This morning I posted my review of Sarah Webb's new novel 'The Memory Box' (click here to read it), which was released today! It's a lovely, warm read which I recommend to every chick lit fan, so definitely add this one to your to-read list! I was lucky enough to get the chance to ask Sarah some questions about her new release; you can read the short interview below!
Can you tell us something about your new novel, ‘The Memory Box’?
The Memory Box is the story of an Irish woman, Pandora Schuster who on the eve of her thirtieth birthday discovers that she may have her mum’s heredity cancer gene, Breast Cancer Gene 1. This sends her into a complete tail spin, and makes her question her life and also the future of her nine-year-old daughter, Iris. Pandora is a single mum and she has never told Olivier, her ex-boyfriend that he has a daughter. So she travels to Paris to find him, with disastrous consequences.
Where did you find the inspiration for the plotline of ‘The Memory Box’? Did you incorporate any of your own life experiences in the book?
I’m not sure where the story came from to be honest. I’d read about the breast cancer gene and it just fitted this story. The characters grew and developed as I wrote the book and some of their passions are also my passions – art, family, Paris.
I was a single mum for seven years, so I understood Pandora’s struggle to work and look after her daughter, Iris only too well.
Which character in the novel did you most enjoy writing about and why?
Pandora Schuster, the main character. She’s strong and runs her own business, while looking after her daughter and her sister at the same time. I like giving my characters a challenge.
You’re not just an author of novels for adults, but have also written children’s fiction. How and why did you decide to start writing fiction, and did you start with writing for children or for adults?
I started writing for children. My first book was called Kids Can Cook and was published in 1996. I’ve written 34 books since then, 10 novels for adults and many books for children. I love writing for all ages and in many different genres. I hope I can continue to do so for many years to come.
The Memory Box’ is the second novel that focuses on the Shoestring Club. Can you give us a tiny hint on whether we will be able to read more about Pandora, Jules and the other Shoestring ladies in the future?
I won’t be revisiting the characters for the foreseeable future, but never say never!
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
1. Read – all great writers are great readers. It teaches you so much about plotting, characters, structure and good writing.
2. Write. A lot of people say that they’d love to write if they had the time. Make the time. Stick your bum to the chair and get on with it!
3. Write as often as you can, that way the story stays fresh in your mind.
4. Finish your book. The world is full of half-finished novels.
5. Never give up. If you truly want to be a writer, don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way. And if you fail the first time around, if your first novel is rejected, learn from the experience and write another.
My favourite quotation is this: Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
It goes for all things in life, including writing.
And last but not least, if you had to describe ‘The Memory Box’ in just three words, which words would you pick?
It’s always hard to describe your own work but I’ll give it a go – how about honest, heart-felt and warm.
** GIVEAWAY of Sarah Webb's 'The Memory Box'***
I am very pleased to let you all know PanMacmillan has kindly provided me with 2 copies of 'The Memory Box' to give away to some lucky readers! This giveaway is open to UK & Ireland residents.
Check out the synopsis of 'The Memory Box' below:
Pandora Schuster is about to turn thirty but that’s the least of her worries. In Dublin she has just been tested for a hereditary family illness and, expecting the worst, is desperate for her ex-boyfriend and father of nine-year-old Iris to be a part of her daughter’s life. There are two major problems: Olivier Huppert lives in Paris and he has no idea that Iris even exists. So when Pandora secretly tries to find Olivier during her Parisian birthday weekend, it all ends in disaster.
As the agonising weeks until her test results crawl by, Pandora manages to find some distraction with her kind and sensible boyfriend, Declan, and with her fellow Shoestring Club members as they time-share a fabulous new designer dress. Yet matters of the heart are not easily forgotten and Pandora is determined for Iris to know the truth about her handsome, charismatic father. So she creates a memory box filled with photos, letters and mementoes of the magical time she spent with Olivier in Paris.
But when the past and the present start to collide Pandora finds herself having to choose between her head and her heart...
In order to be in with a chance, please comment on this post explaining for whom you would make a memory box and what kind of things you would put in it, while also leaving your name and e-mail address.
This giveaway ends on the 20th of September 2013 at midnight (UK time). Winners will be chosen at random and will be notified the day after. Good luck! :)