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Book interview with Mary Thorpe, Author of “That’s Just How It Was”

Mary Thorpe – Author of “That’s Just How It Was’ This work is a labour of love by the writer Mary Thorpe as a tribute to her much loved Granny O’Rourke (nee Nolan) in an attempt to place the stories she heard and was told into a true and historical context. Above is a youtube video of Mary discussing her book & below a very interesting Q & A interview with Mary.

Available now on Amazon at this link: “That’s Just How It Was”

  1. What inspired you to write your book?

The Foreword in my book below gives an accurate account of how and why I made the decision to write this book.

This work is a labour of love by the writer Mary Thorpe as a tribute to her much loved Granny O’Rourke (nee Nolan) in an attempt to place the stories she heard and was told into a true and historical context. As a social worker who came across many cases of social deprivation in modern times, in various Social Work Departments

that she worked in, in the South East and North West of England, Mary had the dawning realization regarding what her own Grandmother had been through in even harder times in the late part of the eighteenth century and early part of the Nineteenth century in Ireland and sought to record this. Mary felt the driving need to record her much loved grandmother’s story as recognition of Bridget’s harsh life and also as a tribute to her and the millions of others like her who made the best of things whilst still retaining a sense of pride, of the worth of education as a ticket out of poverty and of the importance of retaining one’s dignity and commitment to family through good and bad times. Mary acknowledges that Bridget possessed the old Irish good fortune and good luck as well, in marrying a ‘good man’ and in gaining the “sponsorship” of her patron—N. Stanislav Murphy. Within the telling of Bridget’s story however, Mary is also writing about an era of tough times and she acknowledges ‘these roots’ as the make-up of her own resilient, Irish character

  1. How long did it take you to write your book?

I really cannot say how long it took me to write the book, because I had a lot of research to do, and then at my own leisure, I started typing, it was healing process for me, as I sought to give my Grand-mother that recognition  that she so truly deserved.

  1. What is one thing you would love someone to take away after reading your book?

As it is an Irish Historical biography of my Grandmother – set against the backdrop of the Great Famine of 1844/1845, and incorporates the 1916 Easter Rising, and the War of Independence 1922, I would like readers, to gain an understanding of why Irish History is so complex, and to gain an understanding, of why emigration was so prevalent.

For those readers of Irish origin whose ancestors were Irish, I would like to believe that they would gain a better understanding of why their ancestors left Ireland fr foreign shores

  1. Describe your book in three words.

Irish Historical Biography

  1. Who will enjoy your book the most?

I believe that people of Irish origin, wherever they may be in the world , would be the market that would most enjoy it. That is not to say that other people would not like it, some friends of mine have read it and gained a great about Irish History, and why it is so complex

  1. What was one experience in life where you realized books had the power to make meaningful change, on either you or the world?

When I met my late husband, he began to buy Irish History books for me, as at that time, I did not fully understand my Irish History, as I left school at 14 years of age. So I would say from that point on, I realized the power of the written word

  1. What is your favorite book?

I don’t have a favorite book, I just like reading

  1. What do you think is most important to being a powerful writer?

Telling a story well. I have been described as a story -teller

  1. When you write, who do you envision you’re writing to?

Yes, as I was writing my manuscript, I had my grand-mother there all the time. I am in the middle of writing a 2nd book, I hope it would then become a trilogy, based on my life experience as a child

  1. Is there anything you edited out of your book you would have liked to have seen stay, in retrospect I would like to edit some of my book and insert other issues in retrospect
  1.  Does writing energise or exhaust you, or a bit of both?

A bit of both really.

  1. What did you enjoy most- and least- about the process of creating your book?

That I am creating something for posterity

  1. Did you often suffer from writer’s block whilst writing? Any tips to overcome it?

Yes… a lot of the time… and No I have no tips to give Sorry

  1. What common traps do you think first-time writers fall into, and how can new writers avoid them?

In my personal experience, writing the book was easy, compared to ‘how on earth am I going to get it sold’ That is the one thing I think most-time like myself struggle with…Is there an easy answer to that…

   Who are your favourite authors?

I don’t have a favorite author; I am inclined to read anything, but I enjoy history books the most

  1. What about favourite films? 

No do not have a favorite film…. Love –The West Wing on TV.

Mary Thorpe – Author of “That’s Just How It Was’

Available now on Amazon at this link: “That’s Just How It Was”

3 thoughts on “Book interview with Mary Thorpe, Author of “That’s Just How It Was”

  1. That was very interesting – the video and your written interview both. Lol. I was hoping she’d have insight into curing Writer’s Block. Guess it’s back to demon rum, then 😉

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