Wednesday, 1 February 2017
Mary's The Name by Ross Sayers - Blog Tour
Welcoming Ross Sayers to So Many Books, So Little Time and today is my turn on the blog tour, apologises the post isn't as early as I had hoped, we ran into some internet gremlins but we are cooking with gas now. You can find my review for this lovely wee book HERE.
Ross very kindly took some time out to answer some questions about his new debut novel, Mary's The Name.
What made you pick Mary specifically as the protagonist, her age, being a girl etc?
I had been experimenting a lot with child narrators, working out what makes them believable. I wrote a lot of stories about young boys, so to get out my comfort zone, I chose a girl for the story I had in my mind at the time. Turned out the story had legs! I was quite nervous to show my early drafts to female readers, but thankfully, I seem to have picked a winner in Mary. Making her eight years old is helpful from a story point of view; she understands a good amount but isn’t quite clever enough to work out what’s really happening in some situations.
The more Scottish stories the better! They say write what you know, so I started the book in my hometown of Stirling. When it came to finding a more remote location for the rest of the book, I knew I wanted one of the islands. It really was a bit of a random pick, but I loved visiting Portree and hope to get back very soon.
How did the idea come about?
It was a case of the story coming to me bit by bit. Once I had Mary, I wanted a unique relationship for her, so her Granpa came into the story. Then I wanted an unlikely place for her to go, so I chose to have Granpa work at a bookies, where she goes to help. Once I decided on a robbery happening at the bookies, the rest of the story came from there…(no spoilers here!)
It was very well constructed, is this the first novel you have written?
That’s very kind, thank you! It is indeed. I have a story structure I like to use, to ensure the story is complete and satisfying. However, if an idea comes to me which disrupts the structure a little bit, I’m happy to go off-track and wing it!
Tinder, we have to talk about that, what made you come up with that idea?
So, having used Tinder before, I knew just how many people are on it, and how easily you can have your profile pop up on their phone. I hadn’t heard of anyone doing it before, so I set up my profile as the book’s cover, as well as a bio about how I would only talk about Mary’s the Name if I matched with them! Most girls thought it was funny and I had lots of fun chatting to them. I was a bit embarrassed, to be fair, but knowing I would get a good story and blog post out of it made it easier. There was a great reaction online, thankfully!
What is next for Ross?
I’m currently planning out novel number two! It’s looking likely it’ll be set around where I live, more specifically in the Bannockburn area of Stirling. It’ll feature some high school pupils getting into trouble with the law when they should be in class!
What is your favourite book of all time?
I don’t know if I have a definite number one? It’s too hard to choose! But given how much I love humour in books, I’ll give a special mention to two which made me genuinely laugh out loud: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, and True Grit by Charles Portis.
What are you reading?
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon. I’m really enjoying it so far, and the little girls in the story remind me of Mary!
Where can fans contact you?
You can find me on Twitter (@Sayers33), Instagram (Sayers33), and I have a Facebook author page too. There’s also rosssayers.co.uk, where I blog about my experiences as a writer, and you can find the Tinder blog there!
Anything else you would like to add?
Just to say thank you so much for having me, Lainy! I’m really glad you enjoyed Mary’s the Name, and I hope your readers will too!
And if all of this wasn't enough for you lucky lucky people, I have one paperback copy to giveaway, as always use the Rafflecopter below to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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