Bestselling Irish author Anna McPartlin’s seventh novel Somewhere Inside of Happy is published by Transworld Ireland next week.
What do you love most about being a writer?
Disappearing into another world, creating characters to love and lose with and telling stories that mean something to me. It’s a real privilege to be able to do the thing you are most passionate about to earn a living and one I’m deeply grateful for.
How do you negotiate the tricky balancing act of making readers smile and feel uplifted while also tugging at the heartstrings?
Oh I don’t know really, it’s not a conscious decision I make. I just tell the story I want to tell in a way that is most natural to me. I like to tell stories about the difficulties we all face in life but I’ve always been able to see light in darkness and I’m a slave to the joke. That definitely helps.
What’s it like being part of the Richard and Judy Book Club?
Incredible, I couldn’t believe it when The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes was picked for the R&J Book club and then the Simon Mayo Book club was just icing on the cake. I’m still pinching myself.
How do you think the book industry will change over the next five years?
I have no idea, it could go many different ways so all I can hope for is that it’s still vibrant in whatever form it takes and I’m a part of it.
What can readers expect from Somewhere Inside of Happy? And how many tissues should they have on hand?
Maisie Bean Brennan is standing on a podium on the twentieth anniversary of the death of her son, trying to find the first breath that will help her start talking to a room full of strangers. A daunting task at the best of times, but she’s also menopausal and one hot flush away from totally losing it. But as Maisie begins her story, she soon relaxes and word by word disappears into her past, back to 1st January 1995, the day when one misunderstood action led to a chain of events that changed her life. Somewhere Inside of Happy is a brave and warm story of motherhood and love. At least that’s what I’m hoping for!