Carmel is married to Roger with two small children Amelia and Nate, she lives a pretty idyllic life in Ireland, full of stories, songs, hide and seek, Mickey Mouse, walks on the beach, tickles, kisses, chocolate treats and most of all abundant love.
Your novel is called ‘ Beyond Grace’s Rainbow’ please could you tell me about it?
It’s the story of a young mother, Grace, who finds out that she has cancer. She needs the help of her biological family, as a bone marrow transplant is needed. But as she’s adopted and all previous attempts at connecting with her birth mother ended badly, she must bravely make the decision to find her family one more time. Just when she thinks life can’t get any more complicated, Liam, her ex-boyfriend and father to her little boy Jack turns up and he’s determined to prove to Grace that he’s worth a second chance.
‘Beyond Grace’s Rainbow’ is about Grace, please could you tell me about her?
Grace is first and foremost a mother. Her whole world revolves around her young son Jack and he will always come first. She’s strong, loving, fun and extremely loyal. Her friends mean everything to her and she is the lynch pin between them all. She works as an interior designer and lives in Dublin. She loves karaoke and a good night out with her friends. She’s had a lot of heartache in her life, but despite the heartache she hasn’t let it define her or make her bitter.
They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?
It is certainly quite difficult and you need patience. I did things a little differently that a lot. I decided to selfpublish rather than attempt talking to publishers. I felt that if I could show that BGR was liked as an indie author, I might get taken seriously by a publisher. So last August BGR hit the ebook shelves and did quite well. It won a Kindle Book Award and spent a short time as a besteller. I eventually signed with an agent in January 13 and then the process of searching for a publisher began. Although I selfpublished BGR, I really wanted a publisher to republish it. I felt strongly that Graces story was one that should be read by more than the people I had managed to reach myself as an indie author. I am very privledged that HarperImpulse, an imprint of HarperCollins believed in Graces story. It’s been an exciting few months since I signed a contract with them and I am enjoying every moment watching Grace’s story reach a new audience under their guardianship.
Are any of the characters in ‘Beyond Grace’s Rainbow’ anything like you?
Quite a few of my close friends say that Grace is very like me and I take that as a huge compliment. I know though, that Gerry for e.g. has a lot of my flamboyant tendencies. And the nurturing side of my character is in Tom too.
Writers put so much time and energy into their characters and I have been told in the past that a writer carries their characters around with them.
So my question is if you could go out for a day with any one of your characters: who would it be, what would you do and why did you pick this particular character?
Oh that is such a good point and very true. I worry about my characters a lot. Are they happy? Was that the right HEA for them? It’s true that they become friends, family actually. So when a reader/reviewer compliments a character and say they like him/her, you feel like a proud parent!
And in answer to your question, without doubt I would chose to go out with Gerry. We would spend hours getting ready and as he is the style guru I know that I would look fantastic! Then we would eat at a very stylish restaurant and go drink cocktails while people watching at the hottest venue in town. There would be a lot of laughs and a fabulous night guaranteed!
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Never stop believing that it can happen, dreams do come true. I’m proof of that.
What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
Sleep of Dreams my second novel will be published by the end of the year. It’s about twins Sarah and James who live very different lives, but share an incredible bond. Sarah is a mother of 3 children and money is tight. She also has a secret that only James knows about. James on the other hand is handsome, single and very much plays the dating game, having decided that he’ll never settle down.
Was there any book you read as a child that convinced you that you wanted to become a writer? If so, which one was it?
Every book I’ve ever read has made me want to write. I couldn’t name one. But my childhood favourites were anything from Dr. Seuss, The Lord of The Rings Trilogy and Charlie and the Chocolate factory.
if there was one saying that could sum up your life, what would it be?
Great question! It took me a while to learn this, but now this pretty much sums me up.
Do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.
But if i’m allowed one more, this is one I love and is kind of apt for me, as I’m such a late starter with my writing career.
“You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.” Glinda, the good witch, Wizard of Oz.
If you were told that you could live any day without repercussions for your actions, what would you do and why?
What an amazing question! Wow, ok, let me think about this and I’ll come back to it.
Right, I’m back with my answer!
OK, here’s what I would do. I’d fly to Chicago and have dinner with Oprah. She would clear all previous commitments to see me, because this is my fantasy right?
Stedman and Rog could come too and keep each other entertained while Oprah and I bond. I am convinced we would be great friends. By the end of our chat she would agree to help me raise some money for my favourite charities – LauraLynn House, Jack and Jill Foundation, Barnardos and Breast Cancer Research. We’d plan a huge gala charity black tie event, that we would both host and huge sums of money would be raised!
And then, (look I’m human ok?) she would read Beyond Graces Rainbow and tell the world that they simply HAD to read it!
if you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?
To Kill A Mockingbird – by Harper Lee. This book really was the first I’d ever read that opened my eyes to both the kindness and cruelty that this world can offer. I devoured this book when I was 13 and as I read it tears flowed down my cheek. It changed me and I’ve never forgotten it. I pick it up every now and then and I’m overdue a reading again actually.
It’s a simple story at first glance, but it tackles many serious topics head on. A true classic.
What or who in life inspires you?
My children inspire me every day. I watch them and I learn so much from them and want to be a better person just for them.
I would like to thank Carmel for talking to Love of a a Good Book!