Monday, 13 February 2017

Changing Genre with Myra Duffy

I’m delighted to welcome fellow Scottish author, Myra Duffy, to the Reading and Writing blog today. I’m already a fan of Myra’s Isle of Bute series of cosy crime novels featuring Alison Cameron, and I love this new departure into romance with a touch of suspense. The horse livery story line, Scottish setting and enigmatic Russian hero make Love is Another Country a very enjoyable read!

Welcome, Myra, and thank you for sharing your inspiration and background to changing genres. First a little about the book.

Love is Another Country

Isla Scott is devastated to learn that her beloved Kilrossie livery stables will have to be sold to pay family debts, leaving her with the problem of finding somewhere to live and to stable her horse, Destiny. Help arrives in the person of Andrei Petrov, an enigmatic Russian, but Isla is suspicious of his motives for wanting to buy the property.

When Andrei offers her accommodation at the Lodge House and a job looking after the livery, Isla reluctantly accepts. But is her decision to stay on at Kilrossie because of Destiny, or is there another reason? And how exactly has Andrei made his money, what is his true relationship with the glamorous Marta and why is he so interested in helping Isla, when the sale of Kilrossie should be no more than a business transaction?

Love is Another Country is now available on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Changing Genres

Although I’m probably best known for my series of cosy crime novels set on the Isle of Bute, I have written short stories in a number of different genres, including romance and even science fiction.

I like to challenge myself when writing and like many authors, I’ve a number of novels started, but not yet finished. I decided that I wanted to publish Love is Another Country as a way of moving some of the characters out of my head! This novel was well received in the category of Romantic Novels at the Scottish Association of Writers conference a couple of years ago and it seemed the natural place to start.

I really enjoyed writing the story of Isla Scott’s attempts to keep the family livery stables as a going concern and the hero, Andrei Petrov, provided a bit of a challenge. Of course one of the main characters is Destiny, Isla’s horse. If she loses Kilrossie, will she have to sell Destiny?
Inspiration for the story

Although I don’t ride, my daughter has long had a love of horses and I spent a lot of time when she was younger taking her to the stables where her horse was kept, not to mention driving all over the country to equestrian competitions and helping to look after it. I well remember winter evenings roaming over pitch dark fields with a torch trying to call her horse in. Fortunately my daughter can now drive herself!

As I learned more about them, I grew to realise what interesting animals horses are and the fictional Kilrossie, where my heroine Isla Scott lives, seemed a natural setting for my story. Her horse, Destiny, is an amalgam of various horses I’ve met over the years.

As for my hero, Andrei Petrov, I’m not sure where he came from – nor why he’s Russian. But that’s the way a writer’s imagination works sometimes, I guess!

And a very good hero he is, Myra!

You can connect with Myra on her website, Facebook and twitter: @duffy_myra 
About the Author
Myra Duffy writes both fiction and non-fiction: her first success was winning a national writing competition at the age of thirteen.
Her non-fiction (a series of fifteen Management and Training books) was very successful, but in recent years she has returned to her main interest of writing fiction and has had short stories featured in a variety of magazines and journals.

She is best known for her Isle of Bute cosy crime novels. Her latest, Bad Blood at Rothesay Castle, was published in November 2016.

Myra says, “Love is Another Country is my first romantic novel. There are no dead bodies in this story, but there is some suspense and I enjoyed the challenge of writing in a different genre.”


Myra Duffy said...

Thank you so much for inviting me on to your blog, Rosemary. It's a great pleasure to be here!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

You're very welcome, Myra - and I enjoyed your book!

Anonymous said...

Love Is Another Country sounds intriguing. I haven't yet read an e book but there's a first time for everything!

Myra Duffy said...

Thank you, Anonymous - that's how I felt about writing Love is Another Country!

Joan Fleming said...

An interesting new writing venture for you, Myra! I so enjoyed the book - a great setting for a romantic novel. What will you turn your hand to next?

Wendy's Writing said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one to have novels started but not finished, Myra. I like the idea of publishing a novel to get the characters out of your head 😀

Myra Duffy said...

Now,there's a question,Joan!

Myra Duffy said...

Trouble is,Wendy, there's another set of characters now causing me bother!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for commenting, Anonymous - ebooks are great for changing font size!

Thanks for visiting, Joan - Myra's versatile, isn't she?

Yes, I'm the same, Wendy - too many to finish!

Bill Kirton said...

Good for you, Myra. I think accepting the challenge of 'changing genres' helps to keep a writer fresh, gives him/her a different perspective which can even be applied to the genre he/she is known for. And I put 'changing genres' in quotes because, while we all know the commercial reasons for giving readers what they want, if an idea or a subject is appealing, no restrictions should apply. Good luck with the new title.

Patsy said...

I know the feeling of writing something as a way of moving the characters out of my head.

Joanna said...

Love is Another Country sounds fantastic, Myra - congratulations!

I enjoyed reading about your experiences with horses as, like you, I helped my eldest daughter with her pony, which involved lots of chilly dawn starts, hours spent catching him and doing most things by torchlight! We have another pony now, but not one which likes to be ridden. However, after my daughter went away to university, I'm still driving about in wellies with bits of hay stuck to my clothes!

Andrei Petrov sounds a wonderful character and I like the way he emerged from Russia without you knowing why. It's fascinating how the imagination can bring forth chacrcters fully formed with their own identity. Wishing Love is Another Country lots of success, which I have no doubt it will achieve xxx

myraduffy said...

Thank you, Bill. I do enjoy a writing challenge. I'm not sure which one will pop up next!

myraduffy said...

Thanks, Patsy - I'm glad someone else has the same problem!

myraduffy said...

It's kind of you to take the time to post your comments, Joanna.I guess once a horse lover...etc.
I did enjoy writing this and it's put me in the mood for writing another.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for visiting with your wise words as always, Bill!

I bet you do, Patsy, as you're a prolific author!

Thanks for your lovely comment, Joanna - the horse background is definitely as selling point of Myra's book!

Rae Cowie said...

I love your reason for writing Love is Another Country, Myra -to remove the characters from your head. That was the reason I began writing. I had a set of characters who wouldn't go away! Interesting and exciting though that your characters forced a change of genre. What do you plan on writing next? Wishing you masses of good luck with both writing paths.

Myra Duffy said...

Thank you,Rae. My problem is I've a number of 'not-quite-finished' novels! I've started writing a new Bute novel, but I've another 'novel' which is a collection of interlinked stories set in and around George Square in Glasgow. I think I'll go with that...perhaps!