AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Martina Reilly
We were delighted to get the chance to interview author Martina Reilly, whose latest novel Even Better Than the Real Thing? was released earlier this year. (Click here to read our review!) Martina tells us more about the book, her favourite reads and some exciting news about her next novel.
Please describe your latest book in 15 words or fewer.
It's about a conman and a talented artist who paints fake masterpieces for a living..
What inspired you to write Even Better than the Real Thing?
The inspiration came from a 'crime watch' programme that I saw one evening. (I love those programmes despite the fact that I think I recognise everyone and end up sleeping with the kitchen knives hidden in a drawer)
Anyway, in this particular crime, a mother and father were using their young daughter as a diversion in jeweler's shops. When she screamed out, the staff would rush to see what was wrong thus enabling her parents to replace pieces of jewelry they had been looking at with fake replicas. I wondered afterwards if the little girl had any idea what her parents were up to and I began to wonder what would happen if you discovered that your parents weren't who you thought they were.
Where do you do most of your writing?
I do most of it at home. We're in the middle of a house move at the minute so my writing space is not at all glamorous surrounded as it is by washing machines, sofas and TV's. I find that I can write anywhere though, where I am doesn't matter once I have silence.
What is your favourite book?
That's such a hard question! I have a number of books I love from various parts of my life. I suppose if I had to pick the one that moved me the most, it would have to be 'One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest' (book way better than the film) followed closely by 'Wuthering Heights'. (ditto)
Which part of Even Better Than the Real Thing was the most enjoyable to write?
Though I enjoyed writing all of it, the part where Larry and Eve visit Disneyland was a lovely piece to do. I enjoyed it because the Disney parade at the end of the evening had the same effect on me as it did on Eve. It really is quite magical and even though the cynical, adult part of you knows Disney is a big commercial wheel, it doesn't matter, the parade encapsulates total innocence and belief in the goodness of the world. Magical.
What are you currently reading?
I'm reading Tana French's 'Faithful Place' which was listed for an Impac award. It's crime fiction and wonderfully written. It's also fantastic to see crime fiction on an awards list
Who is your favourite heroine?
Another hard question! I suppose it has to be one who manages to make love triumph despite the odds.
Though she's not in Wuthering Heights all the way through, in fact, she has a bit part at the end, I loved Catherine Linton/Earnshaw and her relationship with Hereton. Their love for each other undermined Heathcliff's authority. I thought she was really plucky.
Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published authors?
There are two tips that I think most writers would give - the first is obvious - you cannot be a writer unless you write! Write every day even if it's only for an hour. Keep your story going by moving it along, word by painful word if you have toJ
Secondly, I would advise you to be yourself. Use your own voice and don't try and ape anyone else. Your story is just as valid as mine, but only if you remain true to who you are. There is only one you and your point of view is unique so share it.
Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
I have just finished another book. I have no title for it as yet, but it's working title is 'Right There All Along'. It's about three women - Zoe, June and Lily.
Zoe tells her boyfriend she's pregnant and despite the fact that he would rather eat his head, he vows to stand by her.
June wakes up one morning to find her husband has upped and left with no explanation while Lily discovers she has Alzheimer's and begins keeping a diary of her life to be read to her when the day comes that she can't remember anything.
This all takes part in the Prologue. Chapter One picks up the story five years later when these three characters find themselves thrown together.