I’m thrilled to welcome fellow Legend Press author, Lyn G. Farrell to the blog today as she celebrates the release of her debut novel, The Wacky Man. Don’t you just love that cover? I can’t wait to get stuck into this one. Here’s Lyn to tell us a little more about it.
Can you describe your new novel in one succinct but sensual sentence?
Amanda is an intelligent, articulate teenager fighting to overcome the violence and abuse that has consumed her childhood.
Who is your favourite character and why?
I have so many and I keep adding more. But I’ve chosen three to share. As a young child I adored Mr Dizzy, because he’s a soft soul who beat the bullies. As an adolescent, I related to Vida in the novel of the same name because she never stopped fighting back despite the odds. And most recently ‘You’ in Soul Mountain who escaped prison by wandering remote China. I love the idea of having such an immense amount of freedom, from identity as much as the political system, even though in reality it would terrify me. And I would have had to try and save the pig (that scene still haunts me).
Which authors have been your main inspirations?
Authors whose work I’m reading at any given time (currently Elif Shafak and Clio Gray) will inspire me in some way – I always feel reinvigorated after reading high quality fiction. I also love writers that are not afraid to deal with difficult subjects and who give a voice to those struggling to be heard. Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, Marge Piercy, Dorothy Allison and Sandra Cisneros to name just a few. I am in awe of authors like Hilary Mantel, E Annie Prouxl and Cormac McCarthy.
My biggest ambition is to write comic fiction which is a massive departure from my debut novel! I’m currently on the lookout for the best kind of writing (the likes of John Irving, Jonathan Frazen, Mantel again, Fay Weldon) in this genre.
How does your writing process work; confusion and paper flying everywhere or calm and ordered?
It’s mostly the electronic version of confusion and files flying everywhere. I have a single folder for each project and within that zillions of sub folders and files. I regularly have to use the computer’s search facility to hunt down a particular sentence I remember writing months ago in ‘some scrappy document – somewhere’. Often I’ll be writing a chapter for my second novel in a calm and collected way and suddenly I think of something that fits another character in a completely different story and I have to type furiously to get it all down before I can get back to my current work.
I also have huge amounts of paper notes and dozens of filled notebooks that I used before I moved to working on a computer which I still haven’t found time to get into electronic form. These are stuffed in drawers and cupboards all over the flat. If I need to write something I’ll grab the nearest thing and scribble on it. Usually this is my computer or smart phone but I’ve used bus tickets, old envelopes and paper bags before now.
What is your guilty pleasure when writing?
Crumpets with coconut oil and raspberry jam and lots of sweet tea.
Please share your blurb with us.
My new shrink asks me, ‘What things do you remember about being very young?’ It’s like looking into a murky river, I say. Memories flash near the surface like fish coming up for flies. The past peeps out, startles me, and then is gone…
Amanda secludes herself in her bedroom, no longer willing to face the outside world. Gradually, she pieces together the story of her life: her brothers have had to abandon her, her mother scarcely talks to her, and the Wacky Man could return any day to burn the house down. Just like he promised.
As her family disintegrates, Amanda hopes for a better future, a way out from the violence and fear that has consumed her childhood. But can she cling to her sanity, before insanity itself is her only means of escape?
Ooh, crumpets with coconut oil! Never tried that. Thanks so much for sharing with us, Lyn. The blurb sounds fascinating! You can buy The Wacky Man here.
Lyn G Farrell is the winner of the 2015 Luke Bitmead Bursary Award for her debut novel, The Wacky Man. Lyn G Farrell grew up in Lancashire where she would have gone to school if things had been different. She studied Psychology as an undergraduate at the University of Leeds, later gaining a PGCET and most recently, a Masters in ICT and Education.
Having worked in a number of IT and teaching roles, she is currently an online tutor in the School of Education at Leeds Beckett University.
This post is part of The Wacky Man blog tour. You can follow the rest of the tour here: