Ask the Author …with Mary Grand
Mary Grand has lived on the Isle of Wight for twenty-eight years where she has written several books. This year, she was excited to announce that she signed a three-book deal with Boldwood Books. Her latest novel is The House Party, a thriller set on the Isle of Wight.
What was on your lockdown reading list?
I have to admit, the start of lockdown, I found it impossible to concentrate on reading but after a few weeks, I was back into it again! I have read some great psychological thrillers including The Babysitter by Phoebe Morgan; The Guest List by Lucy Foley and Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce, I have also really enjoyed Time Out by Emma Murray and My Year of Saying No by Maxine Morey and for comfort reading, re-read some James Herriot vet books.
The best spot for reading and/or writing in your house?
Throughout lockdown, my adult children have been here working remotely so it’s more a matter of seeking out a quiet corner. My favourite place to write is sitting on the sofa in the living room, but I have also made myself a space in my bedroom.
I usually read novels tucked up in bed each evening.
The one book you couldn’t put down?
The most recent would have to be The Guest List by Lucy Foley.
The one book you couldn’t finish?
I tried reading Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall but I couldn’t get into it. I definitely blame myself rather than the writer, I was a very hectic time in my life, and I was finding it hard to concentrate. Also, sometimes you can’t get on with a book one week and the next week it’s great. I shall give it another go one day.
Physical or Kindle?
Both. I love a paperback, particularly when I am travelling on the ferry, Red Jet or train. I usually read on my Kindle in bed, often after I’ve put the light off. I also enjoy audiobooks, particularly when I’m in the car.
The book or author which has most influenced your work?
I couldn’t pick just one. I love a wide range of Women’s fiction and also crime and thrillers, and both influence my writing. Some writers who have influenced me are Barbara Copperthwaite, Cara Hunter, Liane Moriarty, Daphne Du Maurier, Agatha Christie, Joanna Trollope. The list goes on!
Aside from reading and writing, how did you keep yourself busy during lockdown?
To be honest, writing has dominated through the lockdown. I was signed by Boldwood Books just as lockdown started and so it’s been a bit of a roller coaster, working on edits and then the launch The House Party.
However other things have kept me very busy as well! With one person who is Vegan and another on a gluten-free/dairy-free diet living here, I have been expanding my cooking repertoire! I now make a decent banana cake and chocolate brownies (gluten and dairy free!).
Oh, and I have also watched far too many boxsets on Netflix.
The strangest thing you found yourself doing as a result of lockdown?
Strangest thing? So many! Cutting my fringe, (badly). Getting used to wearing a face mask. (can now do it without misting up my glasses!). Collecting a ‘take away’ roast dinner from Burrs (delicious). Having a go at doing yoga online (once, approx. 15 mins). Watching reruns of Four in A Bed (daren’t add up the hours).
You can purchase copies of Mary’s latest book from the Medina Books online shop here: The House Party.
You can find copies of her previous novels in our shop at 50 High Street, Cowes, Isle of Wight!