10 questions: Mary Monro, author of Stranger In My Heart

As you're no doubt painfully aware, I'm currently crowdfunding my new novel East of England through Unbound Publishing. And I'm not alone! So, I've asked a few fellow writers on Unbound's current roster to give a quick overview of their writing work, and the book they're crowdfunding themselves, in a ten questions format.

Today, it's the turn of Mary Monro, the author of the just-published Stranger in My Heart

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1. Who are you and what’s your book about?

I am Mary Monro and Stranger In My Heart is my quest to discover the lost world of my war hero father.

2. Why should folk read your book?

Understanding who you are starts with your family – parents, grandparents and beyond. Their lives influence ours in subtle and diverse ways, but the generations who saw the World Wars were mostly silent about their experiences and so we don’t incorporate them fully into our understanding. I want to inspire people to recover their family stories before they are lost forever.

3. What’s the appeal of your book?

Stranger In My Heart skilfully weaves poignant memoir with action-packed biography and travels in modern China.

4. Sounds great! Where/when can I get hold of a copy?

It was published on 9 June 2018, available as paperback and digital editions from bookshops and online.

5. Describe a typical writing day, or at least a typical day with some writing in it:

I wake early and often do some writing or researching before I go to work as an Osteopath. Sometimes I write in the evenings or if I have a free day I try to sit down for a good chunk of time, in between life admin tasks. I’m good at focusing when I need to – writing has to fit into all my other responsibilities.

6. Pick one book about writing. What it is and why have you chosen it?

There are books about writing? I have just learned that Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande is a classic.

7. Pick three books that have influenced or inspired you as a writer:

Beryl Markham’s Journey into The West is heartbreakingly well written. Laurens van der Post’s Yet Being Someone Other is a beautiful piece of reflective writing. Iris Murdoch’s The Bell is rich and compelling.

8. Pick three desert island books - works you couldn’t live without:

The Web of Life by Fritjof Capra, Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, The Heart of the Hunter by Laurens van der Post.

9. Any words of writing wisdom?

Write a lot and read a lot.

10. Let’s make a movie of your book. Give me the high-concept pitch:

A young officer survives intense battle and imprisonment in Hong Kong to escape through war-torn China, unable to hide or communicate, threatened as much by the Chinese as the Japanese. Later he faces another battle to rescue the PoWs he’d left behind, caught up in a power struggle between the architects of Pacific War strategy. In a bitterly ironic twist, he ends up in the blood and sweat-stained jungles of Burma, fighting a campaign that should never have happened. He dedicates the rest of his life to freedom.

Social media contacts: @monro_m276

Website: www.strangerinmyheart.co.uk

Unbound URL: https://unbound.com/books/stranger-in-my-heart/

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Other retailers are available, though here's the Amazon UK link. Hopefully some of you will check out Mary's book!