Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Mary O'Sullivan ~ an interview and her novel ~ Thicker Than Water

Mary O’Sullivan

Mary worked many years as a Laboratory Technician. Her hobby, her passion, has always been writing. Busy with family and job, she grabbed some moments here and there to write poetry and short stories. She also wrote a general interest column in a local newspaper.

As the demands on her time became more manageable she joined a local creative writing class. It was then, with the encouragement of tutor Vincent McDonald, that the idea of writing a novel took shape. She began to expand on a short story she had written some years previously. It was a shock for her to discover that enthusiasm and imagination are not enough. For the first time she learned that writing can be very hard work.
She now has six traditionally published novels, nine eBooks and hopefully more to come, inspiration permitting.  


Q: How would you describe yourself as a color? Think personality here. Are you a light and airy pastel person, or more of a deep, dark, sultry and mysterious color?
A:  I am green, in every sense of that colour.  Firstly, I can be too trusting. Na├»ve some would say, and I have the scars to prove it. And yes, in an environmentally green way, I separate waste paper and cardboard, tins and glass and bring them all to the recycling centre. Most of all, the green of my personality resonates with nature, from the darkness of moss to the luminous green of sun rays shining through a canopy of trees onto the forest floor.

Q: Are you a morning person, or a midnight candle burner?
A: My mother told me I was born just after midnight. Perhaps that is why I flag in the afternoons but get a new lease of life as the sun sets. Unfortunately my appetite kicks in after midnight too. The later I’m up the more likely I am to raid the fridge. Nothing tastier than a midnight feast.

Q: Tell me one thing about each of the four seasons you like. It can be anything.  
A:        Winter= I love being tucked up in bed, listening to gales howl and rain pelt against the window panes. It’s a very safe feeling.
             Spring= Spring for me is daffodils ‘fluttering and dancing in the breeze’ (William Wordsworth). Daffs pave the way for lambs, buds, fledglings and the awakening of nature after the long sleep of winter.
             Summer=  This is the time to walk barefoot over warm sand ,  licking an ice-cream cone and listening to the gentle sound of lapping tide.
             Fall= The season for picking blackberries, and then making blackberry jam. These beautiful purple/ black, berries, for me, represent the colour, taste and abundance of autumn.  

Q: How do you feel about exercise?
A: The word exercise conjures up images of treadmills, weights, lycra, fierce concentration on calorie burning, and pain – lots of it. Not for me. My favourite, and only, form of exercise is walking. My dog, Dougie, sets the pace as we walk by the river, in the woods, or to the town. If I bring worries and anxiety out with me, I invariably go home without them. It’s my daily therapy for body and mind.


Q: When did you start writing and why?
A: During one of my abortive attempts to tidy up our attic , I came across a copy book I had used when I was around ten years old.  I had filled it with  my poetry- mostly about the sea-  and very flowery prose .  All very emotive and sincere. As I was in ruthless  tidying mode , I ripped the pages into tiny pieces and dumped them. So now you’ll just have to take my word  that I first started to write when I was ten years old!
The why I write is not as easy to answer. As I’m a fiction writer ,escape from reality would be a big factor . There is a great freedom in imagining the lives of fictional characters and in sneaking off into their world as I write.

Q: Which element of book writing is most difficult for you?
A: I will have to say that every element of writing is a joy to me. I love the creative aspect, research, rewriting, editing . The hardest part for me is when the writing is done and  promotion begins. I find a big conflict between the solitary occupation that is creative writing – where I feel comfortable and in control – and the exposure of promotion. So much of a book’s success these days depends on  getting the balance of publicity right . Over hyping is counter-productive, but if you don’t get on-line and shout your book to the world, then who is going to know or care about it?

Q: Describe your favorite heroine?
A: I remember being consoled by Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina in my early teens. At the time my eyelashes were the bane of my life – a pale blond and I yet had a few years to go to be allowed wear mascara. What satisfaction I felt when Tolstoy gave Anna blond eyelashes too. Me and my pale colouring felt empowered.

Q: Are you a sit down and play it by ear kind of writer, or do you need a structured guideline, or maybe a little of both?
A: I would agree with a little bit of both. Because I write fiction, the outline needs to be fluid since the characters have to develop and find their own voice. On the other hand, we rarely start out on a journey without a final destination in mind. In writing terms that goal may be the happy-ever-after ending, or the hook which grabs readers if you are writing a sequel. That does not mean the goal posts can’t change. They can, and do, during the writing process. This is the magic of creative writing.


Q: What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
A: I am just one chapter into my next novel which has the working title I Should Have Known. As the title implies, the main character is looking back on a family situation and wondering if she could have done something to change the course of events. It is very early days with this book. Experience tells me there will be many twists and turns in the plot before I reach ‘The End’.

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?
A: Yes, I do.

Buy Links
Amazon buy links : http://authl.it/3st
Tirgearr http://bit.ly/1J6E7ZV
Amazon Author Page : http://amzn.to/1RpGnhf

Social Media Links
Please visit my web page at : http://www.maryosullivanauthor.com
Chat to me on Facebook at : http://www.facebook.com/authormaryosullivan
Follow on Twitter at : https://twitter.com/authorosullivan

Q: Are you currently participating in a blog tour? If you are let’s tell everyone where you’re going to be so they can catch up with you again.
A:  Yes , I am on blog tour organized by Lucy Felthouse of Writer Marketing Services. Thank you to Lucy, and also to you, Loc, for interviewing me on your blog site. 

You're welcome Mary. It's been a pleasure having you. Thank you for taking the time to join me here on Books and Banter.
Here is the schedule for the tour from Feb 8th  to the 26th, 2016. 

8th February
Guest post
9th February
10th February
11th February
Guest post
12th February
Guest post
15th February
Guest post
16th February
Guest post
17th February
Guest post
18th February
Guest post
19th February
Guest post
22nd February
Guest post
23rd February
Guest post
24th February
Guest post
25th February
Guest post
26th February
Guest post


            When local teenager, Keira Shannon and her father, business man Gerard Shannon, go missing, the town of Ballyderg unites to search for them.
 As the search continues rumours of domestic violence, extramarital affairs and criminal behaviour are rife. The crisis causes families and life long friends to doubt each other.
 The only certainty left is that the town has been visited by evil. Or has it? Could it be the evil one has always lived there sharing history, laughter and tears? And if so, who could it be?

Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/mary-osullivan/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A reminder to the reader ~ before you leave be sure to take a look at the 

Come back and visit again.

1 comment:

  1. i love that it keeps me at the edge of my seat. It also leaves me wanting to read more and more cause its so exciting .


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