Sunday, 27 March 2011

Featured Author: Candy Gourlay - the author behind the success of Tall Story

I AM VERY FORTUNATE TO BE ABLE TO INTERVIEW SOME OF THE PROMISING AUTHORS for my blogsite and indeed a nice feeling when they have a Filipino lineage like my next featured writer. CANDY GOURLAY is the author of Tall Story - a children book released in Great Britain in 2010 and got numerous international award nominations. I also chose the book as my first Read-Release World Challenge giveaway. CLICK HERE for my review which was dedicated to all the people affected by the earthquake/tsunami that struck Japan on the 11th March 2011.

I havent met Candy in person but hopefully we will meet before I go home to Manila in May. So, expect some snapshots of Candy and myself, including some updates from her forthcoming novel. Without further a do, here she is, Candy answering my few questions and to get know her. Find out more about her inspirations to write Tall Story - an amazing story that tells about Bernardo, an eight-foot tall lad.

1. When and why did you begin writing? I wanted to become a writer from the I realized that reading was cool - I was about six and the long hot summer stretched out ahead of me. My grandmother had a complete collection of a 1930s serial called the Beverley Gray Mysteries. I picked one up and realized that the words made paragraphs and the paragraphs made chapters and before you knew it, I had finished the book. I read every single book in her series that summer! Beverley Gray was a reporter who was desperate to get published as a novelist. So by the time I finished the book, I wanted to do exactly the same!

2. Who has influenced your writing? My mother aspired to become a writer when she was a teenager and as we were growing up, she often talked with great fondness about her time on her high school literary magazine and she would read to me from Horacio de la Costa's Like the Molave ("Gods walk on brown legs"). She used to buy any Filipiniana children's fiction there was and my greatest treat as a child was a trip to Erehwon bookstore in Makati. So I think it was my mother who encouraged me to think of myself as a writer.As for writing itself, in terms of technique, I read enormously but there are two authors that I carry around with me when I'm writing in cafes. I don't know why but when I dip into their books, I feel enabled to write! One is Geraldine McCaughrean who wrote the White Darkness and the other is Ray Bradbury.

3. Who is your favourite author? What a difficult question. I have a different favourite author every few months! As a child, my favourite author was Louisa May Alcott who wrote the Little Women books - but this was because I wanted to be of her characters (Jo, the writer). When I read Little Women now I wonder how I managed to get through it - the language was so archaic. As a child I also loved Samuel Clemens (The Prince and the Pauper). It was after I read Holes by Louis Sachar that I became really serious about becoming an author.

4. Why did you pick your setting for debut novel, Tall Story? Tall Story is set in the Philippines and in London. One of the reasons I did this was because I wanted to write a book for my children who have grown up in both settings. The Newbery winning author Richard Peck once said if a child can't find himself in the pages of a book, he will go looking for himself in all the wrong places. My kids will certainly find themselves in Tall Story.

5. How long did it take you to write this book? It took me ten months!

6. If you are recommending your book to a friend - how would you describe it? It's about a brother and sister getting to know each other after years of being separated by immigration paperwork, only to find that they still have to cross a gulf created by language, culture and calamity.

TALL STORY Book Trailer from Candy Gourlay on Vimeo.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING MY FEATURED AUTHOR which I'm sure that one or two or even more will be inspired by your writings and hopefully be able to grab a copy of your bestselling book, Tall Story. Good luck and hope to see you soon in London!

Note: For more info about Candy, CLICK HERE for her Facebook FanPage, and HERE for her own blogsite. Or you can even click the photo above for you to be directed to her blogsite. If you are interested to find out who is my first featured author, (who happened to be the author of the two unpublished ebooks), CLICK HERE.


Candy Gourlay said...

hi ray! great to be here! thank you for all you do!

Reymos said...

Im very pleased as my featured author and Ive said, hope that more young hearts will be touched with your story and looking forward to your next novel. Good luck and see you soon!