Honeymoon is your second novel, tell us about Honeymoon.
It’s a love story but it’s not a romance. It’s a saga with elements of mystery.
A complicated, inconvenient past unravels during Rosie and Fergal Pierce’s short honeymoon on the West Coast of Ireland with revelations of death, betrayal and deceit that would seem to implicate Fergal. The truth is hard to find and threatens to wreck not only the honeymoon but lives of others too. Rosie faces hard decisions. Ultimately she trusts her own judgement and finds a way to help Fergal reclaim his past.
What was your inspiration for the book?
During a trip to research my family tree to County Clare I spent some time in a churchyard that overlooked the wild Atlantic Ocean. It was such a desolate and haunting place, a good place to lie for eternity and a good place to start a story.
What about the cover?
It’s beautiful, isn’t it? That silver embroidered moon unravelling. The artist’s sister is a friend of mine and I was cheeky enough to ask and she was kind enough to agree that I could use it for the front cover. The picture is called, Moon Wave and is by Lateefa Spiker
What inspires you to write? Have you always been a writer?
I came late to writing, after I’d had a family, after I’d had a ‘proper’ job but the compulsion to write was always there; or, to be more exact, the compulsion to make up stories and what-ifs and other endings to films. A story is rather like gossip. You want it to pass from mouth to mouth like wildfire, be embellished in the telling and the retelling. Writing it down it is a much slower process – never mind turning it into a book – but the wish for it to spread, hand-to-hand, by word of mouth is similar.
Why chose self-publishing?
Life is short! My first book, Murielle’s Angel, was traditionally published and it’s a long, slow process even after you have a publisher.
Are you available to speak to local book groups?
Certainly. I would be delighted to discuss the book with reading groups. Authors need readers. All the characters a writer dreams up need readers to breathe life into them.
What is the most valuable help readers give authors?
Apart from reading the book and talking about it and passing it on, one of the best ways is to write reviews on Amazon or Goodreads.
Where is the new book available?
The library should order it for you, the little shop, Pieces for Places in Barmouth stock it. Otherwise it’s on line from Amazon. I have copies and can be contacted via my website https://maryjhowell.co.uk
Do you have plans to write more?
Stories come from everywhere and nowhere. I’m always dreaming of something, and I certainly hope to.
Your first book is set in Spain, Honeymoon is set in Ireland would you say setting is important in your books?
Setting is important for me, personally, so I would think yes, very important. I am currently working on a story set in Dyffryn, my home village I’m not sure where it will lead yet. I’ll have to wait and see.