Tag Archives: writing

Only Daughter -Q and A with Anna Snoekstra BLOG TOUR

I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for Only Daughter and it is a pleasure to welcome author Anna Snoekstra to the blog. Only Daughter is a gripping read set in Australia. In 2003 Rebecca Winter goes missing, 11 years later a woman appears claiming to be the missing Rebecca. What follows is a twisty read with a really surprising ending.

Thanks for joining me Anna. I really enjoyed your book. What was the inspiration behind Only Daughter

I was interested in the gap between the ages sixteen and twenty-five, the things that happens between those times in your life which can’t be taken back and will shape the person you become.

Do you have a ‘day job’? Or do you manage to write full time?  

I resigned from my job working at a cinema in September 2015, so it has been exactly one year that I have been writing full time. On weekends I often nanny, which is a great way to get a bit of extra income as well as have some fun outdoors! I love children and writing can be solitary, so this is a great balance for me.

Can you tell us what a typical working day looks like for you? 

I write out of a shared warehouse space, which gets freezing in winter and blisteringly hot in summer. I try to get there by 8.30, but often fail. Usually I’ll spend my first hour or so replying to emails, tweets and messages. Since I live on the other side of the globe to my publishers and agent, I usually wake up to a very full inbox.

By ten I try and turn the internet off and put my phone on the other side of the room. I’ll pour a coffee and look back on where I left my writing the day before. At the moment I’m working on editing. I work very visually, so I make huge boards with cards for each chapter pinned on them as well as notes and questions. I’ll usually stare at this for about an hour and pull my hair out a bit before getting started.

How would you spend a perfect afternoon away from work? 

Me and my husband love taking mini- day trips. If I had the afternoon off, it would be nice to drive to a little town out of Melbourne. There are so many beautiful little country towns only an hour’s drive away. Maybe if it was an extra special afternoon off we’d stop off at a winery.

That sounds like a lovely afternoon off, especially the winery! Are you an avid reader yourself? If so, which authors do you find yourself returning to time and again?

I always have a to-read pile towering on the side of my bed. I attempt to read at the very least a book a fortnight, although it’s always tricky to find the time. For crime writers I can’t go past Tana French, she is just amazing. Although, I’ve never re-read any of her books. They were traumatic enough the first time! I always come back to Stephen Kings book On Writing. Every time I re-read it I learn something new.

Finally, can you tell us a little bit about what you’re working on next? 

Yes! I’m so excited about my second novel, Dolls. It’s about a young woman who desperately wants to be a journalist, and how far she’ll go to get her story. It will be bigger in length and scope than Only Daughter, but will be dealing with similar themes of young women going to very dark places.

I’ll look forward to that coming out. Thanks very much Anna, its been a pleasure hosting this stop on your tour.

A review of Only Daughter will be here soon, and to read more about Anna visit her other stop today at Alba in Bookland tomorrows tour stops at Gin Books and Blankets and Stephs Book Blog

 

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Behind closed tours – Q and A with BA Paris BLOG TOUR

It’s my turn to host the Behind Closed Doors blog tour. This was a great novel I enjoyed last year and so am delighted to welcome author BA Paris to my blog.

Thanks very much for joining me. I really enjoyed your debut novel. What was your inspiration for Behind Closed Doors?

I used to know someone who had a seemingly perfect marriage but there were just a couple of little things that seemed off-kilter, and I began to wonder what life was really like behind their closed doors. It gave me the idea for a story, my imagination took a giant leap and Behind Closed Doors was born. Although I hope that no-one is going through a marriage quite like Grace’s, I believe there are women – and men – who are in a similar sort of situation, though hopefully not quite as desperate, and are unable to tell anyone through shame or fear.

Sadly there are many people in similar situations suffering domestic abuse. Here in Yorkshire there are a number of excellent organisations people can contact for help and advice including www.idas.org.uk

I know you are a teacher as well. What’s a typical working day like for you, juggling both your career as a teacher and as a writer?

On the days that I teach, I don’t usually write, because my days are pretty full. I try to keep two days a week free for writing, but that often doesn’t work out because there are so many other things that have to be done and friends to catch up with; it would be very easy for me to become a hermit! I tend to write in snatches, a few hours here, a few hours there, but I definitely don’t have as much time to write as I’d like. In an ideal world, I’d spend all day, every day writing. I enjoy my job, though, and clients tend to become friends, so it would be hard to let them go. But next year, I hope to have more time to write – there are still a lot of books in me!

It sounds like you are pretty busy. What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not working?

Relaxing with my husband and daughters, having dinner with friends, visiting family and friends in England, eating out, going to the theatre. No sport; I love watching it – especially rugby! – but I hate doing it!

What kinds of books do you read yourself? Do you have any favourite authors?

This is probably a terrible thing to admit, but since I started writing I’ve barely read a book, simply because in my free time, I prefer to write than read. In the past, I’ve enjoyed books by Leon Uris, Douglas Kennedy, Sebastian Faulks and Wilbur Smith. I also love Kate Atkinson and look forward to reading A God in Ruins when I have time!

If you weren’t a writer and teacher – what would be your ideal job?

A few years ago, I met a young woman on a flight back from South Africa and she told me her job was sourcing fruit from South America for one of the big supermarkets. It entailed flying first class (South Africa wasn’t a business trip, which is why she was sitting next to me in economy!)  and she met wonderfully interesting people and I thought it had to be one of the best jobs in the world (those who have read my book may recognise Grace’s job!) If I had my time over again, I would probably choose a career in publishing – it seems an obvious career choice for someone who loves books as much as I do!

Fruit buying certainly sounds a glamorous way to earn a living! What are you working on next?

My second book comes out in September, so I’m putting the finishing touches to that, and working on another book at the same time.

I’ll definitely look forward to reading those. Thanks very much for taking the time to answer my questions today as part of the Behind Closed Doors blog tour, head over to cleopatralovesbooks for the next stop tomorrow.

 

BAParis

BA Paris

Amazon buy link:
http://amzn.to/1YuqFpv

Author info:

B A Paris is from a Franco/Irish background. She was brought up in England and moved to France where she spent some years working as a trader in an international bank before re-training as a teacher and setting up a language school with her husband. They still live in France and have five daughters. Behind Closed Doors is her first novel

 

 

 

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The Tideline by Penny Hancock – a review

This book was another new author for me and I read it almost in one sitting (I only stopped when I got to Glasgow and I had to get off) The cover of the book states: ‘He chose to come to the river house, She chose to keep him there forever’ and the story pretty much does what it says on the ‘tin’.

Sonia lives in the River House, which is where she grew up. Jez, the young nephew of her alcoholic best friend, turns up one night to borrow some music, they end up getting drunk and he stays the night. Sonia then gradually starts to breakdown and her obsessive behaviour starts.

Penny Hancock is talking at Harrogate within the session called ‘Drawing the line’. Its described as being where authors describe their ‘struggles with morality’ and this would seem quite fitting for this book. Sonia commits crimes, but you get the sense that circumstances overtake her and things take on a life of their own. She is a housewife with a perfect house, a daughter at University, a husband with a great job. However she also has a secret that is gradually revealed as her breakdown becomes more frantic.

The story is told from both Sonia’s first person narrative and her friend Helen’s third person point of view, which was an interesting style. It meant that it was easy to keep track of who you were reading about. It also meant of course that we were able to be told information that would not have been knowledge to Sonia regarding the search for Jez.

There is a real feeling of claustrophobia throughout this book and this is emphasised by the first person narrative of Sonia’s story. Her life is unravelling, her husband wants to sell the only home she’s ever really known, her daughter has left and met a man, her best friend is drinking too much, and Sonia is trying to cling onto the life she once had. She doesn’t set out to commit a crime, and is a ‘normal’ housewife to those on the outside looking in.

This was an incredibly atmospheric book, the descriptive writing based around the Thames, and the River House help build the sense of impending doom. I felt that you had very little idea of how the story was going to turn out, and indeed the final ‘reveal’ was a shock although the clues when you look back were all there.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and whilst looking back the story was ‘gentler’ than a lot of the crime fiction I read, it was one of the stories that left you thinking about it for a long time afterwards. I am looking forward to seeing Penny at the Festival.

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