'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Friday, 15 August 2014

GUEST POST: Caroline Healy Talks Getting Published

Today I have the lovely Caroline Healy on the blog to talk about her journey to publication, her novel Blood Entwines and the top ten books that inspired her writing!

 They say that getting to the destination is not important; it is the journey along the way that matters. I challenge that statement – the destination is pretty sweet. Having my first book, Blood Entwines, published by Bloomsbury was the culmination of a very long and arduous process.

The journey to publication is different for everyone but I think I can speak for everybody who sits down to write a book – it’s hard work! 

The act of sitting at a desk and tap-tapping 250 pages of words, hopefully coherent, is a very strange task in itself. I wanted to have a go. I mean that's what I sat down with, the notion - Sure, I'll have a go, I've always wanted to write a novel! - I was as green as grass and didn't have a clue what I was doing. It was a total train wreck...but I got my 250 pages down. Then I went and took some writing classes, went back to college, learned about the art and discipline of writing. I wrote short stories, I wrote some longer short stories, I won a few prizes, got a little more comfortable with the notion of writing and then I went back to my manuscript and I cut 200 pages and started with the bare bones of 50 pages. And I worked on it, writing and editing and editing some more. 

Then I submitted it, to see what that aspect of the process was like. I felt a huge sense of achievement. I had seen the whole process through from idea to submission, so I turned my back on Blood Entwines and went on to write my second book. Not thinking for a moment that anyone would be interested. When I got a call from Bloomsbury and I snorted some tea dribble down my nose I was in such shock (I was on my eleven's tea break at the time). Bloomsbury actually wanted to publish my book!

The journey has been a long one. I set off in 2010 and now, four years later I can see the fruits of all my hard work. I learned a huge amount along the way, I am still learning (which is great). This leg of the journey might be complete, but I’m not done trucking just yet.

Blood Entwines is pretty unique. It a cross over between contemporary and paranormal/urban fantasy. So it’s a Con-Par genre, or Con-UrbF, depending on how you categorise it.

I liked working in the two genres, dealing with issues around addiction, family, then peppered through elements of paranormal/supernatural. It was fun to write and allowed me explore both genres. 

In terms of the top ten books, I haven’t read anything like Blood Entwines but I can tell you ten books that I enjoyed reading that motivated me to write for Y.A.

Harry Potter – need I say more. 

Allegiant. I could not put the book down. I loved the concept and the dystopian world that Roth creates. 

Twilight. It was the first book that I read where the supernatural takes place in the contemporary world, so this was a big influence for my book Blood Entwines.

We Were Liars by E.Lockhart (this is a bit of cheat as I only recently read the book). This book captures the tone of modern contemporary novels for Y.A. readers. It is sophisticated and honest and I think this is important in fiction. 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the Y.A. version of Catcher in the Rye. I read both of these books at different stages of my reading life and they both influenced me a great deal. 

Paper Towns by John Green, this was my first introduction to John Green and I thought this book was really well crafted and I liked the way it was suspenseful but in an everyday style. 

City of Bones (the Mortal Instrument Series) I read during my editing phase and I think it helped me in the direction of some of my edits. 

Beautiful Creatures I remember reading and enjoying the portrayal of the main character and the conflict that she was going through. Everybody has conflict in their lives and this is what makes stories so interesting for readers. 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. This book is a great character study and I admire the way that, even today, Austen’s characters are flawed and redeemable at the same time; forever relevant. The chemistry between Elizabeth and Darcy…it is the type of relationship that is hard to portray correctly but what every writer strives to achieve.

Blood Entwines
Title: Blood Entwines
Author: Caroline Healy
Series: Unknown
Publication Date: 1st August, 2014

In the aftermath of a blood transfusion that saved her life, Kara feels different. Her senses are stronger ... she can hear whispered comments not meant for her ears ... she can hear the person following her.
When Jack, her stalker, reveals himself and insists that Kara has something that belongs to him, she does her best to avoid him. But he’s determined to talk to her, convinced that they’re linked through the blood she received during her transfusion.
Jack is struggling against a dark and dangerous demon. His body is host to the evil power that wants Kara’s blood and will stop at nothing to get it, but when Jack himself is able to regain control he tries to warn her away. Can Kara save Jack without risking her own life?

Purchase Blood Entwines
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The Author
Caroline Healy is an award winning writer and novelist. She writes literary fiction and young adult contemporary fiction. 
A graduate of the Seamus Heaney Centre, Belfast she divides her time between writing and teaching.
Her award winning short story collection entitled A Stitch in Time won Doire Press’s International Chapbook Short Story Competition. Her work has featured in publications such as Wordlegs, Prole, the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice and Five Stop Stories. She is a recipient of multiple awards from the Arts Council and has been fortunate enough to receive a scholarship from the Arvon Foundation, as well as a residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre. 
Her work has been showcased at many literary events across Ireland, the U.K. and America. She recently attended the Brooklyn Book Festival.
Caroline is editing her second short story collection, The House of Water, as well as final edits for her next novel, published with Bloomsbury Publishing 
Twitter: @charliehealy8
Tumblr: http://carolinehealyfiction.tumblr.com/
Website: http://www.carolinehealy.com


  1. This cover is downright gorgeous!

  2. Wow. That's an interesting premise. Keeping a lookout :)

  3. This definitely sounds like an interesting read, and quite the selective group of books that have helped inspire the book. Although a few make me question the authors taste, I am definitely willing to give it a shot.


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