Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Interview with Jill Barry

Jill Barry was born in Wales. She swapped secretarial work for aviation and was a trolley dolly before they used trolleys. Later, marriage and family went hand in hand with running a Wiltshire guesthouse. 
A big life change brought her back to Wales where she studied for her MA in Creative Writing and successfully submitted short stories before tackling a novel. Jill Barry has had two novels published, with two more currently under revision. 

What do you find the most fun part in writing?

It’s amazing when the characters begin to write the story and the action cracks along. Which character from your book would you most like to trade lives with? My main character’s best friend is married to a gorgeous Spanish architect called Rafa. They have a son plus a babe on the way and Kirsty is a lovely, warm friend to Andrea and second mum to young Josh.

Fictional characters have flaws. Do you have a flaw you would like to be rid of?

Ooh yes, please! I wish I wasn’t so picky about apostrophes and grammatical errors in real life. Having said that, a certain tourist brochure I picked up states, ‘Many fine houses in Penarth were once homes of ship owners and coal magnets.’ It would be sad to miss such a gem as this.

Where’s the craziest place you ever sat down to write? 

I tend to be conventional: writing room, train, museum … but on one occasion in the National Portrait Gallery, after I’d put away my notebook to await my son’s arrival, I got chatting to Rosa Branson, artist and sister-in-law of Richard. She asked me what I did and when I confessed I was a writer she told me I ‘looked artistic.’ I wouldn’t have recognised her but had recently read a newspaper feature about her work. Serendipity.

What would your most indulgent day consist of?

I’d get together with my three closest friends plus my two nieces who are like sisters. That perfect 24 hours would begin with a ride on the London Eye, complete with glass of bubbly, followed by a Thames Clipper trip to a riverside restaurant. We’d be chauffeured to a west end matinee (Miss Saigon’s coming) followed by a gossipy dinner at our luxury hotel looking out at the city by night. Next morning, after a leisurely breakfast, there’d be time for a spot of shopping before we all turned into pumpkins.

What kind of music most inspires you?

Bizet’s Pearl Fishers’ Duet sends tingles down my spine, yet calms me. The Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations makes we want to dance. But I like absolute quiet when I’m writing.

Dr Andrea Palmer, young widow of a military hero, juggles a demanding job and family. Colleagues on a clinical trial, Andrea and Dr Keir Harrison, prowl round each other until, at a Montreal conference, she lets down her defences. But, heading home, she makes clear her worry about letting him into her life. He’s persistent but a spiteful nurse makes trouble and Keir contemplates moving to Canada.


Thank you Jill, for sparing the time to talk to us today. We wish you every success with your books. Best wishes, Freda

Interviews on the RNA Blog are carried out by Freda, Henri and Livvie. They are for RNA full members only. If you are interested in an interview, please contact: freda@fredalightfoot.co.uk 


Sandra Mackness said...

Thanks, Freda for inviting me along and providing the intriguing questions.

Georgina Troy said...

Great interview, I love the sound of your indulgent day off!

I can't wait to read, A Life Less Lonely.

Anonymous said...

Lovely interview, and great to get to know you here. I love your choice of music :) Good luck with A Life Less Lonely!

Toni Sands said...

Thank you, Georgina. I hope you enjoy the book. A very dear friend did the Consultant's PA job for real so I'm indebted to her. I'll say no more, for fear of spoilers!

Weren't they great questions, Helena? Freda and team do such a good job. Thanks for dropping by.

Gwen Kirkwood said...

I looked in out of curiosity and I am so glad to be here. Your life and your book both arouse my interest. Sometimes I think I should stop writing and read all the books I would like to read. Very best wishes
Gwen Kirkwood

Toni Sands said...

Gwen, thank you so much. I'm glad you called in too. No, please don't stop writing! But I know exactly how you feel. I'm told A Life Less Lonely is sensitively written and that's comforting in view of the issues explored along with the romance.

Unknown said...

Oh, fun interview. And an intriguing sounding book. I wondered why you picked Montreal for your couple's conference

Toni Sands said...

Thanks, Ann for commenting and I hope you'll read the book and enjoy it. I wanted to take Andrea and Keir away, in a situation where they'd need to work as one unit and see what happened! I loved Canada's eastern seaboard when I visited it a while back so chose Montreal for this reason.

Kate Blackadder said...

Jill, have downloaded A Life Less Lonely and look forward to reading it.

Rachael Thomas said...

Great interview and will certainly have to read A Life Less Lonely!

Jill Barry said...

Thanks, Kate. Do let me know what you think. And Rachael, this is the book whose first chapter was entered in the Mills and Boon New Writers comp but didn't get anywhere. I'm so pleased I finished the book! Jill Barry now has an author page on Amazon Kindle. Phew.

Jill Barry said...

This is probably the first time a guest author has managed to appear on the blog under three different names...

Unknown said...

Nice to look artistic, Jill!

Sam Tonge

Jill Barry said...

Thanks, Sam. You're an excellent PR person.