Thursday, August 29, 2013

Author Spotlight - Carmel Harrington

Welcome Carmel, it's lovely to have you on the blog today :-)

                        Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

First of all, my manners! Thank you for having me here with you lovely Minxes!  OK, what can I tell you about me?  I’m Irish, living in a beautiful rural village in Co. Wexford.  I live quite close to the sea, which I love, no matter the weather.  In fact I sometimes prefer walking on the beach when it’s cold, wet and blustery!  I’m married to Rog and we have two beautiful children, Amelia 3 and Nate who is almost 2.  In between being a stay at home Mum to my little smallies, I write.  

What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)

Beyond Graces Rainbow is my first book, but I do have a second book completed which is with my publisher, called Sleep of Dreams and I’ve started book 3which will be a sequel to Beyond Graces Rainbow.

 Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?

The only shoe shopping I’ve been doing lately is for cute little pairs of converse for the children! Oh I remember those days of old where I would take off on a Saturday and spend the day shopping for me.  But to answer your question, there is no doubt about it I have to be very strict with myself to ensure I meet my writing targets.  I aim to write a minimum of 1000 words per day, but I find once I get lost in my WIP, I can’t stop and will write every spare second I can, so I’ve no problem meeting a target on those days! I actually write in my head when I’m not in front of the laptop too, framing the story and where it’s going next.  Does anyone else do that?

 What is your top promo tip for other authors?

First of all believe in yourself.  If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will.  Having said that, the promotion that I find most effective is  sharing of reviews given and of course sharing any important milestones that your book has achieved.  I switch off when authors tweet the same thing every day, buy my book, buy my book, buy my book!  That is one sure way to make sure that most won’t buy your book in my opinion!   

How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?

As a stay at home mother, writing has to fit around my children.  Now that I have signed my contract with HarperImpulse, it’s become more important to have some more structure around my writing.  My daughter Amelia starts preschool on 2nd September 5 mornings a week and we have made the decision to send Nate into playschool also for 4 mornings a week, so that will mean I will be able to write during this time. 
I’m really looking forward to that, but I know I’ll also miss the children.  But it seems like the perfect combination for me - Author by morning, Mummy by afternoon.  Superauthormum!  (sorry got carried away there!)  I try to be organised at the weekends, blitzing the housework with my husband and planning dinners for the week. 
If you were to visit the H’s on a Saturday afternoon, it’s likely you will descend into clean house.  Swing by on a Friday and you may possibly think the house has been ransacked by burglars ;)

 Is there a book you haven't written yet that you're dying to? What genre?

There are so many ideas that I have, I honestly think I could write a book every year for the rest of my life and not run out of ideas.  But I do have this children’s book buzzing around my head, for the 7-10 year old age bracket I think and I have written the opening chapter.  It’s called The Black Car.  One day, I’d love to try finish that.  Maybe before my own children get to that age, so that gives me 5 years or so more!

 Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?

I was going to ignore this question, hanging my head in shame.  I am a terrible woman for making promises to herself to get fit and not fulfilling them.  Does running around after two sometimes wild and extremely fast toddlers count?  If so, I exercise every day for hours! 

In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be?
It is everything and more than I thought it would be.  The team at HarperImpulse and my fellow authors there have become friends already.  The welcome and support has been incredible.  Seeing my cover being revealed was an emotional moment for me, one that I won’t forget for a long time.  I thought that when the news was out that HarperCollins digital romance imprint HarperImpulse had signed me, it might interest a few, but the past few weeks have truly surpassed any of my expectations, as I’ve been doing interviews both on the radio and for newspapers.  I am even booked for an interview for an Irish TV chat show on 30th August – yes Me!!!!  It’s a dream come true seeing Beyond Graces Rainbow getting noticed at last and I am so happy. 

Could you be friends with any of your heroines?

Absolutely.  Grace, Tara and Abby in Beyond Graces Rainbow are the kind of girlfriends I could very easily have a night out with.  They are strong, loyal, fun and very real women and like me enjoy the odd cocktail ;) 

Do you have any tips, tricks or sacrificial rituals you do when you hit a story roadblock?

Well, here’s what you need to sort out a story roadblock – take a spoonful of sugar and a pinch of salt and walk backwards over a broomstick singing I Will Survive as loudly as you can, throwing salt and sugar over your shoulder, as you bust a few moves and all of a sudden, bam, story is fixed!   Works every time, but failing that, I would suggest walking away from the story and leaving it for a day or two.  I always find that when I go back to it, the obvious answer is staring me in the face and whatever it was that was causing me so much angst is no longer is a problem!

P.s. I take no responsibility for any authors who trip and fall in their attempts at my first tip! Maybe safer to take option 2 and sleep on it ;)

About Beyond Grace’s Rainbow :-
A must for fans of Cecelia Ahern.
Beyond Grace’s Rainbow is a poignant story about a young mother’s battle with cancer.  Single mother Grace Devlin faces what will be the biggest fight of her life and the stakes are high.  She cannot contemplate leaving her adorable little boy Jack all alone in the world.  Unfortunately for Grace her best chance of survival is to receive a bone marrow transplant, so she embarks on a heart breaking search for her biological parents, as she was adopted when a small baby.  This search will unravel a web of lies and deceit that has spanned over thirty years.
And just when she thinks life can get no more complicated, Jack’s father Liam is back in town full of remorse and he’s made it clear that he’s not leaving until he’s won her back.   Liam was the love of Grace’s life but can she trust him ever again? Helping Grace muddle her way through her cancer treatment and complicated love life are her friends – Tara, Sean, Abby, Tom and Gerry.  Tara is Grace’s cousin and is happily married to Sean but they are desperate for a baby of their own; Abby, Grace and Tara’s friend from college is single and looking for her one true love  which is proving difficult, whilst Tom would be happy if  his boyfriend Gerry for once didn’t max out their credit card!   Beyond Grace’s Rainbow will bring the reader into Graces world where friendship, courage, loyalty, laughter and above all love are abundant.   The story will bring you on an emotional journey with Grace and her friends that will have the reader both laughing and crying at the turn of a page.

Beyond Graces Rainbow is available for pre-order with
&, the publish date 12th September.

For more on Carmel :
Find her here


Romy Sommer said...

Thanks for being Minxy for the day, Carmel, and way to go on all the publicity!

Teresa F Morgan said...

Fab insight, Carmel. Good luck with the book and all your publicity!