I was over the moon to be asked to kick start the blog tour for Sian O’Gorman’s latest novel, Always and Forever, and to celebrate the release, Sian joined me in the garden to talk all things writing … Here’s what happened …
Hello Emma, I am so delighted to be joining you on your patio… I can’t think of anywhere I’d like to be more.
Thank you so much – can I get you a drink? Something stronger? Cocktail?
Tea, please. Milk. No sugar. Do you have any cake, if it’s not too much trouble?
This Little Bookworm ALWAYS has cake…
Congratulations on book two! Always and Forever is your second chick-lit/contemporary women’s fiction book, where/when did you realise that you had a talent for writing?
I’ve always loved writing but was very scared to do it, as it was the one thing I wanted to do more than anything. Which sounds strange, I know. But I had a dream one night and a story was in my mind and the next day I began writing. And I wrote the book – it was a YA time-travelling feminist adventure – which never got published but the spell was broken and on I went.
What influenced you to start writing in this genre?
I love a satisfying romance and I want to read books about other women. I re-read Persuasion a few years ago and realised why I was racing through the book, to get to the scenes between Anne and Frederick and then the blissful final moment when they declare themselves. It’s so wonderful and warms my heart. And I think that it is important to still believe in the power of love and how transcendent it can be. We all, hopefully, will experience lovely and wonderful moments in our own lives and it’s such a pleasure to be able to imagine them in my books. I also want to reflect the not so transcendent or life’s banana skins, the everyday stuff we have to deal with whether it’s difficult relationships or our own baggage we need to sort out. I believe wholeheartedly in do that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and in the power of experience and how it makes us grow. However, sometimes you can’t power on through and in Always and Forever, Jo, my heroine, is stuck and can’t quite move on. The book explores how she manages to find first gear again.
While I get the kettle back on, I’m going to fire some quickies at you:
Book or kindle?
Both. I still love the physical pleasure you get from a book. They become relics of all those memories and thoughts you have while reading it. But you can’t beat a Kindle for convenience.
Tea or coffee?
Always tea. Can’t do coffee.
Facebook or Twitter?
I prefer Twitter. Nice, friendly and fun.
Pineapple on pizza – yes or no?
No. Pineapple in an upside down cake only.
Pj’s or normal clothes when writing?
Depends on time of day. I do write in bed but I’m always dressed when I’m up.
Plan or just write?
Just write. It’s the best part of writing. You never know what’s going to come out.
Cats or dogs?
Dogs. Would love one. I suffer from dog envy whenever I see people with particularly cute canines. I’m always in the website of the Dog’s Trust, virtually shopping for dogs. There are a mother and son pair currently that need home called Valentine and Cupid. My heart is broken just looking at the two of them.
Ok, so, you are on book two now, what’s next?
I’ve started book three and am loving it. It’s called The Cherry Blossom Tree. I also have an idea for book four. I can’t think about it too much but I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into it.
Do you have a ‘day’ job as well as the writing and being a mum?
Yes, I’m a radio producer. A really lovely and interesting job.
How do you decide your character’s names?
Some just come to me as they suit who the character is. Others I just like. I’ve noticed that I’ve given my more attractive males names I really love such as Cormac and Fergal. There’s one character in Always and Forever called Patrick Realta. Realta is the Irish for ‘star’ and he’s an old singing star. In book number three, my heroine is called Tabitha. It’s just a name that I love, quirky and interesting.
If you could have created any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Claudia Hampton in Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively. She’s brainy and brave, doesn’t suffer fools gladly, beautiful with long red hair and has a wartime adventure which remains her secret for the whole of her life. She’s not perfect or particularly nice but she’s fascinating and seems so real.
I know you need to leave shortly so last question, do you want the last slice of cake?
You have it. I couldn’t possibly. Unless we halved it?
Sharing it is then!
Here’s the blurb …
A warm, witty, compelling and emotional novel about love, family and coming to terms with your past. Perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Jodi Picoult and Diane Chamberlain.
How can you find yourself again, when you can’t face what you’ve lost?
Joanna Woulfe is looking to get her life back on track after her husband John leaves their family home. Once a high-flying PR Director, Jo now looks after her son Harry and seeks support only from her mother Marietta and her best friend Nicole. But Nicole‘s own marriage is facing its greatest ever crisis, and Marietta, too, is distracted by the reappearance of an old flame, ex-Showband-singer and lothario Patrick Realta.
Soon Jo enrols with a colourful local amateur dramatics group and begins a flirtation with the handsome young Ronan Forest. But is she really ready to move on from her old life – and from her years of marriage to John? And what was it that happened three years ago that sent the couple into free-fall?
Before long Jo will realise that is only by looking back that she will ever truly be able to move forward…
A bit more about Sian …
Siân was born in Ireland, is an RTÉ radio producer and lives in the seaside suburb of Dalkey, Dublin with her seven-nearly-eight-year-old daughter, Ruby.