#Q&A – The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye @SarahMarieGraye @rararesources #giveaway
The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye
Published by the dissociated voice on 12th February 2018
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary
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Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide?
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 with supporting her friends 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?
The Second Cup is an intense novel, where four friends share the story of what happens after Jack's suicide. Third-person flashbacks are skillfully interwoven in amongst their voices to add a real richness and depth to this heart-wrenching story.
Today, I’m joined by author Sarah Marie Graye as part of the first-anniversary blog blitz for her novel The Second Cup. I am so excited that I have had the pleasure to ask her lots of questions, about her and her books!!
So welcome Sarah, and to you all for stopping by.
Let us dive in……
When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
It’s a mix of the two. I plot the main story, but not the subplots, which I allow to form as I write. So I absolutely know the elements of each character that are key to the main plot, but as I write I flesh out the other parts of their personality and history. The Second Cup has four main characters – Faye, Beth, Abbie and Olivia – and how they see each other and how they interact is an important part of the story, so those elements of their personalities have been set for a long time. When I’ve finished the first draft, part of my editing process is to add some of this fleshing out to the earlier chapters so my characters are consistent throughout the book. Thankfully, because the main elements of each character are already established, this isn’t too much work!
Were there any edits that did not make the books? Do you wish they had?
For me, the first draft is the indulgent one and I’m not strict with myself until I do the first edit. So I accept the fact that some edits which are “right for the story” can be painful on a personal level. I don’t throw anything away though – I have a Word document of everything that’s been cut in the hope I can use them in some way in the future.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
My Kryptonite is my ADHD. It’s a condition that affects “executive function” within the brain. It’s more than just getting momentarily distracted – it can act like a fog between me and my own thoughts – so I’ve had to find my own coping strategies in order to get any writing done. For example, I’m constantly forgetting words and often the wrong word (e.g. one that sounds similar) pops into my head. If I stopped every time this happened, I’d never get anything done, so if I know a word is the wrong word, I write it in square brackets. And if I can’t remember the word at all, I write “xxx”. Once I’ve finished a section, I use the “find” function in Word to search for them. I find that when I’m not in the middle of writing, the right words are more likely to pop into my head.
What’s your schedule like as a writer? Do you work 9 to 5, or fit it in where you can around other things like a job or running a household?
I have no schedule! I’ve yet to meet anyone with ADHD who does – although many of us attempt it. I do as much planning as possible by blocking out time for writing, but I also accept the fact that I’m not going to be able to stick to it a lot of the time.
Where is your favourite place to write?
I write in various different places around my flat depending on where I can get comfortable. Some days I have to sit at my desk and other times I’m happiest in bed, but I mostly write sitting on my sofa, feet on the coffee table, laptop balanced on my lap.
I can’t have other people around when I’m writing, so I couldn’t write in a café or library. I do a lot of my planning work in places like this so I don’t spend all of my creative time alone.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer it?
It would be “Who would you have play the characters from The Second Cup if it were made into a film?” – because that’s a level of success most writers can only dream about! I’d like Imogen Poots to play Faye because of her ethereal qualities. I’d definitely want Emma Watson as Beth because she’s a natural at playing multi-layered characters. And I think Carey Mulligan would make a good Olivia. I think Abbie is the difficult one to cast because her curves are very much part of who she is and we have a tendency to have a lot of slim people on screen. I think Emilia Clarke would make a good Abbie – and although I wouldn’t go as far as to call her “curvy” she’s not as waiflike as many of her contemporaries.
If you could spend time with a character from any book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I often ponder on what a character’s life would be like if they carried on living after the book they’re in has finished, but I can’t think of one I’d like to spend time with in real life. I’m wondering if that’s because I read a lot of books with flawed characters that would end up driving me mad!
If you had to write yourself as a character in your book, would you be a heroine or villainous? What would you be like and what would you name yourself?
There’s a part of me in each of my four main characters in The Second Cup, so I feel like I’m already in a book. I’m not sure I’d like to see myself represented as a complete character because I think I would feel exposed. If I absolutely had to write myself as a character though, I would be an anti-hero with mental health demons. I’d call myself Lois, which means “better”, as my character would strive both to be better and to get better.
What are you working on now?
I’ve just finished my second novel, The Victoria Lie, which is currently with my editor. The cover image is ready – and I’m totally in love with it. I’m hoping for an August release!
Thank you so much, Sarah, for taking the time to answer my questions. It is fab to learn more about you! Look forward to the second novel! Exciting times!
If you enjoyed my review or any of my other reviews, please share it on Twitter, Facebook, anywhere for other people to enjoy or if you fancy a chat stick a comment below. Thanks for stopping by! ♥
About Sarah Marie Graye
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
Giveaway – Win 3 x Signed copies of The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye (Open Internationally)
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