Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The Museum of You by Carys Bray

Release Date: 16th June 2017
Publisher: Cornerstone Digital
Genres: Contemporary Fiction

Today I am thrilled to welcome Carys Bray to the blog as part of her tour for The Museum of You. Thank you Carys for agreeing to an author interview. I can't wait to read the book! 

Lets find out more about Carys Bray folks! 
 Name Carys Bray

Do you write under your real name or is this a pen name you use?

This is my real name and also my writing name.

Where are you from?

I’m from Southport in North West England. I lived in Exeter during my teens and I spent the first half of my twenties in Bournemouth, before moving back to Southport. 

List 3 interesting facts about yourself. 

I once played my violin in the Albert Hall.
I have an allotment – I love growing things.
I am learning to play the ukulele.

What was the first thing you ever had published?

The first thing I had published was a short story called ‘The Ice Baby.’ It was published in an e-zine called New Fairy Tales that is currently closed to submissions, but it has some great back issues online. 

Do you have a writing routine?

I try to write every day while my children are at school/university. When I am working to a deadline I try to write 1,000 words a day. I know some people manage a lot more, but 1,000 words a day is about right for me. If it’s 11:30 at night and I haven’t got my 1,000 words I’ll just go for it and bypass any and every editorial impulse until I reach the target. And the next day, when I read what I’ve written, it’s sometimes quite good and I wonder why I don’t just write hell for leather all the time!

Do you have any writing rituals? 

I have a treadmill desk, so I often walk while I write which is much better for me than sitting down all day. I usually wear fingerless gloves and I have a battery operated hand-warmer that I swap from glove to glove because my hands tend to get really cold while I’m typing. 

Where did the idea for your most recent book come from?

In my first novel, A Song for Issy Bradley, the Bradleys are a very traditional family. This time I wanted to write about a single Dad. I heard a couple of interviews on the radio with men who were bringing up children on their own. These men were articulate and very comfortable talking about the often sad events that had led to them becoming single parents. I wondered what it would be like to be brought up by a single Dad who wasn’t especially articulate and didn’t like talking about the past. What questions might a child have for such a Dad and how might she provoke him into answering them?

Who was the first person you shared your book with? 

I think it was my friend Sarah. I showed her the opening chapters when I was first beginning to work on the novel. Sarah and I met on an Arvon course when I was editing A Song for Issy Bradley and we have read each other’s work ever since. 

Do you have a current work in progress?

I’m working on a third novel. It’s still at a very early stage and it doesn’t have a name yet. At the moment it’s about secular religion, climate change and a disintegrating marriage. Like my other novels it is set in and around Southport, in this case on a stretch of land called The Moss that used to be completely under water a few hundred years ago. 

Do you have any advice for budding authors?

My number one piece of advice is to read a lot. I mostly read for pleasure, to lose myself in other worlds and try on different lives, but when something really works (or doesn’t work) I’ll often stop and think about why the writer made that choice and why it worked (or didn’t work). Then I’ll think about what I can learn from it. I sometimes make notes as I read because I’m not as good at remembering things as I used to be!

About the Author

Carys Bray’s debut collection Sweet Home won the Scott Prize and selected stories were broadcast on BBC Radio Four Extra. Her first novel A Song for Issy Bradley was serialised on BBC Radio Four’s Book at Bedtime and was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, the Waverton Good Read Award and the Desmond Elliott Prize. It won the Utah Book Award and the Author’s Club Best First Novel Award and was selected for the 2015 Richard and Judy Book Club.

Carys has a BA in Literature from The Open University and an MA and PhD in Creative Writing from Edge Hill University. She is working on a third novel. 

Author links –  http://carysbray.co.uk/
Book Blurb

Clover Quinn was a surprise. She used to imagine she was the good kind, now she’s not sure. She’d like to ask Dad about it, but growing up in the saddest chapter of someone else’s story is difficult. She tries not to skate on the thin ice of his memories. 

Darren has done his best. He's studied his daughter like a seismologist on the lookout for waves and surrounded her with everything she might want - everything he can think of, at least - to be happy.

What Clover wants is answers. This summer, she thinks she can find them in the second bedroom, which is full of her mother's belongings. Volume isn't important, what she is looking for is essence; the undiluted bits: a collection of things that will tell the full story of her mother, her father and who she is going to be. 

But what you find depends on what you're searching for.

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