Thursday 7 February 2013

Guest Author ~Ruth Mancini

Guest Author

I am delighted to introduce  Ruth Mancini

Photograph courtesy of the author

Ruth is the talented author of Swimming Upstream 

Swimming Upstream (18 Oct 2012)
Ruth Mancini; 1. edition (15 Nov 2012)
Swimming Upstream is available in paperback and on Kindle

Swimming Upstream is a life-affirming and often humorous story about a young woman’s pursuit of happiness. Set in the early 1990s in Cambridge and London, it is also a story of friendship, love and divided loyalties – and the moral choices that Lizzie ultimately faces, when the chips are down.

Ruth, welcome to Jafffareadsoo and thank you for being our guest author today.

What inspired you to become an author? 

I have always been an avid reader. I wrote my first (unpublished!) book when I was 9.

Where did you get the inspiration for Swimming Upstream? 
I wrote “Swimming Upstream” after a painful relationship break up when issues from my own past came rearing up to haunt me. I wanted to read something similar, to know that someone had been through what I had and survived. I read some self-help books, but couldn’t find a novel that had issues that I could relate to. So I decided to write one. But I also wanted to write a story with lots of drama. I love psychological thrillers so wanted to create a story that had some of that aspect to it too.

Do you write stories for yourself, or other people?

Both. I love writing because I enjoy the creative process, but I also write for women like me, basically, who are anywhere between 17 – 77! I write for anyone who has loved and lost, who has battled with life, who has ever felt low, tired and alone. Or who just wants an interesting story to read!

Do you have a special place to do your writing?

No. I share a computer with my children! We now have two computers in our small study so that I get a look-in when we are all at home.

Can you tell us what are you writing next?

I have an idea for my next novel but I haven’t started it yet. I am writing regular blog posts for my website though.

Which writers have inspired you?

Anne Tyler, Jane Smiley, Harper Lee, Nick Hornby, Elizabeth Gilbert, to name but a few…

And finally for fun..If you could invite three authors to your dinner table, who would you choose and why?

That’s so difficult!

If I was in the mood for a deep, interesting conversation then probably Dr Raj Persaud, Khaled Hosseini and Alain de Botton. 

If I wanted a light-hearted fun evening then maybe JoJo Moyes, Nick Hornby and Elizabeth Gilbert! 

Ruth very kindly asked me to read a copy of Swimming Upstream - here are my thoughts.

Lizzie Taylor feels that she has everything she has ever wanted, but when an unexpected road accident forces her to re-evaluate her life, she realises that she is far from happy, and leaving her reasonably settled life in Cambridge behind, she sets off on a journey to London. The book is set in the boom years of the 1990’s, and from the narrative, is it obvious that the author is familiar with both Cambridge and London, and uses her knowledge of this era to good effect. The story is both entertaining and enlightening in equal measure and yet, underneath the humour is a story of self discovery and the realisation that life sometimes turns out very different from the way in which we thought it would.
I found the book easy to read; the narrative flows well and encourages a large amount of emotional investment in the characters, so much so, I really cared about what happened to Lizzie, she could have been someone I once knew. Overall, there is poignancy to the story which tugs at the heart strings and the ending when it comes is well thought out and in keeping with the theme of the story.

As a debut novel, the book has much to commend it, and I hope to be able to read more from this talented author in future novels.

Ruth,  thank you so much for spending time with us, Jaffa and I have loved having you as our guest author today. 

We wish you lots of success with your writing career. 

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