Thanks to the author, there are two copies of her latest title up for grabs for #IrishFictionFortnight. Just enter via rafflecopter link below. Good Luck!
It's Una Darling's seventeenth birthday, but nobody feels much like celebrating. It's been exactly a year since the tragic death of her father Finn, and the people he left behind have been doing their best to get on with things. But it hasn't been easy.
Daphne is tired of sadness, of mourning the long life she and her husband were meant to share, but doesn't quite know how to get past it. And she can't seem to get through to her stepdaughter - they barely speak any more, so Daphne knows nothing of the unexpected solace Una has found, or of the risk she's about to take.
When Una fails to appear for birthday tea with her family, Daphne suddenly realises how large the distance between them has grown. Will she be given the chance to make things right?
Over the years I’ve discovered that there are two little words that let writers get away with blue murder. Know what they are?
This little phrase has allowed me to bake and sample a limitless variety of cupcakes (Love in the Making), sign up for a Life Drawing class (The Things We Do for Love), spend time on Valentia Island (One Summer, After the Wedding, I’ll be Home for Christmas), audition for, rehearse and perform in several amateur dramatic productions (Half Seven on a Thursday) – you get the picture.
Research can be the bane of your life as a writer – the amount I had to do for Something in Common, which spanned twenty-three years, nearly killed me – but it can also come in very, very useful indeed. It can provide you with the perfect excuse to travel (note to self: set next book on Caribbean island), to indulge in what might otherwise seem like frivolous or time-wasting pursuits (evening classes, baking sessions, people-watching, eavesdropping) and to poke around in other peoples’ lives to your heart’s content, as long as you call it research. I’ve interviewed just about everyone, from doctors and nurses to guards and farmers and accountants and lawyers and bakers, and as a rule I’ve found that most people are delighted to be asked, and don’t consider you nosey at all if you say you need the information for your next book.
There are, of course, some questions you can’t ask. ‘Tell me about married sex,’ I said once to a gang of my friends. ‘Does it get stale, do you have to spice it up, do you find yourself looking in other directions, what?’ Never having been married myself, I needed some insight into what it’s like to go to bed with the same man every night for several years. We were out for dinner, everyone was relaxed, we’d known each other forever and they’d all been married for quite a while.
Did they share their experiences, knowing I wasn’t looking to be titivated, and my question was on a purely need-to-know basis? Not a bit of it. To a man, or rather to a woman, they clammed up. I got nada. Some subjects, it would appear, are taboo, even in the interests of research.
And then there are other subjects that simply don’t lend themselves to being broached. The theme of Two Fridays in April was bereavement, and how people cope with losing someone dear to them, and how they eventually learn to live with their loss. Despite the fact that thankfully I have had limited personal experience of bereavement to date, I interviewed nobody for this. I couldn’t bring myself to ask someone to open up on what I was afraid might be too painful a topic. How could I know how someone might react, or what sadness I might cause by inadvertently thoughtless questions? So I made it up, using what little information I could garner from the media, or the Internet, or other third party sources on the subject, and hopefully I pulled it off.
Two Fridays in April went into Australia, via Hachette’s sister company over there. It was the first of my books to get an order from there, which I was delighted about. I’ll be Home for Christmas, the book I’ve just finished writing, and which is due to be published in October, features a character from Australia who travels to the island of Roone a few days before Christmas.
I’ve never been to Australia, so when I decided to include an Australian character in I’ll be Home for Christmas I had to interview some Australians who have made Limerick their home. I wanted to find out what their first impressions of Ireland were, and what differences stood out when they arrived here, and of course I also needed a lot of information about life in Australia. As usual, people were happy to talk, and I learned a lot about Down Under – and now I want to go there.
No problem. I’ll set a whole section of my next book there, and then I’ll have to go. Purely for research purposes, you understand.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Roisin Meaney worked as a teacher in Ireland and an advertising copywriter in London before becoming a fulltime writer of books. To date she is the author of eleven bestselling adult novels and two children’s books, and her works have been translated into many languages. On the first Saturday of every month she tells stories to small children in her home city of Limerick’s main library, passing on her love of books and reading to the next generation. Her twelfth adult novel is due on the shelves in time for Christmas. She’s a fan of chocolate, cats, the sun and Bananagrams.
Two Fridays in April is published by Hachette Ireland and is available in paperback and ebook format.
You can order the paperback, with Free Worldwide Postage, here, while the ebook can be ordered via amazon link below: