An Interview with Kerry Dwyer: Author & Teacher
Sylvia: Welcome Kerry. Please give our readers an introduction of yourself and a little about your book.
Kerry: Hello Sylvia. My name is Kerry Dwyer and I was born in the North of England and educated in the South. I worked in finance for more than two decades in the UK, USA and various countries in mainland Europe. I now live with my husband and daughter in the South West of France. I gave up finance and retrained as an English teacher (TEFL) after my daughter was born. I wanted to spend as much time as I could with her but I still needed to work. I currently teach English as a foreign language to adults by telephone and internet. “Ramblings in Ireland” is my first novel.
“Ramblings in Ireland” is the story of one particular walking trip that my husband and I took in the west of Ireland. As well as detailing the walks; it talks about the memories and musings that it inspired. It is not a guide book for rambling in Ireland.
My inability to read maps and Bertrand’s insistence that I lead the way meant that we inevitably went off the beaten track. This led us to reflect and reminisce on upon accents and accidents, family and friends, love and what it means to be alive.
It is a book with a lot of meanderings and tangents. I discuss French versus English and Irish culture viewed through me and my husband’s eyes.
Sylvia: Interesting travels. What inspired you to write your first book?
Kerry: “Ramblings In Ireland” was inspired by the country itself. Ireland is beautiful and the people are warm and friendly. We met some lovely people and saw some wonderful sites. You can’t help but be inspired there. I thought it was just going to be a diary but it turned itself into a book.
Sylvia: I’ve seen pictures of Ireland and you are right… very beautiful! Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Kerry: If there is one main message it is that you can only really understand another culture by experiencing it. There is really no other certain way. You may hear, read and even watch things on television about other cultures but there is no substitute for first hand experience.
Sylvia: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Kerry: I have said this before but I still feel that it is the best advice I can give. Write; just that write… Write for the love of writing. Get it all out. Worry about formatting, proofing and editing later. Once you have written the story that you want to write then you should consider what, if anything, you want to do with it.
If you decide to get your work published then have it professionally proofread and edited. Even if you self publish these steps are vital. I have seen very few self edited manuscripts that look professional.
Sylvia: Great advice. Many of the authors also share the importance of continually writing in addition to professional editing. What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?
Kerry: I haven’t done much marketing. I am in the process of arranging a blog tour soon. Only time will tell if it is successful or not. As an independent author, the most difficult thing about selling is raising my profile. You can find me everywhere on social networks, my blog, on the Independent Author Index, Goodreads and other websites and forums dedicated to readers and writers. So far the most successful has been word of mouth through my friends and family.
Sylvia: Yes, ‘word of mouth’ is golden… in business, as an author, etc., nothing like the endorsement of others! Why should we buy your book?
Kerry: The best way I can answer that is to direct you to the reviews that this book has had on Amazon and Goodreads. This one in particular will tell you why you should read my book.
“In a world which seems to be increasingly sterilised, globalised and homogenised, Kerry’s ramblings reminded me that there are still differences between countries and cultures which should be recognised and relished. Although Kerry is English, her husband is French and there are many little touches in the book where she not only interprets both Ireland and France through English sensibilities but also interprets Ireland as understood by a Frenchman.”
“This is one of those delightful yarns where nothing much happens – but it happens a lot. You can almost feel the calmness and serenity of rural Ireland as you read each page. Little details become important; small events assume a significance they would not normally have in a busy and crowded life. Ramblings In Ireland lets the reader step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday living to lose themselves in a more unhurried world with a warm and loving couple.”
Sylvia: Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Kerry: I write on my laptop so that I can take it anywhere. I like to sit out on my terrace overlooking my garden. That is only possible in the summer months of course. Writing also helps to speed a long train journey and I find the process very relaxing.
Sylvia: What projects are you currently working on?
Kerry: My second novel is the story of four women who meet up at a monthly book exchange. It is based on a book exchange that I go to here in France. This time it is fiction. I do have a few other ideas for future works that I would love to tackle but I think I need to finish one at a time.
Sylvia: What does your family think of your writing?
Kerry: My family has been absolutely marvelous and I could not have done this without them. My husband doesn’t speak very much English which is why the dedication to him at the front of the book is in French. He made sure I had the time to write and supported and encouraged me all the way through. My daughter also allowed me time and didn’t complain when meals were late or very rushed. Sometimes Bertrand would cook and it was let’s say experimental.
My parents read early drafts and allowed me to write their stories even though I sometimes gently made fun of them. They helped me to remember some forgotten stories to include in relevant parts.
My mother in particular loved this book and she did the art work for the cover. My mother is retired. She used to teach art and has been a working artist for many years. I was thrilled to be able to include her in this venture.
Sylvia: Wow, your mother did an excellent job. How wonderful that your family is very supportive of your writing. It is so important! What is your POWER WORD?
Kerry: I have a power phrase rather than a word ‘Eat that Frog’. I know it sounds odd but it gets me going. I read a motivational blog post about this. It stems from the assumption that if the worst thing you have to do in a day is to eat a frog then you might as well do it first. You don’t want to think to long about eating that frog either, get it done as soon as you wake up. If you have to eat three then eat the ugliest one first. Of course living in France puts a whole new slant on it but the phrase is synonymous with ‘get up and go’ in our household.
Sylvia: Ha Ha! It was kind of funny but very interesting. Kerry, thank you for interviewing with me! Please share your social media and book contact information.
Kerry: Thank you as well.
- Blog: http://kerrydwyer.net/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KerryDwyerAuthor?ref=hl
- Goodreads www.goodreads.com/author/show/6467112.Kerry_Dwyer
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/DwyerKerry
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ramblings-in-Ireland-ebook/dp/B008XJU98I/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345053557&sr=1-1
- Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ramblings-in-ireland-kerry-dwyer/1112597489?ean=2940044791848