Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Q&A with Carmel Harrington

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I'm very excited to be part of the blog tour for Carmel's new book The Life You Left, you can read my review here: http://skysbookcorner.blogspot.ch/2014/06/the-life-you-left-by-carmel-harrington.html Thank you Amy and Carmel for including me in this tour and thanks wonderful Carmel for answering all my funny and weird questions ;) Love you fab lady, xxx.

With my husband Roger and two beautiful children Amelia and Nate, I live a pretty idyllic life in Ireland, full of stories, songs, hide and seek, Mickey Mouse, walks on the beach, tickles, kisses, chocolate treats and most of all abundant love. To make life even more perfect, I have now fulfilled a lifetime ambition to be a writer as I am both a published author with HarperImpulse, a division of Harper Collins Publishers and a playwright. I believe in Happily Ever After’s because that’s what happened to me.


1. Did you always dream of being a writer?

Yes, ever since I was a young girl, standing in my local library choosing my next read, I dreamt of one day having a book on those book shelves!

2. Your debut novel is called Beyond Graces Rainbow, what was your inspiration for this book? 

My best friend is adopted and she has always struggled with the fact that she doesnt know her medical history from her biological family.  I wanted to take this to the extreme level.  What if an adopted person, who up to this point had not managed to find her birth parents, suddenly needed their help, with the stakes being life or death, would those birth parents step forward?

3. Grace is a strong and inspirational character. How did you develop her personality and story?

Grace is everything that is good in this world.   I wanted her to be real, not one dimensional, but I always knew in my head that Grace was the person you would want to be your sister, best friend, mother.  Her personality came alive the moment I wrote the opening prologue, where she finds out she had cancer.

4. Grace has a great group of friends and family. How important was friendship/love in this story for you?

The theme of friendship was of paramount importance.  Grace has had lots of bad luck, and I was determined to make up for that bad luck by giving her a group of friends, that were pretty much perfect!

5. What are you working on right now?

I always felt that Abbys story in Beyond Graces Rainbow was unfinished, so my third book is her story, but with lots of the gang there too, in particular Tom and Gerry!

6. The Life You Left is your second novel and it was just published, whats it about?

Its about Sarah, a mother, a wife, whose life is turned upside down by the disappearance of her husband Paul and the appearance of a childhood friend Edward, whom she hasnt seen for over twenty years.  Sarah must come to terms very quickly with her new normal, with the help of her twin brother James, who is her rock.

Heres the official blurb!

‘Sarah, Im not coming home tonight.
If you love me, you will give me the space I need
Tell the children I love them.
It started out like any other day for Sarah Lawler; getting the kids ready for school, making the pack lunches and juggling baby Ellas feeds.
There was no way of knowing that her husband, Paul, would leave for work that morning and simply not come home.
Now the questions are piling up quicker than the unpaid bills and, unable to answer her childrens questions about where their Daddy is, Sarah is getting desperate.
But it turns out she isnt quite as alone as she thought she was. When her beloved childhood friend, Edward, comes back into her life, Sarah thinks shes finally been thrown a life line.
Theres just one problem with Edward: no one else can see him.
Edward is an angel. And he has a message for Sarah that will change her life and the lives of others forever. For it is only in the most difficult of times that Sarah can discover how strong
she truly is.
Set in a small coastal village on the beautiful Irish coast, The Life You Left is a story of redemption and the strength of love.
 7. Where and when do you write your stories?

I write at home, normally in our dining room, but sometimes in bed!  I write every day when the children go to play school in the mornings and then again in the evenings when they are in bed.  Weekends, i try to make about family only!

8. What do you do and enjoy when youre not writing?

I have a two and four year old, so my life revolves around them and my husband.  We all love to go for walks on our local beach, or in the forestry.  Equally, we are lucky to live in the countryside, with a great garden, so we spend a lot of time there too, just playing hide and seek together!

9. Who is your favourite author and why?

Im not sure I can pick one Simona!  I love so many from Jane Austen, to Harper Lee, to Suzanne Collins or JK Rowling!

10. If you were shipwrecked on a desert island what 3 books would you want with you?

Can I bring my kindle?  Is that cheating?

11. How would you describe your style of writing?

I write with my heart on my sleeve, which is how I live my life really.  I write emotively with both humour and tears interweaved throughout the narrative. 

12. The Life You Left is very different from your first novel, what was the inspiration for this wonderful story?

Inspiration came in two parts Simona.  I wrote the part about a murder on a beach a few years back, following a walk on our local beach, where the wind was making weird noises, that set my imagination on fire!  The angels part, came from an incident that happened to me one day in a shopping mall.  A woman walked up to me and told me that I was surrounded by an angel, then she walked away.  It shook me a little and I began to think about angels and their possible existence and the idea for Sarah came from that.

13.  The cover of The Life You Left is beautiful, how was it developed?

The cover was created by the talented team at Harper Impulse.  I gave a brief to them of what I would like to see on their and for me, as the beach plays a key role in the landscape of some of the big scenes in the book, I wanted that included.  I was so happy with the result!  I love it.

14. You live in Ireland, what do you love most about your country?

Ireland is simply a stunning place to live, we have everything, rural idylls to vibrant cities.  I love that I can drive from one end of the country to the other in one day if I want to.  But more than the landscape, I love the people, theres an honesty and charm about the Irish, that I think sets them apart. (I am biased of course!)

15. Imagine The Left You Left or Beyond Garces Ranbow (or both) would be turned into a movie.

What would be your dream cast? 

So hard!  Beyond Graces Rainbow, Id have Colin Farrell as Liam and Amy Adams as Grace. 
I always had Robert Downey Jr in my head for Tom too!

For The Life You Left, Ill have Amy Huberman as Sarah and Gerard Butler as James!  Edward would be Michael Fassbender and Liv Tyler would be a great Ruby!

16. Coffee or tea? Coffee
17. Paperback or e-reader? Both
18. Mountains or the sea? Sea
19. Summer or winter? Summer
20. Sweet or salty? Salty

Carmel on Twitter: @happymrsh
Website: http://carmelharrington.com

Thank you so much for answering my questions Carmel, just have a look at my reviews of yours books again and you'll see my dream cast ;)

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