Welcome Cathy Mansell, author of Her Father’s Daughter.
The quick five:
1. Why do you write fiction?
It’s my daily fix. I can’t exist without writing. I suppose fiction is somewhere I can go to lose myself. When I’m creating a new fictional world and the characters become real to me, I don’t want to leave them. (Who knows what they might get up to while I’m gone?)
Her Father’s Daughter is a romantic mystery set in Ireland during the late 1950s. At that time most young people had no choice but to leave the country in search of work. Sarah Nolan, the protagonist in the book, is lucky to find employment in Cork city, but her parents totally oppose her leaving Dublin. The reader will want to know why, especially when jobs in Ireland are like gold. Her Father’s Daughter was inspired in Cork city where the book is set, and where I went many times to research the story. The book’s theme is the Magdalene homes of Ireland, and I set my romantic mystery around this issue because it was very much in the news at the time.
3. Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
At first, I thought my books would appeal to the older generation, women who had lived and experienced life, particularly women of Ireland. But, I was surprised to find that they also appeal to a younger generation of women who want to know what life was like back in the 1960s.
4. Please describe your writing routine.
I like to start my writing day by nine in the morning, but that doesn’t always happen. Since my books were published, I find it harder and harder to get to the writing. There are other important distractions, such as promotional stuff to be sent off or dealt with, and emails that need my attention before I can finally get to do what I love. Once I get there, I work on and off for most of the day, and evening, unless something urgent calls me away.
5. What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Hold on to your dream and while you are waiting, gather all the advice you can on your genre. Act on it and learn from it. If you do, it will pay off and you will get there in the end. Perseverance is the key!
More about Her Father’s Daughter:
Set in the 1950s Ireland, twenty-year-old Sarah Nolan leaves her home in Dublin after a series of arguments. She has taken a job in Cork city with the Gazette, a move her parents strongly oppose. With her limited budget, she is forced to take unsavory lodgings where the property owner cannot be trusted. Soon after she settles in, Sarah befriends sixteen-year-old Lucy, who has been left abandoned and pregnant.
Dan Madden is a charming and flirtatious journalist who wins Sarah’s heart. He promises to end his relationship with Ruth, but can Sarah trust him to keep his word?
It is when her editor asks to see her birth certificate that she discovers some long-hidden secrets. Her parents’ behavior continues to baffle her and her problems with Dan and Lucy multiply.
Will Dan stand by Sarah in her time of need? Will Sarah be able to help Lucy keep her baby? Or, will the secrets destroy Sarah and everything she dreams of for her future?
How to connect with Cathy: