Glynis Smy, a British author of historical romance living in Cyprus
In December 2012, she will publish Maggie’s Child. Her novels are set in cities of United Kingdom as Ripper, My Love. Glynis is currently working on Ripped Genes and The man in eighteen that itswill be released in 2013.
Glynis Smy (nee Honeycombe), was born and raised in the coastal town of Dovercourt near Harwich, in the county of Essex, England. The long hours of a nursing career and running two pharmacies ended in 2005, when she and her husband moved from the UK to live on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Now Glynis spends her time writing historical novels, poetry and various other projects. Her poetry has been published in various places, including the on-line, Vine Leaves Literary Journal. Author of Ripper, My Love.
By: Alberto Berenguer Twitter: @tukoberenguer
We start with your beginnings, since when do you write? How did your interest in writing?
I have written poetry and short stories from a very young age. I won my first poetry contest aged 12. Novel writing came about five years ago when I was encouraged by a friend to lengthen a short story. It has been received extremely well by readers, and I am glad I made the move.
You’ve published articles in magazines of United Kingdom and Cyprus. What difference to both countries in the literature?
I wrote medical articles for one magazine in the UK. The ones in Cyprus were more lifestyle type articles.
What did you want to get professionally with those publications?
I just enjoyed writing, and seeing my articles in print really motivated me. I was not fussed about money or fame; I just wanted to venture into a new career of writing.
Ripper, My Love is set in late 19th century East London, what is special this historical time?
I love the Victorian era. The struggles of women during that time fascinate me; they were determined to rise above the submissive ways of their predecessors. The contrast between squalor and wealth was so noticeable; it begs to be written about in my novels.
Kity Harper is the protagonist of the novel, along with Sarah, Arthur, James and Patrick. How is the process of creation of the characters? Is it difficult to create different profiles with personality and believable?
I have no trouble creating characters. I usually have a main character, title and ending in mind when I set out a novel. The other characters appear as the story progresses. I love making up names for them. I like to become the main protagonist, to get under their skin, so I surround myself with others I can relate to in a personal way.
What can you tell us about the man terrifying the streets of East London?
I cannot! It would give the story away! I can tell you that my Jack the Ripper is not who the world has been seeking all these years. I have steered away from creating someone from facts that have been published already.
On the cover of your novel there is a sophisticated woman of the time up a dark alley. What ideas you wanted to convey?
I am so thrilled someone has finally asked me about her! I wanted to portray the innocence of Kitty and her seamstress skills. Hence the beautiful ivory gown and no face. I wanted to portray the beginning of my novel where she is entering the unknown of an alley way, and dark shadows. I also wanted to express the stairway climb which happens in one chapter, where there is a romantic scene.
Would you define as a writer of historical romance?
If you mean do I see myself as a writer of historical romance, then yes I do. This novel is a mixed genre and has suspense thrown in. I write historical romance with a twist. My ladies have to struggle through life. Maggie’s Child is due out in December and Maggie does not have a good life on an English farm during the mid 1800’s. Her romance destroys everything she holds dear. I am quite cruel to my main characters at times.
With your novel Ripper, My Love, have you had the support of your readers? What are their views?
Oh the support has been amazing! I am overwhelmed with the four and five star reviews it has received on Amazon. I have received fabulous emails and messages asking if I intend to write another novel. I love my readers for encouraging me forward.
Also we can find the paperback novel. Do you think that the DTP is a recommended option for a novel writer?
I wanted my book to be in paperback format. I wanted to hold my dream in my hand. I opted for CreateSpace to publish on demand, and that has proven to be successful. I sell more Kindle copies, but with The Book Depository outlet with free delivery worldwide, my book is reaching countries I had never dreamed it would do so. I recommend CS as their support teams are helpful and prompt, plus the worldwide distribution is a boost.
In December 2012, you will publish another book. How is it entitled? How is the story of that novel?
Maggie’s Child is about a young woman who is sold to a farmer. She is drawn into an affair and becomes pregnant. A baby Maggie leaves on the roadside for others to find. Her life changes drastically when her cruel husband involves her in the life of the baby by finding her a job as a wet-nurse. The story is her struggle through poverty and betrayal, lust and love, innocence and terror. It is set in Redgrave Village, Suffolk in England, during 1856. It is a pretty rural village and I imagined it as soon as I started writing the story.
Do you have in mind other literary projects?
I am currently planning out the plot for Ripped Genes, a sister story to Ripper, My Love. A novel that has formed due to the request of several readers. It takes me out of my comfort zone and means an awful lot of research, but I am enjoying the whole package. I am also half way through The man in eighteen, this story goes back to my home town of Harwich, Essex in the UK. The protagonist, Elle Buchanan is an artist and I have drawn on images I remember during my childhood, and the artist John Constable who painted in the areas surrounding the town I emigrated from, Manningtree. Both novels I hope will be released in 2013.
Why do you think that the literary market in digital version has obtained so many followers in so little time?
For me it is because it is instant. There is no waiting for a trip to town or the postman to arrive. I live in Cyprus and for some time we had no access to English books, now I have 100’s available. The Kindle has opened up my world of reading.
Do you think that e-book will be competent with the paper version in a few years in Cyprus?
I think the e-book is very popular with the expat community in Cyprus. I know there is a thread for e-books on a forum run by expats. However, I still feel there is nothing like a paperback to brighten a shelf, or to enjoy by a poolside, so I feel the paperback will live on forever.
Why do you generally publish your works in the Anglo-Saxon digital market? Is it difficult in the literature to catch the attention of the Cypriots?
I cannot speak Greek to my fullest and would struggle to translate the work. I often wonder how they would translate and be received in Cyprus. It has been read by some Cypriot friends who read English, and they really enjoyed the story.
We can find Ripper, My Love at Amazon, Book Depository and Barnes & Noble. What has it meant for you these platforms online?
As I previously mentioned, it has made a big impact on assisting me to sell my books worldwide. At first I was disappointed that it would not be on bookstore shelves, but now I know readers are moving towards the e-reader technology, I am not so concerned.
From my heart inside my head is a collection of all your poetry. What did this e-book mean for you?
This was my ‘coming out book’. I reached the age of 50 and decided to share poetry that had been hidden away. I wrote the book as my birthday gift to myself and the following year I wrote ‘Sticky Sandwiches’, both have been well received by those who enjoy poetry.
According to legend Cyprus is known as the island of Aphrodite, Goddess of love and beauty. Is Cyprus characterized by poetry and romantic literature?
The Cypriots love romance. I went to a poetry reading one evening. It was all in Greek, but I could sense the passion in the voices. The area was outside with candles under a starlit sky. The audience was spellbound.
Finally, would you recommend a book to followers of De lectura Obligada?
This is a difficult one to answer. I recommend all those who enjoy chick-lit to check out Talli Roland, Canadian author living in London, and her work. For contemporary women’s fiction, String Bridge by Jessica Bell, Australian author living in Greece.