I’d like to welcome fellow Tirgearr author Mary T Bradford to my blog today. Mary is a published writer of short stories in magazines, newspapers and anthologies both in Ireland and internationally. Her first novel ‘My Husband’s Sin’ is with Tirgearr Publishing and will be coming out soon. Her first short story collection, ‘A Baker’s Dozen’ is available on Amazon in paperback and e-book format. Mary has also written plays and has seen her work short-listed and performed.
- What are the main ideas or themes in your book?
The theme in My Husband’s Sin which is due out on July 1st this summer with Tirgearr Publishing is loss and its effects on families. What does it mean to be part of a family, how important is it to be able to identify yourself with those around you? When the family that you have been raised with is threatened and secrets are revealed, what happens next?
- What is the setting or context of the narrative? Why is it important?
The setting for My Husband’s Sin is in Ireland, in particular Dublin, although the story also moves to Chester in Cheshire, England for part of the book. The setting was important for me as I am familiar with both cities as they are both like second homes to me. I lived in Dublin for twenty years and had my four children there, my eldest son is now living in Chester and so I have become familiar with the city.
- Tell us more about the main characters and their dilemmas.
The main character is Lacey Taylor. She is the youngest of four children in the Taylor family. Her life comes crashing down for her when she is given a letter at the reading of her late mothers will. What this letter contains threatens the whole family unit. She befriends the family solicitor and with his help she sets out on a personal journey for answers she may or may not find. Her sisters and brother are also affected and so the book tells the story of how they deal with the secret that has been revealed. So to tell you what the rest of the family get up to would spoil the story!
- Why did you write this novel? Any other issues or ‘big ideas’ behind it.
To be honest I wrote this novel as a challenge for myself. I have always written short stories but the idea for this story invaded my headspace and I kept asking myself but what if this happened or that happened. So I knew it was going to be bigger than my normal short story and so took on the challenge of a novel. I had promised myself years ago that I would one day write a novel and this story turned out to be the one that gave me the opportunity. Plus I had self-published a collection of some of my stories which is available from Amazon etc. It is called A Bakers Dozen.
- How do you go about writing a novel? Is it a simple or complex process?
Oh goodness! Writing a novel in my opinion can be as hard or as easy as you the writer make it, Jeff. I mean, I knew that my story idea would not suit a short story format. The characters lived with me for awhile before I put pen to paper. I searched through magazines to find photos of people who resembled the characters in my head. Then I cut them out and stuck them in my novel notebook. I had a notebook just for My Husband’s Sin. As I began writing, I would enter my chapter 1 and a sentence about what happens in that chapter. So I was building up a table of contents as such and later on as my chapters increased I could go back and look to see what had happened in such a chapter if I had any questions. But the most important thing in writing a novel or indeed in writing full stop is discipline. You must write each day, even if it’s only 50 words, it is 50 words more than you had yesterday and oh yes, patience. Patience keeps you from tearing your hair out when you feel bogged down with the whole thing.
- What advice do you have for less experienced writers?
Read. Reading stories or books in a genre that you would like to write in helps you to see how your favourite author does it. Meet with other writers who will be honest with you about your work, it is a difficult thing to do is to share your work but you will benefit from it honestly. Write every day, like I said previously, a few words are better than a blank page. Go to festivals or writing events that host workshops and always keep a notebook with you for when inspiration strikes.
- What are you working on next?
Presently I am working on my second novel its working title is ‘Cell 13’. It is a good versus evil story when Fr. John is pitched against Satan himself in a locked room called Cell 13. It is totally different from My Husband’s Sin.
- If you could leave a message to the world, what would it be?
Wow, what a question! After thinking on this I feel it would be to forgive one another. To forgive is a powerful thing. It gives peace of mind and takes away power from the person or issue that hurt you. You may not always be able to forget but to forgive those who hurt you releases you from their grasp.
- What would your perfect day be?
It would involve sunshine (we get a lot of rain in Ireland) and a book, a picnic of pizza, coleslaw and a bottle of white wine in the outdoors either on my own or with family and friends.
10. Name a book or a film that means a lot to you.
A film would be The Green Mile, I watched this with my daughter twice and both occasions we cried our eyes out. Oh the film, Brokeback Mountain also as I thought it the best love story ever. Regarding books, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden sticks in my mind and to be honest there are too many to state here.
Thank you Jeff for the very interesting questions and giving me the time to speak with you. If any of your friends would like to connect with me, they will find me at the links below.
Mary’s Blog http://marytbradford-author.blogspot.ie/
Click here to read an interview with me on Mary’s blog.