Today I am pleased to welcome the Going Back blog tour to The Love of a Good Book.
I would like to thank Rachael for this wonderful guest post and Lucy at Orion for inviting me to be part of the tour.
Rachael English is a presenter on Ireland’s most popular radio programme, Morning Ireland.
She lives in Dublin, but was born in England and grew up in County Clare on Ireland’s west coast.
GOING BACK is her first novel. Rachael was shortlisted for the most-promising newcomer award at the 2013 Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards.
Follow Rachel on Twitter!
Let’s talk books:
I’ve always loved books. All sorts of books. From brightly coloured paperbacks to forbidding looking volumes with hard, dark covers, I’ve read them all. As a journalist, I also read quite a lot of non-fiction. That’s not to say I enjoy everything I read, but I’d like to think that I’m reasonably open-minded. Plus, there’s something wonderful about delving into a book by an unfamiliar author and finding a new favourite.
This may sound a bit naive, but when I was working on Going Back, I never gave much thought to what ‘type’ of book I was writing. All I knew was that I had a group of characters I enjoyed spending time with and a story I loved telling. I also wanted to try and capture a time and place.
Oh, and I was spurred on by one particular image: a girl I’d seen on a train who was enjoying her book so much that it was practically welded to her nose. If the train had gone up in smoke, she’d probably still be sitting there quietly turning the pages while chaos unfolded around her. I just hoped that if I got my book ‘right’, somebody somewhere might devour it in the same way.
And that is the very best thing about having a book published. When you meet a reader and they want to talk about the story or the characters, the feeling is just brilliant. What’s especially great is when they make a really astute observation about a character, and you find yourself wondering why you never thought of that! (I should explain that even though Going Back is only widely available in Britain now, it’s been on sale in Ireland for a year, so it’s managed to clock up a few readers.)
What’s a little disconcerting, though, is the mania that some people have for trying to pigeonhole books – for, literally, judging a book by its cover. When Going Back was first published, I was often asked what ‘type’ of book it was, and I never really got any better at answering. ‘It’s just a story,’ I’d say, ‘about two people and their friends and families. And mostly the sun shines, but in one chapter it snows. And there’s a cat. And a fight.’ Terrible, I know – but I worried that if I was too quick to put a label on the book, I’d limit the number of potential readers.
I was reminded of this recently when I met a taxi driver whose car I’d been in several months before. The first time we met, he’d told me that, even though he was normally a ‘thrillers man’, he had just finished Me Before You and had absolutely loved it. I recommend The Fault In Our Stars. Thankfully, he liked that too, and the next time we met we swapped book tips. He recommended new writers to me, and vice versa.
Of course, times are tough, and that marketing and advertising departments have to think about promoting certain books in certain ways. But wouldn’t it be terrible if, as readers and writers, we started to shut down our options? If we forgot that good books come in all shapes and sizes – and in every genre?
How do you know where you belong?
In June 1988, Elizabeth Kelly’s parents think she belongs at home in Ireland. Her boyfriend is certain of it. Unwilling to settle down just yet, she decides to spend the summer in Boston with her college friends.
The next four months change all of their lives. Elizabeth surprises herself by falling for Danny Esposito, a restless charmer with a troublesome family.
Almost a quarter of a century later, Ireland is once again gripped by recession. A new generation looks to America, awakening memories of a golden summer for their parents. When a crisis occurs, Elizabeth returns to Boston where she is drawn back into the life she once lived. But will she be able to reconcile the dreams of her twenty-year-old self with the woman she has become?
GOING BACK is a story of family, friendships and love, of difficult decisions and lifelong consequences.
Buy Going Back on Amazon!