ABOUT THE BOOK
‘If I could go back to being sixteen again, I’d do things differently.’
‘Everyone over the age of forty feels like that, you total gom,’ says my best friend Lizzie Magee.
When she was young Mary Rattigan wanted to fly. She was going to take off like an angel from heaven and leave the muck and madness of troubled Northern Ireland behind. Nothing but the Land of Happy Ever After would do for her.
But as a Catholic girl with a B.I.T.C.H. for a Mammy and a silent Daddy, things did not go as she and Lizzie Magee had planned.
Now, five children, twenty-five years, an end to the bombs and bullets, enough whiskey to sink a ship and endless wakes and sandwich teas later, Mary’s alone. She’s learned plenty of hard lessons and missed a hundred steps towards the life she’d always hoped for.
Will she finally find the courage to ask for the love she deserves? Or is it too late?
My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the tour invitation to celebrate the paperback launch by Windmill/Penguin Books of Before My Actual Heart Breaks. I’m delighted to share a guest post from author, Tish Delaney – I love being nosey and seeing writing spaces! I hope you enjoy.
Published by: Windmill Books / PenguinRandomHouse
Format: Ebook, Audio, Hardback (Feb 2021) | Paperback (28 October 2021)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
by Tish Delaney
MY WRITING ROOM
I write in a little wooden summer house that just about fits over my desk – a fold-up plastic table that was once used for holding drinks at beach barbecues. It is known to all who show an interest as The Front Shed because it’s in the front garden. My partner, a painter has a shed in the back garden. I’ve painted it white and insulated it to the max. It’s still cold but at least I’ll never nod off as the taking-off and putting-on of jumpers and scarves keeps me alert.
It has a resident cat called Stannis. He’s relatively new, just nine months old. He refuses to be relegated to the perfectly comfortable chair that was the favoured spot of my late, great 17-year-old cat and instead has his own rug on the desk. It cuts down my elbow room but already, the old place just isn’t the same without him. He’s restful although he may be costing me a fortune in electricity – the desk lamp must be kept burning to maintain his optimal comfort zone temperature of roasting-to-the-touch.
The walls are covered in pictures of my family, when I look away from the screen, I like to be guaranteed of a friendly face. They include my grandmothers who were dead long before I was born. It’s reassuring to be able to pinpoint the source of the eyes, the terrible hair, the strong jawline, even the shape of the hands, although their tiny waists seem unlikely to be part of my DNA.
My ancient blue teddybear (the inspiration for Blue Ted in Before My Actual Heart Breaks) sits on the floor looking rather better than he should after fifty years of being manhandled. There are piles of books, piles of papers and piles of notebooks. One day, I hope to fill one notebook cover to cover before I cave in and open a pristine one. I have the same problem with handcream. Current count stashed at various stations around my keyboard is five tubes, all with enough left inside to remind me that I’m far too easily distracted.
Thank you so much for joining me on the blog Tish. Stannis certainly looks as though he has made himself at home!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tish Delaney was born and brought up in Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles.
Like a lot of people of her generation, she left the sectarian violence behind by moving to England. After graduating from Manchester University, she moved to London and worked on various magazines and broadsheets as a reporter, reviewer and sub-editor. She left the Financial Times in 2014 to live in the Channel Islands to pursue her career as a writer.