Now for the very first interview I carried out with an extremely talented Author Glynis Smy.
But before I get to the questions let's have a look at what Glynis has to say about herself.
I'm a 57 year old woman, married for 36 years, a mother of three adult children and grandmother to two little granddaughters. I live by the sea in the UK. My love of the Victorian era inspired my historical novel writing. I was a nurse, and am a carer for my mother: my background helps with writing my medical stories.
As a self-published author, I was thrilled to be shortlisted for The Festival of Romance Fiction New Talent Award 2014. One of my historical romance novels made it into the second round of ABNA 2014, (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award). It also reached the top 100 paid best seller listings in three categories on Amazon UK, 2014 / 15. It was also added to the IndieRecon (London Book Fair Fringe Festival), 2015 brochure, as a recommended read. And my books are housed in Suffolk libraries. My writing has been likened to, Josephine Cox and Catherine Cookson.
I've had articles published in magazines both in UK and Cyprus, (where I lived for eight years). I also write poetry and short stories. When I’m not networking, writing or researching for my books, I make greetings cards for charity, enjoy gardening, fishing and walking the promenade.
So Glynis; Let’s start the interview by asking you about Maggie’s Child! Always seems to be up there on the bestseller list for woman’s fiction. Tell me all about it.
Dear Maggie’s Child, it keeps surprising me! The novel is a Victorian romance based in Redgrave, Suffolk (UK). The story is set on a rundown farm and is about a young girl who is sold to a drunken farmer. Her innocence gets her caught up with the Squire’s son and a pregnancy occurs. Maggie has already lost several children and does not want this child living a life of misery, as she does. She abandons him at the roadside. Fate steps in when her thoughtless, uncaring husband informs her she has to take on another job – wet nurse to an abandoned baby. Life brings many ups and downs for Maggie and the story is about her survival.
That sounds very much like a very intriguing read indeed, which leads on to the next question.
You have described your genre as historical romance with a twist! What is the twist?
I write about women who battle to survive and the twist is within their love entanglements.
So it certainly looks like you’ve got some very strong characters in Maggie’s child. What are the back-stories for the main characters and will we see them again in future novels?
With Maggie, there are several back-stories but I cannot reveal them here as they are to be written into a sequel. Readers have asked for more and I am creating a family saga, The Windtop Farm series.
Ripper, My Love’s back-story was written as the novel, Ripped Genes. This was after several reader requests to find out more about Kitty Harper, my main character.
Out of all the books you have written, what’s your favourite? Oh and tell me what you love; or hate about the characters.
I love them all! I can’t have a favourite or it would upset the characters. I must admit, I am very proud of Maggie’s Child, she has won recognition I’d never dreamed of achieving.
Now for everyone that hasn’t read any of your books. What would they gain from reading them?
I would hope pleasure would be one thing, and being transported into another life for a short period of time and come away satisfied.
Are there any themes or messages in your books?
No messages. Themes of survival, whether it be from physical or emotional abuse, appears throughout all of my books.
What are your future plans as a writer?
I am mid-way through writing Maggie’s Men and hope to see the series rise to four books in total – maybe five. A medical romance is about to be launched, which is a new genre for me. Heels and Hearts comes on the back of a short story I wrote last Christmas. It sold well and readers asked if I had any intention of writing anymore of that style. I hadn’t but the idea nagged at me and so did the characters. I had great fun taking them from the UK to my old village in Cyprus. A village where I spent eight years as an expat.
Now I know this is a common question for writers but tell my why do you write and what made you start writing in the first place?
I’ve always written but only poetry and short stories, then eight years ago I met an online friend who enjoyed my work. She liked a short story but said it was worthy of becoming a novel (she was an author). Sadly, she died the day I wrote The End and never read the whole book. She spurred me forward and I’ve never looked back. Her family got in touch and we remain online friends. So I’ve gained in so many ways from the words of a supportive buddy.
Another common question. Where do you get your ideas?
Ripper came from a documentary about the murderer, Jack the Ripper. My husband said something about him being evil and I responded that someone must have loved him at some time in his life, even if it was only his mother.
Maggie’s Child came to me after watching a documentary about Romanian children being abandoned outside orphanages by desperate mothers.
The Penny Portrait is set in my hometown and is a romance inspired by my own growth as a woman and finding my creativity. It starts out along one of my favourite places to walk, the Dovercourt beaches.
When you first started writing any of your novels; did you plan them first or did you just get straight into the writing?
I started out as a panster – seat of the pants writer. I am now a planster - I start planning but the characters take me off in their direction. With Maggie’s story I am planning much more as there is a lot to do!
If you did have some sort of plot worked out first did you use something like Scrivener or have you sticky notes plastered all over your desk?
I used word for everything. I purchased Scrivener and tried to use it for over five years. This year I made friends with the programme and love how it keeps me on track for planning.
If for any reason you were unable to write; what would you do?
Cry … oh, I see. Yes, I would become a detective. I love solving mysteries. Or I might become an artist. I am no good at art but would love to paint some of the wonderful scenery around me.
Do you know of any unsung heroes in the writing profession that deserve a mention?
I have so many I cannot name them all! Basically anyone who reads, writes and inspires others within the industry. Supporters of authors!
Apart from romantic fiction which other books do you enjoy reading?
Crime and mystery. A good adventure with a touch of fantasy.
And the last question. E-Reader or real books. What’s your preference?
I love paperbacks. I love E-readers. However, I do think paperbacks win me over with their ability to be abused. I bend spines and write in margins – my Kindle would never cope with that type of abuse! Oh, and it doesn’t smell of new pages or of musty history.
Glynis! That was a fantastic interview. Many thanks for coming along and chatting with me.
Thanks for inviting me along Peter, it was fun!
So that was my first interview with the author Glynis Smy.
If you want to know anymore about her click on the links below to her website and find out more about her. I’m sure you’ll be pleased you did.