The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye @SarahMarieGraye @rararesources #QandA #Giveaway (Open Int)

The SecondCup-FlatCover.jpg

I am delighted to be sharing a Question and Answer today with the author of The Second Cup Sarah Marie Graye. I read this book as part of the blog tour by Rachel At Rachel’s Random Resources, so when the chance to pose a few questions to the author came up I was definitely interested.

First Anniversary Blog Blitz: The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye

The Second Cup was originally published on 19 July 2017. The extended edition (includes character interviews) was published on 12 February 2018.

Amazon links

Amazon book page: https://getbook.at/SecondCup

Amazon author page: https://author.to/SarahMarieGraye

Lets see what the book is about first:

Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.

Faye knows her heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She also knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he’s taken his own life.

Faye is left wondering how to move forward – and whether or not Jack’s best friend Ethan will let her down again. And the news of Jack’s death ripples through the lives of her friends too.

Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and wondering if she was right to leave her first love behind. Poor Olivia is juggling her job and her boyfriend and trying to deal with a death of her own. And Jack’s death has hit Beth the hardest, even though she never knew him.

Is Beth about to take her own life too?

Question and Answer:

As I mentioned earlier I had the chance to read The Second Cup (my review here) so when the chance came to pose a few questions to Sarah I definitely wanted to know more. I have experienced depression from the stress of work, and life, I was lucky to see a Doctor who was able to see and help me. My issues were diagnosed and dealt with over a period of time, but the experience has made me aware of how quickly things can spiral into a down. It has left me with a sense of being more aware of how important your own mental health is and how you need to look after that and not just your physical health.

Q:  You’re open about suffering from mental health issues. How can authors help readers understand such issues?

A: If you write a character in the first person that has mental health issues, you are effectively allowing the reader to step inside their head and experience it for themselves.

If your reader is capable of empathy (and I like to believe that most people are) then they are able to put themselves in the position of that character and gain an understanding of what it must feel like for your own brain to be your enemy.

Q: How do you think society views suicide?

A: I think society is getting better at accepting suicide, especially when there are high profile cases, such as the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. If those who supposedly “want for nothing” can choose to end their lives, then it suggests that suicide is driven by something else.

For me, the biggest problem is that suicide is still viewed as being “selfish”. Many of those who take their own lives put their affairs in order first and take great pains to write a note explaining how this is nobody else’s fault – that nobody is to blame. These actions aren’t the actions of someone being selfish.

Q: What is the most important aspect of the story that you are trying to convey to the reader?

A: That picking up the pieces can be difficult, but it’s always worth it. Life can be really tough and bad things do happen to good people. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the way forward and to keep ourselves going. Each of my characters goes through their own issues but manages to come out the other side – more than a little battered and bruised, yes, but they still make it.

Q: What significance does the new cover of The Second Cup hold?

A: The original cover was chosen by my hybrid publisher. I was really unhappy with it because I felt it suggested a ghost story! When we parted ways, it was the perfect opportunity for me to pick something that I felt worked for the story.

At the heart of the story is the butterfly effect: the idea that you can be affected by something that happens to someone else – and in this case the suicide of someone you either didn’t know or haven’t seen for years.

A butterfly in a jar doesn’t stop being beautiful just because they’re trapped. Many of us are trapped or limited by our circumstances, but it’s still up to us how much we live, how much we spread our wings, within these limitations.

Q: What is next step on your literary journey?

I’m currently working on my second novel, The Victoria Lie, which will be out soon – it’s currently with my editor!

The Victoria Lie is the second book “The Butterfly Effect” series. Both Beth and Faye from The Second Cup feature in the book, but the main story focuses on a different group of friends. This time it’s the actions of one of these friends that are the catalyst, rather than the focus coming from outside the group.

During the writing process for book two, I’ve realised I have another story to tell about two of the friends, which I’m now planning as book three. The plan is still very fluid at the moment, but I’m hopeful that the initial idea is strong enough to work!


Thank you so much for your answers Sarah. I think society definitely has taken baby steps towards being more understanding. It helps that people are more open with their own experiences and are willing to talk about them, in doing this it breaks down the stigma that is attached. I also love this new cover, it says so much more than the previous one. I can’t wait to read The Victoria Lie and I wish you all the very best with that and also future writing xx

About the Author:

The Second Cup SarahMarieGraye-Headshot.jpg

Sarah Marie Graye was born in Manchester in 1975, to English Catholic parents. To the outside world Sarah Marie’s childhood followed a relatively typical Manchester upbringing, until aged nine, when she was diagnosed with depression.

It’s a diagnosis that has stayed with Sarah Marie over three decades, and something she believes has coloured every life decision, including the one to write a novel.

Sarah Marie wrote The Second Cup as part of an MA Creative Writing practice as research degree at London South Bank University – where she was the vice-chancellor’s scholarship holder.

Sarah Marie was diagnosed with ADHD in November 2017 and published an extended edition of The Second Cup in February 2018 that included character interviews so she could diagnose one of her characters with the same condition.

Follow Sarah on – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Goodreads

Win 3 x Signed copies of The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye  (Open Internationally)  ∗∗∗ENTER HERE∗∗∗

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

See what others on the tour think

The Second Cup Full Blog Blitz Banner.jpg

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

 

Advertisements

#BlogTour : Q and A : The Picture by Roger Bray @rogerbray22 : @rararesources

The Picture

I am delighted to be hosting a Question & Answer session today with “The Picture” author Roger Bray. Due to a busy reading schedule I was not able to read the book, so decided on asking Roger a few questions as part of the blog tour by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. But first a little bit about the book.

Synopsis:

A warehouse in Japan used as an emergency shelter in the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami. A distraught, young Japanese woman in dishevelled clothes sits on a box, holding her infant daughter. Ben, a US rescue volunteer, kneels in front of her offering comfort. They hug, the baby between them. The moment turns into an hour as the woman sobs into his shoulder; mourning the loss of her husband, her home, the life she knew. A picture is taken, capturing the moment. It becomes a symbol; of help freely given and of the hope of the survivors. The faces in the picture cannot be recognised, and that is how Ben likes it. No celebrity, thanks not required.

But others believe that being identified as the person in the picture is their path to fame and fortune. Ben stands, unknowingly, in their way, but nothing a contract killing cannot fix.

Q & A:

1/ What was the starting point, or inspiration behind this story?

I had half an idea which I wanted to explore about celebrity and was mentally throwing ideas around.  One morning in my courtyard on an overcast day the clouds parted a little and a beam of sunlight came down, really bright and focussed on a small area.  I starting thinking of how such an event could be used to illustrate a moment in time and came up with the eponymous picture.  Joining those two things together, one showing compassion and hope, the other greed and narcissism I put the two in opposition to each other and as is often true in life the ‘good’ side of the story didn’t really know there was anything untoward happening while the ‘bad’ side was focussed for its own ends regardless who got hurt.

2/Did you research this story and if so was there anything that really stood out for you?

I did a lot of research for the story, geographically as well as practical knowledge.  A lot of the research didn’t make it to the book but was invaluable in getting a better understanding of the loss and utter devastation after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.  What really stood out for me was the herculean efforts from locals and the wider community in the initial rescue and later recovery efforts.  There are many hundreds of stories of heroism and survival, most of which will never be told, but the ones I did find were awe inspiring.  Human capacity to help each other when it really matters was obvious in this event, and humbling to watch.

3/Now you have finished the novel and you have time to reflect, what in the story has inspired you?

What has inspired me is (tongue in cheek) that I finished it.  I have heard it said that writing the manuscript is the easy part, it is what comes after that is the most difficult.  Editing, re-editing, sending to editor etc etc.

Having gone through the process and reading the manuscript I was still amazed at finding typos right at the end (there are probably still some there to be found).  My real inspiration was my wife who stuck through the whole process and read the book over and over again looking for errors.

4/What 5 words would highlight the key factors in your story?

Love, compassion, hope, greed, selfishness.

5/What if any is the underlying message?

There are a number I think.   Life will find a way,  always try to do the right thing whenever you can and the cult of celebrity we have at the moment is the very definition of ethereal, it is based on lies and morbid fascination with others’ misfortune.  I would suggest to people instead of being glued to a TV screen getting a fix of reality TV they should help out at a local shelter, human or animal, help in a soup kitchen or volunteer abroad if they can.  If they want reality a TV is not going to give it to them.

6/Who are your favourite authors and why?

Tom Sharpe:  The funniest writer I have ever read.  His ability to turn the most innocent and innocuous situation into hilarious farce is brilliant.

John Gresham:  Brilliant story teller, packs a lot into his books can give a laugh and a shock in two sentences.

Robert Harris: He is not locked into any genre so each book is a new look at his ability as a writer, well researched and writes about areas I am interested in like Enigma and the Dreyfus affair.

Others: Leon Uris, Louis de Bernières, Gerald Durrell, Sebastian Faulks

Thanks very much for your interesting questions, I enjoyed answering them very much.  And thank you for the opportunity and inviting me onto your blog.

Thank you Roger so much for taking the time to answer. An absolute pleasure to be hosting you today and I wish you all the very best with your book xx

About the Author:

The Picture- Author photo.jpg

I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.
My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.

Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.

Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.

So here we are, two books published and another on track.

Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.

Social Media Links –  Twitter ~  Facebook  ~ Website

Other Blogger on the tour:

The Picture Full Banner.jpg

Many thanks for reading my post, a share or a like would be brilliant 🙂 xx