Thursday, January 17, 2013

TBR welcomes Kerry Dwyer

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Kerry. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Kerry:  Thank you for having me here today. I am a teacher of English as a foreign language, a mother, a wife a rambler and a writer, not necessarily in that order. After working for twenty five years in finance I decided to quit my native Britain and settle in the South West of France. My husband is French and my daughter laughs at his English and my French. I love walking particularly around the sunflower fields and vineyards of my home but also in the mountains or Ireland, Italy and anywhere else I am able to go. I love good food, good wine, and good friends preferably all together.

TBR: Tell us about Ramblings in Ireland and where it's available.
Kerry: Certainly. Ramblings in Ireland is not a guide to walking in Ireland. There are no detailed routes or notes and pictures of fauna and flora. The walking holiday loosely threads together stories and memories of the near and distant past. Memories include reflections on culture both within one country and over different countries. Imagine sitting down for a chat in a pub with a good friend over a pint of Guinness.

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Kerry: 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.

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Kerry: Ireland. For a small Island Ireland has a wealth of inspiration. The countryside can be neat and cultivated or wild and barren. The towns and villages have little stone cottages and huge castles. House fronts painted as if with a child’s coloring set. The people are colorful and welcoming. Everything about the country and its people was an inspiration for me.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Kerry: Very much a pantser. I have the roughest of outlines before I start and even that is liable to change.

TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Kerry: ‘Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.’ Oscar Wilde

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Kerry: I learned that I cannot proofread my own work. Maybe that should not have been a surprise. I am an English teacher and often correct other people’s work.  I thought it would be easy. I even converted the whole book into a PDF and listened to that mechanical voice reading it out to me. My editor still found heaps of errors.

TBR: What's next for you?
Kerry: I am learning all I can about writing fiction. I have a work in progress with the working name of ‘The Book Exchange.’ It is about four women and their lives as ex-pats in France. They have a common link which is the English book exchange where they meet on a monthly basis. As I have never written a fiction novel before I am learning as I go. There is a wealth of information in books and on the internet about this skill. It is no easy task and I think the book will take some time to write and several edits.

TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Kerry: For Ramblings In Ireland the most challenging thing was trying to keep to the point. Luckily I failed because that is the charm of the story. For fiction the challenge is making sure that all the characters are not versions of me. The most rewarding thing is being read and stirring feelings in people. It has been lovely getting so many positive reviews. I liked the reviews where people didn’t like parts of it as well, at least they felt something about it.

TBR: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Kerry: I’m certain that anyone publishing their first book must be afraid that it is not up to scratch. I certainly was. Although family and friends had told me how much they liked it I was dreading my first review by a stranger. As I write this I have twenty-two reviews on various countries Amazon sites and several others on blogs. People like it. They say I am a good story teller. Even those who didn’t like some parts of it liked other bits and everyone says that it was well written.

TBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Kerry: I like various authors in various genres. The problem I find is that you can read a lot of books by the same author and love them and then they write one book that disappoints and you don’t feel the same about them after that. The other reason I sometimes go off an author is that after a few books it feels like reading the same story. I felt like that with John Grisham which is a shame as I really enjoyed the first few.
I like Jasper Fford a lot. I have just been handed a copy of his latest book ‘The Woman who Died a Lot’ I hope to start that soon. I would really like to read the next book in his Shades of Grey series as I thoroughly enjoyed that.  

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Kerry:  Blog:

TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Kerry: How do you feel about books that are tangential, do you like it or do you find it irritating?

TBR: Readers, Kerry Dwyer will give away a Smashwords voucher for an eBook to one lucky commenter. She'll pick a winner on Thursday, 31 January 2013 and announce the winner here. Be sure to leave your email address so she can contact you.

Thanks for visiting TBR, Kerry. All the best to you.

1 comment:

Talk to TBR guests!