Today I'm joined by author Caroline Grace-Cassidy so that we can find out a little bit more about her latest book Already Taken which has recently been published.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book Already Taken?
This is my 4th and darkest novel to date. I moved away from romantic fiction on this one and I took a look at how growing up with an alcoholic parent can impact the rest of your adult life through my main character Kate Walsh – the book is split around two main characters the other being Englishman Hugh Clover – Hugh made a single mistake and it ruined and is ruining his life. I wanted to see what would happen when two very broken people find each other.
When Kate was twelve years old and escaping the smell of vomit and screaming in her home she snuck into the local cinema. One day she saw Flashdance and the film had such an enormous impact on her that for the rest of her life she sees images from it.
Eventually she dragged herself to a dance class and it was the greatest freeing thing she ever did. Dance changed her life.
Hugh escapes London and his huge mistake to Dublin to hide out. He meets Kate while still doing shocking things in Dublin. When he eventually confided she should run but she doesn’t – she’s tired of running. She sticks it out and helps him.
Describe Kate in three words?
Loyal, bitter, hopeful.
If you were given the opportunity which character from one of your previous books would you love to go back and revisit again?
I love Mia from When Love Takes Over – she was very real and lots of fun to write! Mia was all about what you see is what you get and I adore those type of women.
What can we expect from you next?
The next book is called THE WEEK I RUINED MY LIFE – It’s a study of a marriage breakdown – Ali and Colin married young, met in school, went to college together, straight into playing house and had two children very quickly – it starts to crumble.
I wanted to write something that explores the other option women have, not just marriage and babies (although I am very happily married with two beautiful children)
Ali was too young to marry Colin – she hadn’t grown up- when she gets a new job and starts to evolve a person she changes Colin doesn’t want to change. It has me in tears already!
What is the best writing advice you have received?
Really it’s just to have a space that’s quiet and sit and do it.
What does a typical writing day look like for you?
Well this morning I started at seven get my desk ready and computer on. I get the kids up and out for school and I will write now until 2.30pm. I am halfway through The week I ruined my life and its one of those glorious books that wants to write itself. I don’t have much physical research to do on this one as its very emotionally driven I was lucky to talk to a counsellor at the Rutland Centre for advice on marriage breakdowns and if they can survive or not. – and I have her email on hand for any questions I come up against.
When I am facing a deadline I have been known to write for 14 hour days- I dont recommend it!
What would you say is the hardest thing about writing?
For me it’s the belief in yourself.
Even now on my 5th book I still doubt and question all the time. I think it’s so important that writers have a huge support especially from their Publishers – an email here and maybe a little pat on the back there. Not too much but enough to think yeah I’m ok at this.
What writers inspire you?
Ciara Geraghty – I simply adore her writing – also Eoin Macken – I though Kingdom Of Scars was wonderful and I’ve read some of his new work and its as even more amazing.
What essentials do you need to have to hand whilst writing?
Tea!! Tea!! Tea!! Other than that I just need quiet …
When you've finished writing/or published your novels, do you treat yourself to a reward?
There is a weird kind of inner buzz if you will when you finish a novel. Its nothing to do with how good the book is or if it be the one that makes you millions … it’s more of I did it. I sat down down wrote 100,000 words. Well good for me! .. then there a lot of wine ;)
Kate Walsh is a proud Dublin Ringsender. A contented, committed loner who lives with Flashdance, the movie, playing in her head. The situation with her sister Ciara is worsening but at long last she has moved out and is ridding herself of her Da and memories of her fractured childhood.
She has also left what she calls the “brown world of employment” and has created a colourful new job for herself, as an ‘Event Companion’ (definitely not an ‘escort’!).
One day she could save enough money to find her mother and simply ask, ‘How could you?’
Hugh Clover knows he’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It was the one aspect of the job he thought he could handle better than most but it turned out he couldn’t. He escapes from London to Dublin to get a sense of her. To punish himself for his horrific mistake. He feels at ease when he walks through her life. Where she grew up. What she liked to do. What she was. What he took away.
Two people who need to trust, to find each other. Two people who need to take responsibility for the life that is to come, not the one that has been already taken.
Creative Director Smart Blondes Productions
Panelist MIDDAY TV3
Website - www.carolinegracecassidy.com