Saturday, November 17, 2012

Interview with Kerry Dwyer, Author of Ramblings in Ireland

Kerry Dwyer is 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 she decided to quit her native Britain and settle in the South West of France. She loves walking particularly around the sunflower fields and vineyards of her home but also in the mountains or Ireland, Italy and anywhere else she is able to go. She loves good food, good wine, and good friends preferably all together.

Where did you grow up?

I am not sure I have fully grown up yet, I certainly haven’t finished learning. My teenage daughter asked me when I knew that I had become an adult. I have never managed to answer her satisfactorily. I was born in North Yorkshire and educated in the home counties of England, Hertfordshire to be precise.

Why did you move to France?

I love the way of life here. After working in cities all my life I was longing for something calmer. My previous job involved a lot of traveling, mainly in Europe. I didn’t want to continue to do that once I had my daughter. I think she has a better life here than she would have had in England, certainly than in a city. My husband is French and he doesn’t speak English. Also my parents moved out here before me. They retired here and I followed them. I missed them when they were not so close.

So is it true that French women don’t get fat?

LOL. Of course it isn’t. Like all women if they eat too much they get fat. I don’t live in a city and so the people I see are mainly from the farming communities. On a market day in my local town I see a lot of well fed French women and men. You see fewer fat women in the cities particularly, French middle class women who tend to be very well dressed and take extra care of how they look. If French women didn’t get fat then they wouldn’t need Doctor Dukan. He has millions of French women following his regime. If you look at the world health statistics you can see that obesity in France is growing at an alarming rate. The industries that are growing in France are health products (including cellulite creams etc), the diet industry with Doctor Dukan in the lead, plus size clothes stores and fast food chains. It is a worrying correlation.

When did you begin writing?

I wrote from being very young. I wrote stories and poetry. I later wrote financial papers and more recently articles on grammar and language. These technical papers were for specific industry use. I write for my blog on a regular basis and for a walking blog less regularly. Ramblings In Ireland is my first novel and my first published work.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

Whenever I can. Unfortunately I have the most time in the evening and feel at my freshest in the morning. I am often tired after work, not physically as my job mainly involves talking to people. I like to walk after work to clear my head then try to sit down to do some writing. 

What is this book about?

The book title Ramblings in Ireland describes the story very well and in two ways. Firstly, I tell the story of a walking holiday in Ireland that I took with my French husband, Bertrand. There are descriptions of the countryside and the views and the people that we met on the way. Interspersed with that are my ramblings; conversations or musings that took place whilst we were in Ireland. The book is very tangential. I talk about the difference between French and British / Irish culture as well as the vagaries of life.

What inspired you to write it?

The holiday itself was an inspiration. I had been to Ireland before but my husband hadn’t. My pleasure was doubled because he took such joy in it. Walking is the best way to really see the wonders of a country like Ireland and one week was so very short. This story enabled me to capture that for me and for him and for anyone else that cares to read it. The Freudian ramblings are simply a reflection of my mind. I often go off at tangents and let my mind wander to other things.  

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

I would not have written this book differently, as it is the book I wanted to write. I think I would have written more books before publishing them. Marketing and promotion now take up a huge amount of my free time. I realize this has to be done, as I don’t have the power of a mainstream publisher behind me, but it is not what I want to spend my time doing. Luckily I have come across some wonderful people like you who are willing to help me spread the word by participating in my tour.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

It can be bought as an e book on all the main distribution sites and through Smashwords. The Kindle and paperback version can be bought on Amazon, the UK, USA and French sites all have it available for distribution.

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book?  If yes, where can readers find it?

There is a trailer for my book on my website this video is also on youtube.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Once you have written the best piece of work that you can do get some professional help. I am a language teacher and I can spot a fault in someone else’s writing in seconds.  I had read and re-read my manuscript before I sent it to Joel Canfield who helped me to publish. I had also listened to it via the ‘read’ function on the PDF file.  I was dismayed by the number of errors in it; some of them were so basic. I have downloaded numerous free e-books and you can tell within the first couple of pages who has gone to the trouble of having them proofread. It really is well worth the investment.

What is up next for you?

Ramblings is a non fiction book. I am trying my hand at fiction. It is actually a lot harder than I had anticipated. A lot of what I have been doing over the last year is studying the art. I have read websites, books, blogs and journals on how to write. I have practiced by writing short stories. The book I am writing has the working title of ‘The Book Exchange’. I have set it in France in the expat community as that is something that I know very well. The characters however are fictional and so I have to invent every aspect of their lives. Although the story board is all planed and I have written nearly a hundred thousand words I know that it is not as good as it could be. I am still learning. Every lesson learned leads to a revision; each revision makes me a little happier with the book. 


CelticLady said...

Great interview Cheryl!! Kerry, I eagerly wait for your new book, whenever it comes out!! Happy weekend ladies!!

Anonymous said...

It is a lovely interview isn't it? I am delighted to be on this blog.
My next book is progressing slowly but I hope to have it out next year.

Anonymous said...

Great interview. I'm with Celtic Lady on awaiting wha's next from you.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. Karry, I wish you the best.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Paulette. I hope you won't have to wait too long.

Cheryl, thank you very much for your lovely interview. It was a pleasure to work with you on this post and I love the lay out. I hope to work with you again when I have another book out.