjoy the writing style and will engage with their work. If I am interested in an author I will look for articles they have written. It is so much better to do this than to watch all the ‘Buy my book’ posts on Twitter.
Is there a place you like to write?
When the weather is warm and dry I like to sit out on my terrace with my laptop. My garden is quiet and there are a number of birds that come to feed. Whilst they can be distracting they give me something to focus on that can help inspire. The other place I like to write is on a train. On long journeys, and provided there are not too many noisy people, I can get quite a lot written on a train as the world swishes by.
What book are you reading right now?
I rarely read one book at a time. My mother gave me ‘Why be Happy When you Could be Normal?’ by Jeanette Winterson. It is quite tragic but also darkly humorous. I enjoyed her book ‘Oranges are not the only Fruit’ the author has a gift for weaving humour into the most tragic of stories. Last week whilst waiting for a delayed flight I bought a book by Donna Leon called Drawing Conclusions. I enjoy these detective novels set in Venice particularly for the descriptions of Venetian life. This is the first one I have bought as I got the others from the English book exchange. I am also about two thirds of the way though Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I thought this would be about the Seymours but so far it is mainly about Thomas Cromwell and a lot about politics of the time. I have enjoyed Mantel’s books in the past but I am not getting on very well with this, I am finding it heavy going and finishing it has become a bit of a challenge.
This is not a book about rambling in Ireland.
It tells the tale of one particular walking trip and the memories and musings it inspired.
Exploring the West of Ireland is a time for meditation, spiritual reflection and strengthening the bonds of life. More practically the ability to read a map might have proved helpful. The tourist office in Ireland has all their paths clearly marked. You can’t go wrong if you follow that little yellow man. Or can you?
As British ex-patriate Kerry Dwyer leads Bertrand, her trusting French husband, astray once more, they reminisce and reflect upon accents and accidents, family and friends, love and what it means to be alive. Bertrand doesn’t mind getting lost – he loves Kerry all the more for going off the beaten track.
This is a book about ramblings in Ireland. Walk with Kerry and Bertrand and follow where your thoughts lead you.
Kerry Dwyer is a writer and teacher of English as a foreign language. She was born in the north of England and educated in the south. She has lived in various parts of the UK and worked throughout Europe. She now lives with her family in Charente Maritime in the southwest of France.