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
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