Welcome to my stop on this tour- today I have the author, Cathy Mansell here for an interview. Please be sure to leave a comment as there is a prize to be given away! Leave your email address to be entered!
Cathy will award a $10 Amazon gift card to one random commenter at the end of the tour and two $5 Amazon gift cards to random commenters during the course of the tour.
You can follow the tour here
Tell me about yourself, and your writing.
I started by writing articles and short stories that were published in national magazines. I won the Stella Branston Award at the Nuneaton Festival of arts in England for “Legacy of Love” I am now writing full length novels set in Ireland, England and America. Shadow Across the Liffey
if my debut novel and a second book, Her Father’s Daughter, by Tirgearr Publishing, was released on 6th June. I was shortlisted in May, this year for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award, with Shadow Across the Liffey.
How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing or making stories up inside my head. I turned to writing novels about ten years ago and I have just completed my fourth book and I’m now contemplating a fifth. The genre I am writing is romantic suspense.
Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
No, I stick to one. But I know many authors who dabble in other genres quite successfully.
If I ever consider straying I might turn to crime as I love the intrigue surrounding a crime mystery.
Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
I’m a plotter. I have to know where I’m going and where the story will lead me. If I can get a beginning, middle and an ending then I can get to work on the whole plot. The characters sometimes stray and at times that can work well.
What is a typical writing day like for you?
After a healthy breakfast of oats and fruit I have a quick tidy up, otherwise I feel guilty, before going to my computer. My writing space is in the
attic room accessed by a pull down ladder. I work from 9am until 11:30 when I stop for coffee. Then I continue, sometimes working through lunch until 4pm, before coming down to prepare tea. I usually go back and do my promoting in the evening.
Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
I love to read on my kindle. And find it much easier than holding a heavy book. I read broadly and have enjoyed some very good books on Amazon lately. I still like to re-read Thomas Hardy, and many Irish writers, Roddy Doyle, Elaine Crowley, the late Maeve Binchy, Lesley Pearce to name but a few. There just isn’t enough time to read all the books I’d like to.
What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
To continue to have books published with Tirgearr Publishing. And to be looking forward to the print copies of Shadow Across the Liffey and Her Father’s Daughter. To build up a following of readers who will give me feed back on my books.
If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
To have the ability to fly like a bird. When I was a child, I constantly dreamt about flying just above the surface of the earth and it was empowering.
If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
A dove. One that was all knowing and could see danger before it happened.
Tell us a little about your latest release.
Her Father’s Daughter is my latest release out on kindle 6th June. The story is set in 1950s Ireland. Twenty-year-old Sarah Nolan leaves home after a series of arguments. She has taken a job in Cork city with the Gazette, a move her parents’ strongly oppose. With her limited budget she is forced to take unsavoury accommodation where the landlord can’t be trusted. Soon after she settles in, Sarah befriends sixteen-year-old Lucy who has been left abandoned and pregnant.
Dan Madden is a charming and flirtatious journalist who wins Sarah’s heart. He promises to end his association with Ruth, the daughter of a rogue landowner, but can Sarah trust him to keep his word?
It’s when her employer asks to see her birth certificate that Sarah discovers some long-hidden secrets. Her parents’ behaviour continue to baffle her and her problems with Dan and Lucy multiply.
Will Dan stand by her in her time of need? Will Sarah be able to help Lucy keep her baby? Or will the secrets destroy Sarah and everything she dreams of for her future.
What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)
I can’t live without writing. I write to live. I just can’t imagine my life without it. Most of my family are writers. It is who I am.
Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
I could never, absolutely never, write a book with someone else. Although, I did write a play once with a group of writers and that was fun. As a serious career move, no. I admire anyone who can do this and make a success of it. Constructing a story from two very different personalities is a most difficult task as well as the added job of making the story seamless.
If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?
I would love to spend a day with my great aunt who lived and worked in the Bronx N.Y. She died in 1950. She was a most interesting person. She left her home in Dublin in 1900, worked as a cook in England, saved her money and travelled alone to America. She rented an apartment, became a famous song writer and wrote poems. She even penned one for President Roosevelt and she received a letter by return, thanking her. We would spent the day talking about writing, about her life in America and how she coped with being so far away from her family.
What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
I love to catch up on reading. Playing with my lovely grandchildren and taking them to the museum, cinema and bowling. I have taken each of them in turn to Ireland by car. so far this year I haven’t been able to take the time away from writing. But once I start to establish my brand I’m hoping to take a short break.
If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?
All of my books would adapt quiet easily into movies. I think Shadow Across the Liffey
would be my first choice as my debut novel. When I was writing it, I visualized it on film.
What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
I come from a musical family. My father played the clarinet and the violin. I learnt to play the harmonica and the melodeon by ear, as I can’t read a note of music. So, I think if I hadn’t become an author, I would have liked to have become a talented singer.
I love all colours but yellow is my favourite, it reminds me of the sun.
Weather: Hot or cold?
I much prefer hot weather to cold.
Favorite place to read?
In bed or in the armchair.
Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding.
Favorite non-alcoholic drink.
J20 Pineapple and Mango.
If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?
I’d love to go to New Zealand to see my son and granddaughter who live in Christchurch.
SHADOW ACROSS THE LIFFEY
A gripping story of how family secrets can wreak havoc on the present.
In 60’s Ireland life is hard for widow, Oona Quinn, grief-stricken by the tragic deaths of her husband and five-year-old daughter. Struggling to survive, she meets charismatic Jack Walsh at the Shipping Office.
Vinnie Kelly, her son's biological father, just out of jail, sets out to destroy Oona and all she holds dear. Haunted by her past, she has to fight for her future and the safety of her son, Sean. But Vinnie has revenge on his mind . ..
The roar of the traffic made her head ache as she hurried along the pavement towards the bus stop. People hurried past and life went on, but Oona felt hers had truly ended.
Foolishly she had assumed that her love, together with constant reassurance from the
family, would be enough to help heal Sean’s pain. She had been shocked to discover that deep down he was struggling with his own demons. Sean playing truant, and his disruptive behaviour, was tearing her apart. She couldn’t take much more. It was only a week since she had last been at the school to discuss him. Confusion scrambled her mind as she tried to work out what might have happened this time.
Pausing to catch her breath, she knocked on the headmaster’s door. Her stomach tightened.
Mr Mulvane glanced at her over his thick-rimmed spectacles. ‘I’m sorry to have taken you away from your work again,’ he said, ‘but I’m afraid…’ he cleared his throat, ‘shall we say that Sean is heading for expulsion if he continues to misbehave. The cane has little effect on him, and it grieved me to have to use it.’
Her heart sank. ‘What’s happened? What’s he done now?’
‘I know this is distressing for you, Mrs Quinn, but there’s been another altercation in the playground. This time it has resulted in a bloody nose for the O’Neill boy.’
‘Oh, dear God, no.’ She sighed. ‘What with the truancy and now this.’
‘That is why I called you.’ He paused.
Leicester Writers’ Club, Just Write workshop, Life President of Lutterworth Writers’ Group, Member NAWG, Member Romantic Novelist Association and past president of Riverside Speakers club.
Cathy is an experienced writer of romantic fiction. Her early work was competition short stories and articles published in national magazines. She was Editor in Chief of the Leicestershire Anthology, ‘Taking Off’, a book promoted and supported by Arts Council UK.
In recent times, Cathy has turned to writing full-length novels that are set in Ireland/England. Her debut book Shadow Across the Liffey was published on 7th February 2013 by Tirgearr Publishing. She was a recent contestant on the TV show Food Glorious Food to be broadcast on 27th February 2013