Interview with John Marrs, author of The Wronged Sons

Publisher: John Marrs

Publication Date: September 5, 2013

Order Links:  Amazon 

Synopsis: What would you do if the person you loved suddenly vanished into thin air?

Catherine’s cosy life as a housewife and mum-of-three is quickly thrown into disarray when husband Simon disappears without explanation. She is convinced he hasn’t left by choice as confusion and spiraling debts threaten to tear her family apart.

Meanwhile Simon has begun a carefree new life travelling the world. And he’s determined not to disclose his past to all he meets at any cost, even if it means resorting to extreme and violent measures.

But why did he leave?

Catherine only gets her answer 25 years later when Simon suddenly reappears on her doorstep.

During their furious final confrontation, they discover the secrets, lies and misunderstandings that tore them apart, then brought them face-to-face one last time.

Interview: Q. Please tell us about the inspiration for your current release.

In British newspaper The Guardian, there’s a section called Family. Inside, there’s a column called ‘A Letter To’ in which readers writer an anonymous letter to someone who has affected their lives. One week I read a heartbreaking letter from a woman writing to her husband who disappeared some 40 years ago. She never found out if he left them voluntarily or whether something happened to him. She spoke about their children and what she did with her life and I began to imagine how had that must have been for her without closure. It made me wonder if I could write a novel based on this premise. So I began with Catherine, and her journey. Then I thought about her husband and created Simon and what he did when he left his wife and three kids. I gave them both polar opposite lives and wove them together in each chapter. Then I decided at the end of each chapter to show what happened when he suddenly turns up on doorstep 25 years after running away.

Q. How did writing this book affect you?

It made my train journeys more interesting! It takes me about 90mins to get to work each day so after the first draft was complete, much of that time for a year was spent proofing and re-writing and then making the changes once I got home. But in an emotional sense, I have never felt such a sense of accomplishment as when the proof reader I hired sent me back the final version. There it was – three years of hard work sitting in front of me about to be turned into an eBook. Even if only 20 people ever purchase and download it, at least I’ve accomplished my goal – to write a book.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

I work as a journalist, interviewing celebrities for film magazines, TV magazines and newspapers here in the UK. So much of my days are spent writing factual pieces. The hardest part of writing my own novel was switching the style of writing from factual to fictional and finding the motivation to spend my free time writing when that’s what I do during my working hours too! Plus I was writing from the perspectives of a man and a woman so I had to try and make them sound like different people. It took a lot of time and effort to do that convincingly.

Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?

I have a couple in mind… I do most of my plotting when I’m in bed trying to get to sleep and while I have the basic stories for them sorted out, I love to read a good twist that throws me off kilter. I need to work out how the twists I have in mind will work!

Q. What are you currently reading?

I’m very flighty and often have three or four books on the go. This month, I’m flitting between Wonder by RJ Palacio; Eighties by Dylan Jones; Lost At Sea by Jon Ronson and Kill Your Friends by John Niven.

Q. Please tell us your latest news (book-related or not!).

Well I have a busy month ahead work-wise. I’ve got to interview Simon Cowell for the new series of the British version of X Factor; I have a story about men who’ve had penis enlargements to complete for another publication and I have a somewhat neglected garden to attend to that’s begging for some attention! Life is never dull….

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I know it’s always a risk asking book lovers to invest time and money in a new, unproven author. But I hope those who take a leap of faith and try my novel will enjoy it.

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