Friday, 7 November 2014

Author Interview: Isabella Connor

It's publication day today for Liv Thomas & Val Olteanu, who together write as Isabella Connor, and I'm delighted to welcome them back to the blog to talk about their latest novel An Irish Promise which Emma reviewed on Sunday.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest novel An Irish Promise?
Hiding her true identity, Rachel Ford returns to the Irish village of Kilbrook to take revenge on the bullies who ruined her childhood and destroyed her family. Love is the last thing on her mind, but visiting Australian actor, Finn MacKenzie, is impossible to resist. Can Rachel trust Finn to keep her secrets? And will he understand why she must keep her promise, no matter the cost?

What inspired you to write about bullying and a desire to seek revenge? 
Bullying is something which touches so many lives. Most people have bullied or been bullied or seen someone else being bullied or heard about someone who has been bullied. And although we may think of bullying as something that happens only in the school playground, the reality is that bullying happens in the workplace as well. So, in An Irish Promise, the character Mel was a bully as a child and is a bully as an adult as well. Some characters in our novel feel remorse for their childhood bullying, some don’t. But they all ultimately realize that bullying can have far-reaching consequences.

Which character was your favourite to create?  
Liv:  Finn. He started out as a completely different character, and it was fun to watch him change.  As he developed he became more and more interesting – and more and more real.  It can be quite dangerous to create a hero, as even with flaws you’re making the kind of man you want...and that doesn’t happen so much in real life, so I wonder if partners ever feel inadequate!  

Val: Although I loved creating the leads, Rachel and Finn, there’s something really satisfying about creating a baddie. Catharsis, I guess.

When creating characters do you picture them as someone famous?  If so, who was your Rachel and Finn?  
Liv: Val presented me with a pic of the actor Chris Evans (note I said the actor!) who I’d never seen before – he was instantly Finn.  The pic was just perfect. http://www.geekrest.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/chris_evans_zelda.jpg  

Val: Yes, Chris Evans for Finn. He’s gorgeous! We didn’t use a Captain American visual, though. Check out the movie ‘Push’ directed by Paul McGuigan (a ‘Sherlock’ director) and prepare to drool.

How do you iron out creative differences working as a collaboration?   
Liv: Angry phone calls and lots of sulking.  

Val: Bribery.

How do you manage to combine writing with work and/or family life?  
Liv: It’s not always easy, and I’m actually cutting my working hours down to 16 from 24.  Obviously, family will always come first, but housework is the lowest priority.  

Val: Blinkers and selective hearing. Ignore the spouse, dog, cat, friends, housework for a chosen hour each day. Then when you’re done, look up from the computer and say, with an innocent look, “Sorry – did you say something?”

Are either of you going to treat yourself to something nice as a publication treat?  
Liv:  I’m something of a shopaholic, so I’m always treating myself to something nice.

Val: Already done it. I treated myself to a new laptop. It’s exactly the same brand and model as the last one, so I don’t have to spend hours getting used to a new machine and system.

If you could go on a writing retreat anywhere in the world, where would you choose?  
Liv: The west coast of Ireland.

Val: Great question! Assuming that the goal of a writing retreat would be to write, I’d have to choose somewhere remote like the Arctic, where there was nothing to do but write because I’m so easily distracted.

Author contact: 

https://twitter.com/Livbet 
https://twitter.com/RougeReine 
https://www.facebook.com/isabella.connor.hartswood.hill

A promise is a promise 

Art historian, Rachel Ford has returned to the Irish village of Kilbrook intent on keeping her promise to take revenge on the school bullies who ruined her childhood and destroyed her family. 

Australian actor Finn MacKenzie sets hearts fluttering when he turns up in sleepy Kilbrook to help his aunt with a school production. He seems to have a charmed life, yet his confident fa├žade hides heartbreak and tragedy. Although Finn isn't looking for love, when he meets the mysterious 

Rachel, there's a definite spark between them. Rachel is torn between her desire for revenge and this new love affair. She doesn't want to deceive Finn, but can she trust him to keep her real identity a secret? And will he understand why she must keep her promise, no matter the cost? 


Buying Links:

Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Irish-Promise/dp/B00O170IWS
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00O170IWS

iBooks UK: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/id891004667
iBooks UShttps://itunes.apple.com/us/id891004667 

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/an-irish-promise-choc-lit 

Google: https://play.google.com/store/id=bEupBAAAQBAJ

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/1119001158

If you love the sound of An Irish Promise then how about a giveaway as thanks to the lovely Lusana at Choc Lit I have been offered a copy to give away to a lucky follower, paperback or eBook whichever format the winner prefers. a Rafflecopter giveaway

20 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great story line. I imagine writing a novel alone is hard enough let alone collaboration. Your responses made me giggle.

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  2. An Irish Promise just lures the reader in, I found it difficult to put it down! But then I had fallen in love with Finn - what a hero :) Very brave to tackle bullying too, it's such an emotive subject.Bullies should always get their come-uppance! Congratulations ladies!

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  3. Great interview – love the responses about ironing out disagreements over plot! And the book sounds fantastic – can’t wait to read it. :-)

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  4. I shall have to check out Chris Evans; I did a double take when I saw the name and hadn't yet seen the word 'actor'.

    I love novels set in Ireland, and can't wait to add this to my collection.

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  5. Lol at Liz...I think we might have had this conversation before? :) Thanks for the comments, ladies. Tanya, glad we made you smile. Berni - thanks for the lovely cover. Clare, and we weren't joking. :)

    Liv x

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  6. Oops - sorry. Forgot to thank Shaz for inviting us.

    Liv x

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  7. Sounds like something I would enjoy, thank you for the international giveaway :)

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    1. Hi Kristia - thanks for commenting. Maybe you'll win the giveaway :)

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  8. I was just browsing by and stumbled upon your lovely blog. It has interesting and informative posts that I enjoy xD Thanks for the giveaway :) Hope you check out my blog? Keep in touch x

    Benish | Feminist Reflections
    A Thousand Pieces of You Hardcover Giveaway

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Benish - hope you'll get a lot more pleasure from Shaz's lovely blog. Will certainly look at yours.

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  9. A great interview thank you. This sounds fabulous.

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    1. Thank you, Mary - hope you'll enjoy AIP if you do get to read it.

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  10. Very interesting interview - it must be really difficult for two people to write fiction with a single voice. I'm part of a two-person team who write a factual column, so I know how much mental energy goes into it!

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    1. Would like to see your column, Jane. Thanks for commenting.

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  11. Great interview and I'm so looking forward to reading this novel!

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    1. Thanks, Christina - hope it comes up to your expectations

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  12. I would love to read this book, it sounds great!

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    1. Look forward to hearing what you think of it, if you do, LL.

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  13. Sounds like a great read! Fingers crossed

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  14. Thank you for giving us the chance to win this book, it sounds a very enjoyable read xxxx

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