A Posy of Promises by Sharon Dempsey @svjdempz @bombshellpub #blogblitz

Sharon Dempsey - A Posy of Promises_cover_high res (1)

💐💐 It’s gone a bit floral at #AKnightsReads as the #blogblitz for A Posy of Promises stops by.  I’ve got an interesting interview with the author Sharon Dempsey. 💐💐

Many thanks to the lovely Sarah Hardy at Bombshell Books for inviting me on the #blogblitz. so without further ado….

The Blurb

What  happens  when  the  relationship  you  have  taken  for  granted  suddenly  ends?

Ava  Connors  is  comfortable  with  her  life  just  as  it  is,  still  living  in  the  tiny  terrace  house  where  she  was  brought  up  by  her  grandmother,  Maggie,  seeing  her  long-term  boyfriend,  Finlay,  and  working  in  a  florist’s.

But  Maggie’s  health  is  declining  and  Finlay  is  fed  up  waiting  for  Ava  to  make  a  commitment.

Ava  has  never  really  known  her  mother,  Scarlett,  and  when  she  inherits  an  old  and  dilapidated  house  it  ignites  an  interest  in  the  mother  who  had  abandoned  her  as  a  child.

Why  did  Scarlett  leave  her  to  be  brought  up  by  her  grandmother?

Soon  Ava  begins  to  ask  this  question  and  in  turn  sets  off  a  series  of  events  that  will  change  her  life  forever.

A  Posy  of  Promises  looks  at  the  relationships  we  have  and  the  questions  we  ask  of  those  we  love.

Author Interview with Sharon Dempsey

Where did the story originally come from?

I have been blessed with the two most wonderful grandmothers, Kitty and Violet. They are both dead now, but they had a huge influence on me. I think grandparents provide such a lovely dynamic in a family. My own parents have been fantastic grandparents to my children. The role of the grandmother is very special and I wanted to explore it in my novel. Ava is being brought up by her grandmother, Maggie and they bond between them is so strong. Maggie is a no nonsense woman, but her love for Ava is deep.

A Posy of Promises isn’t like most contemporary women’s novels – it’s not chick lit – so how would you describe it?

Contemporary women’s fiction as a genre is wide ranging. What we used to call chick lit isn’t really relevant to women today. We aren’t all consumed with snagging a man. There’s so much more going on in our lives. A Posy of Promises is more concerned with the female relationships in Ava’s life although she does have romantic relationships as well. The humour is warm. I suppose I would say it’s a bit like The Gilmore Girls meets Derry Girls. The strong female relationships of The Gilmore Girls, and the cracking dialogue of Derry Girls with plenty of Northern Irish colloquialisms. Though it seems ridiculously bold of me to compare my work to either of those great series. I loved them both.

Where did you grow up and were you a bookish kid?

I grew up in South Belfast, Northern Ireland and I loved books. I lived near the Ormeau library and was a regular to the War on Want second hand book shop in Rugby Avenue where my granny lived. Books have always been an important part of my life. They have always been a place to delve into, to escape to, and to be entertained and experience another life. I grew up during the Troubles and reading was wonderful way to escape and to see that life didn’t have to be bombs and riots. I loved Enid Blyton and I am sure she is responsible for my love of mystery novels.

You have written a crime novel, Little Bird, previously, why the switch in genre?

I still write crime and I am working on the follow up to Little Bird. I love stories, whatever genre they come in and I read across genres – literary fiction, gothic, dystopian, young adult. My crime writing allows me to explore a dark aesthetic, to push the boundaries a little and to write about social issues I am interested in. I won’t limit myself to a particular genre. In fact, I would love to write something that blends genres, like women’s fiction with a level of mystery and suspense. Or a crime novel with a supernatural element.

We read to experience other lives and we write to have that experienced heightened. I think I’m extremely fortunate to be able to explore more than one genre.

What has been your experience of the publishing world?

I have been so fortunate to find a home for my books with Bombshell Books and Bloodhound Books. Betsy Reavley and Fred Freeman have created a great publishing company that is going from strength to strength. We are a tight knit bunch and the support is fantastic.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes! Definitely. My mum has kept some of my first proper stories, The Magic Shop was one of them. It was about boy who comes across a peculiar little magic shop but when he goes inside he find an alternate reality. I was always writing but never really treated it with the respect it deserved. It was always something I did on the side. When I eventually decided to make a proper commitment to my work, things started to happen. When you start out writing your first novel it can feel like a shot in the dark. If you write like me, you don’t always know where the story will take you, and you certainly don’t know if your book will find a publisher and readers. It takes trust. Trust in your story and trust in yourself.

Do you have another job other than writing?

I teach creative writing which I am passionate about. Writing is a craft. You have to work at it, study the literary devices, read like a writer and experiment to find your voice.

What do you read?

I love reading crime novels. I think the genre allows for a close examination of society. You can place your characters in challenging situations, make them face life and death scenarios and see how they respond. They are pushed to the extremes. But genre specific labels don’t bother me. A good story is a good story so I read widely. I’m greedy for books!

What are your hobbies?

Reading, reading and reading. I love books. When I’m not writing, I’m reading or reviewing books. I used to be really into photography and I have just started taking photos of books for my Instagram feed. It’s a great way to share good books and to support other writers. It is also very creative. I love looking for the right props, thinking about lighting and creating the best shot to show the book off. I also love rock music and go to gigs when any of my favourite bands are in Belfast. My family also keep me busy in a good way.

Tell us about your home?

I live in a lovely old redbrick Edwardian house. We refurbished it and so every room has our personal touch. I have always enjoyed the process of creating a home for my family to grow up in. I’m no domestic goddess – there is always something more interesting to do than housework! I used to live in London and then Cardiff, but I returned to Belfast after being away for ten years. Not that I was ever away for too long between visits home. I love Belfast. It’s a city of contradictions, beautiful Victorian architecture and surrounded by the green hills. We are close to the coast and the people are outrageously sarcastic and funny with it. We are also very hospitable despite our violent history.

💐💐 Thanks Sharon for giving us all an insight into A Posy of Promises, your writing and beyond! 💐💐

💐💐 So there you have it folks! Don’t forget to catch up with the other posts in the blog blitz! 💐💐

B L O G B L I T Z (1)

Who Is Sharon Dempsey?

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A Posy of Promises is Sharon Dempsey’s first contemporary women’s fiction novel.

Sharon is a Belfast based writer of fiction and non-fiction books, with four health books published. Her crime debut Little Bird was released July 2017 with Bloodhound Books.

She facilitates therapeutic creative writing classes for people affected by cancer and other health challenges, and runs a creative writing group for young people, called Young Scribblers, at the Crescent Arts Centre. She is a creative writing tutor at Queen’s University and Stranmillis College. Sharon studied Politics and English at Queen’s University, and undertook a newspaper journalism post grad at City University, London.  She has written for a variety of publications and newspapers, including the Irish Times.

Sharon is working on the follow up to Little Bird and a collection of dark short stories.

A Posy of Promises is the first in a trilogy.

You can keep up to date with Sharon through the following social media!!

Twitter @svjdempz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sharondempseybooks/

Blog https://1stchapterdempsey.wordpress.com/

Instagram: sharondempseywrites

4 thoughts on “A Posy of Promises by Sharon Dempsey @svjdempz @bombshellpub #blogblitz

  1. Sounds like an interesting story!
    I also love the reference to the gilmore girls type strong female characters / relationships.

    I always cringe when a book is referenced as chick-lit as they seem to slap that on a lot of different books and it kinda has a negative sound to it.

    Liked by 1 person

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