Hello Reading Friends!
Autumn has well and truly arrived here in northern Scotland, with chillier evenings that are perfect for snuggling with a great book. One of the reasons I love what is sometimes described as emotional or women’s fiction is that relationships, and particularly women’s relationships, are written so well. And today’s guest , Kerry Fisher is a master of the genre. If I sound as if I’m fan-girling, it’s because I am!
For those new to Kerry’s writing, you are in for an absolute treat, as she has a lovely back-catalogue to enjoy.
But enough from me, let’s get started…
Welcome to an author heart-to-heart💗, Kerry and as we settle in can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hello there Rae! Thank you for inviting me onto your blog. I’d always loved reading and writing but thought for ages that writing for a living was something that was only available to people with publishing connections (or people somehow different from ordinary me). I studied French and Italian at university and spent most of my twenties living in Italy, Spain and Corsica, teaching English and working as a holiday rep. Through my work as a holiday rep, I started writing guidebooks and eventually retrained to be a journalist back in the UK. I was hopeless at that – I covered real life stories for magazines and was forever telling people ‘I’ll forget you said that because your mother would be so upset if she saw that in print.’ When I got a job as a book reviewer, I started to think that maybe I could write fiction instead, but I was ridiculously naïve about how difficult it is a) to have the self-discipline to sit down day in, day out, to write a book that might never see the light of day and b) to get published. But in the end, giving up felt slightly worse than carrying on (though often marginal and my husband did start suggesting alternative careers –‘Did you see that the National Trust were advertising for shepherds?’). However, after lots of online creative writing courses learning the craft, five years of rejections from over 120 agents, I finally managed to get a book deal and an agent on the same day!
What an inspirational story, and thank goodness you kept the faith, Kerry! We would love to hear more about your books and writing…
I write contemporary women’s fiction about women who’ve lived long enough not to expect the fairytale. I try to reflect the real lives of women who’ve got it wrong, got it right, made mistakes, done things they are ashamed of, brought up families, loved their kids but not necessarily always liked them, negotiated the complicated dance steps of marriage, found the courage to follow their dreams or simply to ditch the people holding them back
The sort of stories heart-to-heart💗 readers love… Let’s focus on your latest release. What inspired you to write Other People’s Marriages? And what do readers enjoy about your story?
My latest book, Other People’s Marriages, is about three lifelong friends in their sixties – two of them had a fall out over twenty years ago but now want to bury the hatchet. The third member of the group is terrified that this late stage reunion will bring a secret to light that two of the women have been keeping for years with the potential to destroy both marriages and friendships.
There aren’t enough stories about older women in fiction – women over fifty in literature tend to be dismissed as old but in my experience, so many women of that age and way beyond are vibrant, sassy and up for adventure and romance. It’s been so lovely to receive messages from women who’ve absolutely related to the life stage I’ve written about: kids leaving home and starting families themselves, retiring from work, taking stock of their marriages, looking around and thinking, ‘Is this it?’ as well as seeking out new challenges and wringing every last bit of joy out of life. I’ve also had lots of readers tell me about their long-term friendships and how they have sustained them through the ups and downs of life.
I couldn’t agree more Kerry, it was fabulous to read about women over fifty, and readers can check out my 5 star review here… But when you have some downtime, which authors do you enjoy?
I love authors who write about complex family dynamics and I’m very much attracted to observations about snobbery and social hierarchy. I’m always excited when I see a new book by Jojo Moyes, Jodi Picoult or Liane Moriarty but there are also lots of lesser-known authors who write brilliantly. My latest find is Helga Flatland who drills down into the nuances of family life in a way that is so relatable, yet unflinching. I also love Suzanne Bugler’s books – I hope she eventually writes more. Recent reads have been The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller and Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid – both of which I loved.
Thanks for fantastic recommendations, Kerry. Such A Fun Age is a thought-provoking read and The Paper Palace is one that keeps crossing my radar. I love discovering new authors and will add Helga Flatland and Suzanne Bugler to my reading pile… But, can you tell us a little about what’s next?
Next…I’m halfway through a book that was inspired by an article I read in a newspaper (I never know when something might spark off an idea!) It still has all the elements that I love – family members viewing the same events in a completely different way from each other, which often puts them at loggerheads – but leans slightly more towards the psychological suspense than my other books.
In my private life, my gorgeous Lab/Giant Schnauzer died during lockdown, which, although I miss her so much, has opened up other possibilities. She was such a loving dog and helped me through some very dark times when my son had cancer (I write about this in my non-fiction memoir, Take My Hand: https://amzn.to/2xXqZH9) I’m not ready yet to take on a new dog (dog grief has turned out to be a very real and powerful emotion). However, I’m going to make the most of my temporary freedom as I cannot imagine the future without ever having a dog again. My husband and I are planning to go and live in Rome for a bit at some point in the next year when travel hopefully gets easier. My son is well and has just started work, my daughter is in her second year at university and it feels as though there’s a lot to look forward to after several rather turbulent years. I will keep stubborn faith in my mantra that good times always come again!
We wish your son continued good health, Kerry and can’t wait to see how your Italian adventure influences your writing. Thanks so much again for sharing with us today.
To discover more about Kerry and her writing, follow the links below, but in the meantime, stay safe and happy reading!
To connect with Kerry and keep up-to-date with her latest releases, just follow her social media links…
Other People’s Marriages: https://amzn.to/3DxdqeK