Friday, December 14, 2012

Interview with Kerry Dwyer ~ author of Ramblings in Ireland

Kerry Dwyer, author of a travel memoir, Ramblings in Ireland, is stopping by for an interview today. Welcome Kerry!

Thank you for hosting me here today. I am delighted to meet you.

And I'm delighted to meet you, too! Before we dive into the questions, I'd like to put up the product description for your book so my readers know a little bit more about it. 

This is not a book about rambling in Ireland.

It tells the tale of one particular walking trip and the memories and musings it inspired.

Exploring the West of Ireland is a time for meditation, spiritual reflection and strengthening the bonds of life. More practically the ability to read a map might have proved helpful. The tourist office in Ireland has all their paths clearly marked. You can’t go wrong if you follow that little yellow man. Or can you?

As British ex-patriate Kerry Dwyer leads Bertrand, her trusting French husband, astray once more, they reminisce and reflect upon accents and accidents, family and friends, love and what it means to be alive. Bertrand doesn’t mind getting lost - he loves Kerry all the more for going off the beaten track.

This is a book about ramblings in Ireland. Walk with Kerry and Bertrand and follow where your thoughts lead you.

This is actually the first time I've featured a nonfiction book on my blog before! Now that we all understand this book is about you and your husband’s travels in Ireland, tell us a little bit more about it and how you got started into writing it.

The book started off as a diary of our holiday in Ireland. In the end the journey became a thread on which I hung a lot of other memories and observations. The book isn’t a travel guide. It is very tangential. It reads like you were sitting in a pub with someone telling you bits and pieces about their holiday and their life. 

Sounds interesting. What made you want to write this book? 

Ireland is beautiful and the Irish are lovely welcoming people. The whole experience was so inspirational. We took hundreds of pictures that we thought would make a lovely journal to remember this holiday with. It grew and became the book it is today. 

I would love to travel more. This kind of armchair traveling is definitely good for those of us on a tight budget. Tell me, who is your perfect reader? Why should they read this book and what will they get out of it? 

My perfect reader is certainly not someone looking for a guide to Ireland. It is written for women who like sitting down to chat with a friend about anything and nothing. Imagine your friend back from holiday showing you the pictures and telling you all about it. In between pictures you ask her questions like ‘did your bra strap rub against your rucksack?’ and ‘what do you do about peeing when you’re up a mountain?’ From these answers you go off at tangents about the last time you bought a bra or whatever. If you have these sorts of conversations with your best friend then this book will be your friend in no time. 

What will they get out of this book? A love for Ireland, some description of the lovely paths and mountains and the great people. An understanding of some of the cultural differences between the French, Irish and British. A few laughs. An understanding of the importance of spending time together. 

Bra straps and potty breaks, huh? Plenty of complications when hiking through, it sounds like. 

Let's get to know more about you, Kerry. When did you start writing? What made you want to be a writer? 

There has not been a time that I haven’t written. I won my first poetry competition when I was about seven. It was a poem about my cat. 

The decision wasn’t so much one of wanting to be a writer but wanting to be published. I wanted to tell the world about this lovely experience. I didn’t go about it in the most direct way but then I never do. 

It's always great when you can write something you are very passionate about. Writing can be both rewarding and exasperating. What do you love about writing...and what do you hate? 

I love pouring my thoughts out onto a page. I love seeing those thoughts take shape and become a poem or a story and now a book. I hate editing and proofreading. Mainly because I am not very good at it. I think it is difficult to do yourself. Thank goodness for other people willing to do this. 

I agree with you on both those points. What do you like to do when you're not writing? 

Walking obviously, that is my main hobby. I also like going to my local Jazz club and listening to live bands. I like cooking, particularly Indian or Chinese food. In the summer I like having friends round to eat, drink and chat in my garden. 

Sounds like you have a lot of great experiences to fill up your time, and possibly translate into more books. What’s next for you? Any writing projects in the works? 

I have started another book. It is a fictional story about ex-pats in France centered around an English book exchange. It isn’t going very well. I am spending too much time promoting and not enough time writing. I am working on getting the balance right. 

I can understand that; I have the same problem. Finding a balance is tough. 

Thanks for doing this interview, Kerry! I wish you the best of luck with both Ramblings in Ireland and your new fiction novel!

Thank you very much for having me here today. It has been a pleasure talking to you. 
Kerry Dwyer's Biography

I was born in the North of England and educated in the South. I worked in finance for more than two decades in the UK, USA and various countries in mainland Europe. I now live with my husband and daughter in the South West of France. I gave up finance and retrained as an English teacher (TEFL) after my daughter was born. I wanted to spend as much time as I could with her but I still needed to work. I currently teach English as a foreign language to adults by telephone and internet. Ramblings in Ireland is my first novel.

Want to connect with Kerry? Just follow her links:

Want to buy the book? It's available on Amazon Kindle or as a paperback:

Have a great time checking out Kerry's links and her book. Happy reading, my friends! Have a terrific weekend!

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