2 May 2016

Author Q&A Session #72: With Margaret Leroy

Welcome friends and followers,

It's time for yet another new author Q&A session with another talented and best-selling author, Margaret Leroy, whose sensational new book, A Brief Affair, is an enthralling love story set during the WWII.

So without wasting a moment, let's chat with this fantastic author to know more about her book, her life and everything in between.

Stay tuned peeps!

Read the review of A Brief Affair

Me: Hello and welcome to my blog, Margaret. Congratulations on your new book, A Brief Affair . How will you express your feelings about this  book that has already won the hearts of so many readers?

Margaret: That moment when your book goes out into the wider world can be quite nerve-wracking. And it’s just so lovely when you get a warm response from readers!

Me: How did you research for your book that is based on Nazi Air Force in England? Can you tell us briefly about it?

Margaret: I read a lot of books – especially memoirs. I especially loved “Nella Last’s War”. She was a housewife in England during the Blitz, and she was also a very gifted writer. She tells you how it feels to have your house crack up around you, about the grit that comes down the chimney and the doors that won’t shut anymore. There’s also a strand of glamour in the novel, and I enjoyed researching that side of things – the perfumes, the cocktails, the music of the time.

Me: Did you travel extensively for the purpose of research, as you have diligently captured England, especially in its raw form during the World War II era with your words?

Margaret: I actually live in London, so I didn’t have to travel to research this story. Which was a bit of a shame, as travelling for book research is one of my favourite things! For my previous novel, “The English Girl”, which is set in Austria in the 1930’s, I travelled to Vienna with my family. It was a kind of treasure hunt, with a list of things I wanted to find: a great way to spend a week!

Me: Tell us one trait about your main character, Livia, that intrigues you the most.

Margaret: Livia is a widow, a mother of two young girls, and a talented photographer. When the bombing begins, she’s terrified – for herself, and of course for her children as well. One of the themes of the story is how she learns to be brave, which was something that interested me a lot. When you read about those times, you inevitably ask: Would I have been brave? Or would I have curled up in a quivering heap? I was interested in the idea that none of us is born brave, but that courage can be learned. And Livia learns it.

Me: How will you describe your journey so far as an author?

Margaret: I started out writing non-fiction, and I also wrote a children’s book. But I always knew I wanted to write adult fiction. It was a really big step for me to write my first adult novel, “Trust”, and it was a complete thrill when that book was televised here in the UK. And it was another big step when I started writing historical fiction. It’s quite a challenge to try and put yourself into the mindset of people who lived in another time.

Me: Was it always your one true dream to be an author?

Margaret: When I was a small child, I was always writing stories. Usually about elves and magic! But I also learned the piano, and from about age 12 the piano became the central thing in my life, more important for a few years than writing. In my twenties I started writing again, and I’ve never stopped.

Me: What other passions do you have apart from writing?

Margaret: Music is still very important to me. And other passions? I’d have to say my daughters – even though they’re in their twenties now!

Me: What's next up on your writing sleeves? Please tell us briefly about it.

Margaret: I’m doing something quite new to me. My last three novels have been set in World War 2, but now I’m writing a time-slip novel. Some of it has a contemporary setting, and some of it is set over a thousand years ago, in the New Forest, a very beautiful part of England where I grew up. I think it’s going to be an interesting challenge for me!

Me: Thanks Margaret for joining me today on this interview session. I wish you luck for all your future endeavors.

Margaret: Thank you so much, Aditi. It’s been great sharing some thoughts about writing with you.

Margaret's Bio:

I went to Oxford to study music, at St. Hilda's College. In my twenties I tried all sorts of things - music therapy, play-leading with children with disabilities, work in a toy shop, teaching. I also got married - and divorced. Finally I found work I really enjoyed, as a social worker: I qualified at Leicester University, and worked in psychiatry and then in child protection. It's a reviled profession but I found it fascinating: though, intriguingly, in my writing social workers are more likely to be villains than heroes. Around this time I met Mick, who is now my husband - and I started writing again. I became a full-time(ish) writer after our younger daughter was born.

Connect with Margaret on: WebsiteGoodreads


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