Friday, April 25, 2014

Author Interview: Daniel Seery

Novelist Daniel Seery

Daniel Seery's  debut novel, A Model Partner is an intelligent, hilarious, and sometimes surreal journey with a character unlike any I’ve met before; the brave and vulnerable Tom.  I'm delighted to be able to chat to Daniel today about the book and his writing.

Welcome to the blog Daniel, I really enjoyed A Model Partner, it's a very funny book - did you decide from the beginning that it would be humorous or did it just arise from the character of Tom? I didn’t directly set out for this to happen but I find that humour naturally comes into my writing. And the more serious and sure the character is of themselves the more opportunity there is for comedy.  I try to reflect the way people are in the real world as much as I can and humour and tragedy often go hand in hand. 

I loved the scenes from Tom’s childhood when he travelled around the country in a horsebox with his grandfather, if felt so realistic it makes me wonder did you have some kind of similar experience? It’s mostly imagination. Some of the images and descriptions of those scenes come from my Dad though. He’s a truck driver. As a kid I’d love getting the chance to sit beside him in the cab and go for a drive. If I’ve a natural talent at anything in life it is definitely the talent of being a good passenger. You can’t help but dream when you’re chugging along on a journey. I’ve done a lot of things and been to a lot of places without ever moving from a passenger seat, in the imaginary sense at least.

Are there any plans for Toms Grandfather to have his own novel?If Tom’s Grandfather gets his own book there wouldn’t be much dialogue but I’d say, just like Tom, he’d get into all manner of strange situations.

I loved being in Tom's head as a reader, did you enjoy being there as a writer? Yes, he was a great character to work on and develop. There is something childlike, naive even, about the way he approaches his life. It’s nice to imagine the world through his eyes. And I love the idea of a person holding on to hope no matter what is thrown at them. It’s funny, the more time that passes since finishing the book, the more real Tom becomes to me. I think of him as an old friend that I’d really like to see again.

What’s next? Can you tell me what you’re working on at the moment or is it top secret? I’m working on a new novel. I have a large amount of words down but they are extremely rough. The book is about an outgoing man who suddenly refuses to leave his house. There’s plenty of scope for humour and quirkiness but I also want to investigate the dynamics of different family types and relationships.

What’s your favourite book? My favourite book changes now and again depending on how sentimental I’m feeling for a particular time in my life. But it always swings back to To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee. For me this book has everything a good book should – humour, drama, an excellent plot and plenty of heart.

Have you an author quote or anecdote that keeps you going, keeps you writing through the tough times? Before my book was published Sonia, my wife, would often say that my work just had to land on the right desk at the right time. That would keep me going. You need to believe in your work. And that job is a whole lot easier when someone else believes in you.

So true, thanks for coming over Daniel, I'm already looking forward to your next novel.
You can read Daniels Tips for Writers on his blog HERE 
You can buy A Model Partner from Liberties Press HERE

About the book:  
Tom Stacey has moved into his neighbour’s bedsit. He wasn't asked. It was just that the door was open and his neighbours have gone on holiday. And it is so much bigger than his own bedsit. Plus, he has a lot to think about these days. The bees for one. He hasn't seen any but he keeps hearing them, buzzing in the fridge at work, in the overhead lights, in the test equipment in the factory where he has spent the last fifteen years of his working life. They seem to be getting louder and more insistent, and they are beginning to affect the way he goes about his business.
Then there is his search for Sarah McCarthy to worry about. Sarah was his first love when, as a teenager, he travelled around the country in the back of a horsebox with his grieving grandfather. But perhaps it is not the bees or the past which is the problem. Perhaps it is his ongoing loneliness. Twenty-two dates with Happy Couples dating agency and nothing to show - bar a dent in his bank balance and several complaints about ‘eccentric behavior’. Relationships are all about the details and there are just not enough boxes to tick in the Agency’s personal profile form.
Armed with a wax model and a list of criteria, Tom sets out on a quest to create a personal profile to find his ideal match. On his journey, he meets people just like him, warm but unable to show it, lonely and unable to remedy it, the lost, the misplaced and the damaged.

1 comment:

Ann said...

Great interview Niamh. This book sounds very interesting, I have added it to my ever growing to read list.