I was delighted to find a lovely blogger right here in Mayo — What Danielle Did Next is a book blog run by a Sligo woman living in Ballina! Danielle was good enough to come on board for our mini tour to launch the Irish Publication in trade paper back of My Husbands Wives. She squeezed in a review and let me ramble on about writing, inspiration and words of wisdom!
Here’s a link to her blog:
And here’s the post:
Published by Aria Fiction on May 4th 2017
Better to have loved and lost, than never loved.
Paul Starr, Irelands leading cardiologist dies in a car crash with a pregnant young women by his side.
United in their grief and the love of one man, four women are thrown together in an attempt to come to terms with life after Paul. They soon realise they never really knew him at all.
The love they shared for Paul in his life and which incensed a feeling of mistrust and dislike for each other, in his death turns into the very thing that bonds them and their children to each other forever.
As they begin to form unlikely friendships, Paul’s death proves to be the catalyst that enables them to become the people they always wanted to be.
Hello lovelies! I’m so happy to be a part of the blog tour for MY HUSBAND’S WIVES by Faith Hogan. It’s always wonderful to host Irish authors on the blog but especially ones from my neck of the woods, the wild “wesht” of Ireland! 🙂 Today, I have a review of the book along with a wonderful guest post from Faith herself, so stick the kettle on, get comfy and find out more about your new Summer read! <3
MY HUSBAND’S WIVES is a story about women, more than about a man which was a blessed relief to be honest because Paul Starr did absolutely nothing for me. A cardiologist who dies in a car crash, accompanied by a young pregnant woman who survives, leaves his wife feeling bereft at the loss and confused at the realisation that he has two other grieving widows. While Paul may have brought them all together, it is their tale of forgiveness, self discovery and friendship that encapsulates the true love story of this book.
Evie, Grace and Annalise find their lives thrown into disarray at the news that the man who played such a big part in all their lives, in both good ways and bad has been lost. The news that he wasn’t alone when he died and his mysterious young companion Kasia may be carrying his child is almost enough to break them all together. Unwillingly forced into an uneasy friendship as they seek to discover the truth behind the man they all loved, these four women must face the sobering reality that their lives have been built on a lie. Despite the shock, these women find strength both within themselves but more importantly within each other and slowly they begin to rebuild their lives, leaning on each other for strength and friendship.
Each woman is different, each woman has their weaknesses and their inner power and as we revisit the past, we see both what attracted Paul to them in the first place and how they grow in his absence.
Hogan delicately weaves her story of these four women with subtle emotion and intrigue, a compelling plot and complicated and interesting characters. A beautiful, well-developed tale about the strength of women and the depth of friendships that can spring forth from the unlikeliest of circumstances, MY HUSBAND’S WIVES is the perfect summer read and one to add to those TBRs!
So, You Want To Write A Book?
What is the one question I get asked most often since being published? You would hope it’d be ‘tea or coffee?’ Wouldn’t you? No, it’s not even, ‘you must be worn out, would you like a nice comfy chair?’ No, the question I and most writers get asked is:
How do you write a book?
Well, that’s like asking me to tell you a long tale in a short story! But, if I’m honest, I never really tire of talking about writing – like anything that you love, it never gets boring – or at least not for me. I’m not sure about the people around me! The thing is, it’s always changing. Each book is different and really as I start a book there is a great deal of excitement. There’s a lovely tingly feeling that you get at the beginning of an adventure and I’ll be bouncing around the place filled with enthusiasm for a few days. To be fair, I probably should get out more J
The truth is you can either sit about and wait for the right time to write a book, or you can find a good chair, plant yourself in it and decide that you’re not going to leave until you have a hundred thousand words on paper. On a positive note, they don’t even have to be good words the first time out! That’s why we edit…
How do you start?
That’s another question. Again, each book is different. My first book and the book I’m currently writing started with the characters. I had and have very definite people, personalities and voices in my mind when I began to write. Basically, while I have an outline, it evolves as I move through the story, the characters lead the way to the end. This is what we call a character driven narrative. Most of my favourite books are written like this. Anne Tyler is probably the most prolific and you have a sense with her books that plot only serves to slow down her driven rendering of authentic character. I’m not yet where Anne has arrived!
One thing that’s concrete if you’re one of those people who is walking about intending to write a book ‘some day,’ and just waiting for the muse to strike, you could be waiting a long time. Most writers have to figuratively tie themselves to the writing desk – otherwise it’s all too easy to lose a day, a week, a month – yep, you can lose a lifetime in procrastination.
My advice is don’t wait for the inspiration, just get to it.
Where do you get your inspiration?
While it’s okay to say you can’t hang about waiting for the inspiration to fall into your path, you do need to have an idea before you start. The most infuriating thing writers say about inspiration is that it’s everywhere! I’m afraid I have to agree with that.
If you listen, it’s in overheard conversations. It’s in new headlines and small articles tucked at the bottom of the features page in your newspaper. It’s in buy and sell adverts – show me a woman who doesn’t wonder about a wedding dress for sale with unworn shoes and a blue garter thrown in for free?
My second book was inspired by a small abandoned bathhouse just eight miles down the road from where I live. I probably started to think of that story ten years ago, even if I didn’t realise it at the time.
The best stories are the ones from everyday life, they are international, they are quirky and ultimately themes like love, loss, betrayal and friendship are universal. Surely, the stories that touch us are the ones most worth writing about?
What to write?
If you’re seriously thinking of writing a story, think first of what you like to read. Chances are, if you read a lot, you’re learning more than you realise. Each story fits into a genre – pick the one that you like best. You already know that everything from a book cover to the language used is different across genres. If you’ve been reading chick lit for years, chances are you’ll make a better fist of it than setting your heart on writing a psychological thriller.
People say, you need to write what you know. I disagree – what did JK Rowling know of broomsticks and potions? I think you need to write about what grabs your attention. If you devour psychological thrillers at the rate of knots, then go ahead, you may be perfectly placed to write one of your own. My advice is save yourself a lot of time and effort, don’t decide on a genre based on a random top ten in the New York Times bestseller list. The odds are too high, it will all end in tears and a terrible waste of time and effort.
Final Words ofWisdom?
I’m not sure that I have any real words of wisdom, but above my desk I have hand written the following. I think when I look past my computer screen some days and I’m stuck for a word or a phrase or just five minutes more – these are the words that remind me why I’m a writer…
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
Oscar Wilde from Lady Windemere’s Fan.
About the Author
Faith Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, children and a very fat cat called Norris.
She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.
Her debut novel, ‘My Husband’s Wives,’ is a contemporary women’s fiction novel set in Dublin. It will be published by Head of Zeus on 4th of May 2017 in Ireland and is available in all good book shops. She is currently working on her next novel.