Sunday, 19 June 2016

Author Interview: Caroline Grace-Cassidy

Today it's my pleasure to welcome Irish actress and author Caroline Grace-Cassidy back to the blog to talk about her latest book The Week I Ruined My Life which is out now in eBook format and will be published as a paperback this week.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing journey? 
I always loved writing essays in school and doing projects and since I could read never had a book out of my hand. I alwaysy felt I'd love to tackle the novel - but it was only when I fell pregnant and was off work as an actress I really gave it  a shot. 

I never took a creative writing class (although I wish I had, and I might still) I just read so much I got the format I was going to go into. 

To have and to hold, for better, for worse

Ali Devlin isn’t the type of woman to have an affair…

But as her marriage to her childhood sweetheart Colin turns bitter, she begins to rediscover the woman she once was. She seeks solace from her toxic relationship by throwing herself into a new job that she loves, by confiding in her best friend Corina and, most dangerously of all, by spending more and more time with her workmate Owen – who just so happens to be passionate, charming and everything her husband used to be.

Then one heat-of-the-moment decision on a business trip to Amsterdam sets off a series of events that will change the course of all their lives forever.

The Week I Ruined My Life is your 5th novel and features Ali Devlin, a bored housewife who is faced with the ultimate temptation, what was the inspiration behind this storyline? 
I was reading a copy of Vogue believe it or not. I was out of contract with my publishers and had felt strongly that I wanted to move on to a new publishers, even though I had another offer from my original publishers. I wanted to write a different type of story and this one line I read struck a chord.

"For the sake of the children"
I read and re-read the line what did it actually mean in 2016. That people  who have nothing in common anymore, stay together for the sake of the children? It made no sense. Why surround children in that horrible atmosphere. So this story of a woman - very unhappy in her marriage but with children came to me. What to do? What to do for the sake of the children. I just wrote and wrote and Black & White picked it up immediately much to my great joy!

If you had to describe Ali in 3 words, what would they be?  
Brave. Maternal. Real. 

Just reading your bio makes me feel tired, how do you manage to achieve the perfect balance between family, writing alongside your TV & film schedules or is it just one constant juggling act?  
It is a constant juggle I will admit but I always come back to that Steve Jobs quote:
"The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you havent found it yet keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart you will know when you find it"

Also I have  a wonderfully supportive husband Kevin, and mam and dad are always on hand!

If one of your books was to be made into a TV series or film, which would you like to see optioned? And if you could cast yourself in a role, which character would you like to play?  
Id love to see a big screen version of I Always Knew - and I'd love to play Beth Burrows - I loved writing her, there is a lot of me in Beth I think.

I have had my co- written first screenplay picked up by an American Studio. I co-wrote it with an old school friend, Lisa Carey who lives out in LA. We wrote it in three months and are beyond excited to announce it is currently in pre pre-production!

How much plotting do you need to do before you can start writing a new story? 
I'm not  a plotter. My plots evolve as I write.  

If you get a plot block during the initial writing phase, how do you work your way through it? 
If I get stuck on an aspect of the plot I just walk away for a while. I literally take the day off. I let it float around in my head and so far that has worked!

What authors have influenced you as a writer?
Hughely influenced by Irish writers Ciara Geraghty and Marian Keyes. 

Finally what's next for you or are you taking a well earned break? 
I will be concentrating on the movie for the rest of the year but I do have another screenplay on the go with Lisa Carey that we are half way through. I have written five novels in 5 years so who knows this space for number 6! 

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