April 7, 2016

The Homecoming #womansfiction by @dougiemchale #RLFblog

This quick interview includes info about the author, and introduces the story.

About the Author

In a past life Dougie has been a musician and song writer, playing in several bands, performing live and recording music. He has a degree in Learning Disability nursing and a post graduate diploma in autism. Dougie lives in Dunfermline, Fife, with his wife, teenage daughter, older son and golden retriever. The Homecoming is his first novel, inspired by a love of all things Greek, her islands, people, landscapes, sea, light and ambience all of which are important themes and symbols in his writing.

Interview with Dougie McHale

Why did you write this book?
I wrote a travel journal/book of my visit to the island of Zakynthos many years ago. It was my first serious attempt at writing a book but it was never published.  I didn’t know it at the time but it was to influence the writing of The Homecoming which has Zakynthos as its main backdrop. I used that piece of writing as my research when the story line of the novel moves to Zakynthos. The main backdrop in the novel was always going to be Greece that was never in doubt. I’m also inspired by what it means to be human, our thoughts, feelings, emotions and beliefs and how such things influence our relationships with others and our personal stories. 
It was the book I was always going to write and it grew with me. I wrote it over a period of a few years and during that time my writing developed and improved. Many years ago when I wrote my first ever song I thought it was good at the time, however, as I learned the art of song writing I realized that as a process it takes time and a lot of practice before you finally get it right. Learning to write a novel was the same. I revisited the plot and prose which involved lots of drafts and with each visit it was like getting acquainted with an old friend again. Initially its flaws and weakness were all to evident but with time its strengths and potential matured into a story that I really cared about as eventually my writing improved and I felt competent with my style. It became a potent part of my life.   As my writing progressed, the characters developed into intricate individuals with private and personal sides, their hopes, motivation, dreams and conflicts drove the plot forward. They became like real people to me who I empathized with and who I had watched grow and develop.\
What is your favorite genre to read?
I love books that have a sense of place and time, which draw you into the social and cultural complexities with ease. I like the characters to speak to me from the page, where I can identify with them, their hopes, fears, conflicts, loves and emotion, for me that is when a character becomes real and it’s at that point that I want to know what is going to happen to them, where is their life taking them in the story.
I often read Sebastian Faulks, William Boyd, Anita Shreive and Carlos Ruiz Zafon. At the moment I’ve just finished Midnight in St Petersburg by Vanora Bennett. The common denominator is that they all write about what it really means to be human through our relationships with the world and each other. Most importantly they write good stories with beautiful prose.
What are you working on at the moment, and will see from you in coming months?
I’m working on my second novel. Like The Homecoming it is set in Greece. I’m hoping to have it finished and out on Amazon by the summertime.
Please tell us about your latest book.
Louis Satriani has the perfect life in Edinburgh or so he thought, it only took a second to discover it was a lie. Forced to readjust to the shifting events that have rocked his world he confronts the secret and deception that will change his life forever.
A moment of crisis can offer new directions and escaping his past he travels through Greece, an experience he hopes will afford him opportunities to reconstruct his life and rediscover a sense of normality, by burying his torment and establish a reason to be in control of the choices and decisions he makes. Will the lure and sanctuary of a Greek island, Zakynthos, erase the loss of the hopes and dreams that once galvanised his life? Will it offer a refuge and reconciliation with his past? Louis is offered a sanctuary, Maria, a local tour guide. The ghosts of Louis’ past are never far and the circumstances that have brought Louis and Maria together embroil them in conflicting emotions forcing them to face and confront their feelings for each other opening old wounds of the past and suppressed hopes that resonate in the present.
Passion blossoms in a voyage of love, doubt and self-discovery. But can their love survive life changing events and the unfolding of a secret that can only be resolved by a homecoming, forcing Louis to choose between his heart and head. The Homecoming encapsulates love, loss and reconciliation, set against the backdrop of Edinburgh, mainland Greece and an Ionian island.

About the Book

Title The Homecoming
Genre Literary Fiction, Womans Fiction
Author Dougie McHale
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R

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