Thursday, 1 November 2018

Introducing Author Frances Garrood

I’m delighted to welcome author and blogger Frances Garrood to the Reading and Writing blog today. I very much enjoy the type of blog posts Frances writes, where she often takes a humorous or even satirical look at life, so I knew I'd probably enjoy her novels. And I do! I’m almost finished her latest book, Ruth Robinson’s Year of Miracles, and love the variety of interesting, quirky (and madcap) characters, the touches of humour and heart-warming insights into humanity. It’s also a good story.

Frances kindly agreed to write a little about the background to getting this book published but first here’s the blurb.

Ruth Robinson’s Year of Miracles



All Ruth Robinson ever wanted was the man of her dreams. But she lost the man, and got a baby instead…
Six months ago, Ruth Robinson had a regular job, a monthly salary and a comfortable flat to go home to. After quitting her job ready to go travelling, a momentary lapse of judgement put a major spanner in the works…

Now Ruth has a baby on the way and no place to call home…

With the father of her child AWOL and her parents less than impressed, Ruth decides to move in with her eccentric uncles. And when the Virgin Mary appears in their hen house, it is clear Ruth’s unplanned pregnancy isn’t the only ‘miracle’ she’ll be encountering this year…
Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

Writing the Novel
I’d like to thank Rosemary very much for inviting me to visit her blog.

You're most welcome, Frances!
Although this is my fourth published book, in fact I originally wrote it some years ago. My then publisher thought it needed a lot of changes, and I thought the novel was a bit too mad for most people’s taste anyway, and so I left it in the famous cyber drawer for some time.

More recently, a writer friend asked to see it. I have long since learned never to show my writing to friends and family, as they hesitate to say anything uncomplimentary, so I don’t necessarily get the truth. But I knew that this friend – an author herself – would shoot from the hip if necessary, so off it went. A short time later, I received an email from her saying that she absolutely loved it, and so I took another look at it then sent it off to my current publisher. She too loved it, and so Ruth Robinson was re-born. 

I’d love to say what the inspiration for the novel was, but the truth is, I’ve no idea. There are basically two kinds of writers: those who plan, cover their office walls with post-it notes, know the ages and interests and hair colour of all their characters, and generally know exactly where their novel is going; and then there are writers like me. I just begin writing a book, and hope it takes me somewhere. I have no idea what’s going to happen, who’s going to do what, and what’s going to happen in the end (probably the reason my one foray into the world of crime writing foundered so spectacularly!). I’d dearly love to be a planner, but I can’t somehow manage it.

I think of all my novels, the one I enjoyed writing the most was this one. It’s a mad romp of a book, with a pregnant heroine, eccentric twin elderly men, a pole dancer, a miraculous apparition and a couple of born-again Christians, to name but some of the characters. Even the original title – The Virgin of the Hen house – was a bit mad (even my publisher drew the line at that). It’s not a book I could ever have planned; it had to make itself up as it went along.

But if even a handful of readers have half the pleasure reading it that I had writing it, I shall be happy. Because that’s really why we write, isn’t it?
Absolutely, Frances. I can’t plot either and it certainly seems to work for you! Thanks so much for this interesting post.

About Frances
My main career was in nursing, and I was just about everything from ward sister (the best job in the world in those days!) to practice nurse. I was also a Relate counsellor for some years, which was very rewarding and which gave me a lot of insight into relationships (which is probably why my novels are very much relationship based). 
I started writing short stories while my four children were young, and then decided to tackle novels as the next logical step; a very different kind of challenge. My first husband died suddenly in 1992, and I subsequently re-married and moved to Wiltshire, where I spend my time riding my horse, singing in the church choir, doing some local voluntary work and seeing as much as I can of my eight grandchildren. 
You can follow Frances on her blog, website and on Facebook.

8 comments:

Joanna said...

What a lovely post. Thank you, Rosemary and Frances. Like Rosemary, I love Frances's blog and I adore her novels too, for the excellent writing, memorable characters and engaging humour.
I'm so looking forward to reading Ruth Robinson's Year of Miracles and am certain I'm in for a treat. So glad it came out of the cyber drawer! xxx

Carolb said...

Enjoyed that post so thank you Frances and Rosemary. Definite reminder that the stories lurking on the computer or in the cupboard can find the reader sometimes.

Frances Garrood said...

Thank you, Rosemary, and thank you Joanna and Carol for your kind comments. Joanna - I really hope you enjoy this novel. Very good luck with your new one!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Many thanks, Joanna - I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

Absolutely, Carol!

You're welcome, Frances - one of my readers on FB has downloaded it too!

Graham Edwards said...

I'm glad that I popped over. When I read Ruth Robinson I wasn't convinced that I had enjoyed it as much as Frances's other books. Perhaps 'enjoy' isn't the correct word because I enjoyed it immensely. Perhaps What I meant was that I didn't think it was as good. However I have been well outvoted by those of my friends to whom I have lent the book (sorry about the lost sales, Frances). I shall re-read the book despite the fact that I said that I probably wouldn't. I also said that I didn't think I'd remember the characters but I have remembered them quite distinctly.It just goes to show one (though show one what I'm not yet quite sure).

Moshe Rabinovich said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Frances Garrood said...

Graham, I think this is more of a Marmite book than my others. Whatever it’s future, it was worth it if only for the fun I had writing it šŸ™‚

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for commenting, Graham - the characters are certainly memorable!