Author Interview: Elizabeth Merry author of We All Die in the End
EM My name is Elizabeth Merry and I live in Dublin, Ireland. Here, I raised my family - all adults now - and I have two grandchildren, the apples of my two eyes! My idea of a good day would be to meet my daughters in town for lunch and then to spend the afternoon shopping, preferably for a beautiful bag! Then a glass of wine somewhere really nice, and finally dinner, with the boys as well, in an Italian restaurant. As Enid Blyton used to say - they arrived home, tired but happy.
JMR Your day out sounds lovely. Another bag lady!
JMR What is your writing background? How long have you been writing? When did you know you wanted to write? What writer(s) has influenced you?
EM I never really thought about writing until the children began asking for stories. I was always a reader though; when I discovered that "the cat sat on the mat" that was it - I was hooked. I made up stories for the children, and then I thought I might write them down, and that was how I began. Influences - Dickens for all his lovely adjectives and William Trevor for the shape of his stories.
JMR I confess, I don't know who William Trevor is. I will look him up soon!
JMR Are you a traveler? Have you included any locations in your work? Have you visited places for research? Do you have a favorite spot that inspired your writing?
EM I haven't traveled as much as I would like although I have been to most European cities. I went to S. Africa when my sister lived there, and to Canada a couple of years ago where my youngest son lives. I haven't used any of those places in my writing, not yet anyway. I grew up at the sea and nearly everything I write has the sea in it.
JMR I got a sense of your affinity for the sea in your book, We All Die In The End, it played a role in almost all your stories.
JMR Do you have a favorite historical female? A woman you admire for their place in history? Who and why?
EM My favourite woman in history is definitely Maud Gonne MacBride. She played her part in establishing Irish independence; she was fearless and determined, and of course she inspired all those beautiful poems by W B Yeats who was madly in love with her, not reciprocated, to his sorrow.
JMR Maud sounds fascinating. I'll have to read up on her.
EM Is Jane Austin overrated? Oh no, I love her books but I don't think they, or those of the Bronte sisters for example, are relevant today; they are to be enjoyed and relished for their unforgettable characters and wonderful storytelling.
JMR Confession. I adore Jane Austin. I have copies of all her books and reread them at least once every few years.
JMR What’s your favorite time period? Do you think any period is ‘overdone’ in books and movies? Is there such a thing as too much Tudor?
EM I don't have a favourite time period, unless it's right now. People are nostalgic for the "good old days" but there was a lot of privation and poverty long ago. Tudors are popular because of the excesses of Henry the eighth. His over the top life style; his autocracy and cruelty and selfishness made for great television. Although, having said that, I have a soft spot for those long dresses and all the satin and lace and velvet.
JMR Readership is dropping along with literacy rates and at the same time the number of authors/books is growing. Do you think there is a dumbing down of books these days? How do you stay true to yourself as a writer without catering to the masses?
EM Reading is still very popular here in Ireland and I don't think there is a dumbing down of books. When I'm writing myself I can only write down what's in my head - I never think of the public at all. Perhaps if I did I could buy more handbags!
JMR Ha. No, you have to stay true to yourself, otherwise writing becomes a chore and not a passion.
JMR Tell us about your writing. Genre, style? What’s your latest book? Where are they available?
EM I think my style - if I have one - developed over the years into a dark, quirky sort of style. Friends have asked me why I can't write "nice" stories. The short story shape and length seems to suit me but as regards genre I don't know - maybe darkly humourous?
My book is available on Kindle Amazon on ebook only. However I'm thinking about sorting out a paperback version too. I'm happy to be an Indie Author only it means you have to do all the promoting yourself and I find that difficult, but exciting too.
JMR How can people follow you? Do you have a website or blog we can follow? (list all your social media contacts)
EM I can be contacted on www.embookstuff.wordpress.com
and on twitter @elizabethmerry1
My author page on Amazon is: amazon.com/author/elizabethmerry
JMR What question were your hoping I’d ask, but haven't yet?
EM I thought you might ask who my favourite author is and so I'll tell you it's the young Canadian writer, Patrick de Witt. He has written four books so far, each one completely different from the others. I've read them all twice - so far. And I'm hoping for many more books in the future.
JMR I'll have to look him up! Thank you Elizabeth for taking the time to answer a few questions. Good luck with your book, We All Die in the End, and all your future writing. Click on the bookcover below to see more about Elizabeth's book.