Today, Irish author Ciara Geraghty talks about her fabulous new book ‘Now That I’ve Found You’.
- Can you tell us about your new book ‘Now That I’ve Found Youâ€™?
Oh, can I say that it is a book that is so close to my heart. Its main theme is parenting and I can safely say that I am in the trenches of that treacherous theme as we speak – I have a 16 year old, a 13 year old and a 6 year old. Itâ€™s a hard job and I never thought I would be one of those parents to consider it a â€˜jobâ€™. Or â€˜Work.â€™ Oh, but it is! So, so much!! And I know lots of parents but I donâ€™t know many who think theyâ€™re doing a brilliant job. We all just seem to be getting by. Limping along. And I think itâ€™s because, well, itâ€™s lots of things. First of all, we make a SOLEUM OATH not to be the parents our parents were. And thatâ€™s not to say that our parents were pants. But, we think – idealistically, when the children are faint blue lines along a stick we have just peed on – we will be better. We will be more patient. We will be more empathetic. And there we are, sixteen years later, saying exactly the same things our parents said to us and we cry WHY? WHY? It was all going to be so differentâ€¦
Anyway, itâ€™s about parenthood. But – and youâ€™ll be glad to hear, Iâ€™m sure – itâ€™s got ups as well as downsâ€¦.Hereâ€™s a snifter:
The main character is Vinnie Boland, a single father who is struggling to raise his teenage daughter and his young son on his own – with insistent help from his elderly mother. He is doing the best he can but remains convinced heâ€™s falling short. Vinnieâ€™s wife – his childhood sweetheart – left the family over a year before the story begins and some part of Vinnie wishes she would come back, if only so he wonâ€™t be the only one his children can blame when they get older and realise what a mess heâ€™s made of things. Then he meets Ellen, a reclusive woman who used to be a doctor, who used to have a life and a burgeoning family of her own. One day, Vinnie has a panic attack while heâ€™s driving Ellen to one of her weekly physiotherapy sessions in his taxi and she gets into the driverâ€™s seat and takes him to hospital. Itâ€™s the first time Ellen has driven a car since she was involved in a horrific car accident over a year before. This simple act, getting behind the wheel again, releases something in Ellen. The panic attack – its causes and its consequences – forces Vinnie to stop and think about his life. The pair embark on a cautious friendship.
The story is about life and how it throws things at you when you think that it should have stopped that carry on. Itâ€™s about second chances, and all the chances after that. Itâ€™s about how you should grab them. How you should expect the worst. And hope for the best.
- The paperback cover of the book is very striking. Do you have much involvement in the design of it and do find yourself judging books by their covers?
Of course I judge books by their covers!! I am a human person!! But when I know / love the author I will buy their book regardless of the cover. But when itâ€™s someone I donâ€™t know, itâ€™s the look of the cover that will tempt me to lift the book from the shelf and turn it over and read the blurb, then – if I like the blurb – open it and read the first paragraph and then – based on this paltry information – I will buy the book. So yes, it is very important. The cover. Because we are a fickle, fickle brand of mammal and thatâ€™s what makes the design people in a publishing house exceptionally important and talented.
When I first saw the paperback cover for ‘Now That Iâ€™ve Found You’, I loved it. It spoke to me of the story that was to come and I think that is the essence of a good cover. Â
- If ‘Now That I’ve Found You’ was to be adapted for screen. Who do you imagine would play the roles of Vinnie and Ellen?
Definitely John Cusack for Vinnie. And Ellen? Could we get Cate Blanchett? And she can do a great Irish accent!! (She played â€˜Veronica Guerinâ€™ remember?).
- Do you have a favourite character from the story?
Of course!! But itâ€™s like if you had a favourite child – You could never tell!!
- What was your favourite book from 2014?
â€˜How Many Letters In Goodbyeâ€™ by Yvonne Cassidy. Yvonne is a friend of mine but this is in no way related to my choice. Yvonne is someone I met at my first visit to the Writers Week in Listowel, Co. Kerry. I was alone at that festival. I was unpublished and had no writing allies, in my life, or at the festival. Yvonne – and her friends Emma McEvoy and Bernie Furlong – took me in like a stray cat. Made me realise that you donâ€™t have to be published to be a writer. You just have to write. I read Yvonneâ€™s first book, â€˜The Other Boyâ€™, as a manuscript, on dogeared, tea-stained A4 pages and knew that I would love anything this writer wrote because she made me feel. She made me bawl. She made me laugh. And â€˜How Many Letters In Goodbyeâ€™ is no different. It takes you, in careful hands, into a world that you might otherwise have never known (a coming-of-age story of a young Irish lesbian in America) and this is what great fiction does – it brings a world, that you donâ€™t know anything about, to life. This is my favourite book from 2014. It should be everyoneâ€™s favourite book.
- And finally Ciara, do you have any exciting new projects coming up on the horizon?
Oh yes I do, and Iâ€™m very excited about it! Iâ€™m working on a new novel. The â€˜working titleâ€™ is â€˜This is Nowâ€™ and it centres on the lives of five seemingly unrelated characters. There is [what I hope will be] an â€˜explosiveâ€™ prologue that involves all the characters (one of them dies!!) and then we go back, to particular incidents in each of the charactersâ€™ lives that form them, that make them the people they become. I suppose itâ€™s about how events in your life inform on the person that you eventually become. Iâ€™ve always wanted to write a novel like this – different characters, interwoven in some way, to produce some type of a narrative arc. Hopefully, this is it!!
Now That Iâ€™ve Found You by Ciara Geraghty, out now published by Hodder, Â£6.99 Â© Ciara Geraghty 2014
You can buy Now That I’ve Found You from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.