Posted in books, Writing

Meet the Author: Roy McCarthy

Self at FOW 2015
I am super excited about introducing Roy to you all. He’s a Jersey boy, a novelist, a short story writer, a runner, and a coach of running and track and field too. Sometimes, he finds himself busy with finance management, so he’s good with numbers too. Roy and I met virtually through my blog a few years ago and he is the reason that I know about the Channel Islands and his beautiful home of Jersey – yes, not New Jersey in the US. In fact, Roy’s books are the reason that I learned quite a bit about Irish history and Cork.
Here’s more about Roy McCarthy.
Sue: Hi Roy. Thanks so much for joining us today.
Roy: Glad to be here, Sue.
Sue: So tell me; how did the writing bug hit you? Had you always wanted to be a writer?
Roy: I honestly had done little or no writing up until twelve years ago. Then I somehow got it into my head to write a book. I wrote the first chapter, and that was it. I lost interest. Then, several years later, I was down on my luck and very unhappy. I resolved to set myself one or two targets. One of those was to finish Barry, which I did.
In that same period I ran a lot and started to take an interest in my home island of Jersey, and its social history. Those that have lived before us. Gradually I began to enjoy the writing process.
Sue: Yes, I’ve noticed how much research you must do for your historical novels.
Your last book, Aspirations of a Sheep and Other Stories is a change from your longer length works. Which format do you prefer – novel or short story?
Roy: Novel length. Mine always seem to end up at 65,000 – 70,000 words somehow. I guess that’s the length of the stories that are in my head.
Sue: Tell us a bit about the book (Aspirations of a Sheep) and what inspired you to write it.
Roy: Aspirations is really just a collection of short stories I’d jotted down over the years, retrieved from the far corners of my laptop and its predecessor. The title story was an extension of a scene in one of my Irish novels where my characters were watching a flock of sheep on a far hillside.
Sue: You wear a lot of hats besides that of an author. Tell us how you manage to get regular writing time.
Roy: Quick answer Sue, I don’t. I have a full-time job and, unlike you, I’m unable to summon the energy to work late into the night. My weekends are for sport. I rely mainly on public holidays and annual leave to get serious writing done.
Sue: Wow. You must be getting in lots of word count in every writing session then!
Time for a quick fire round.
Your favourite authors…
Roy: John Grisham, Tess Gerritson, Bill Bryson. I do read a wide range of authors though, and try to support indies whenever I can.
Sue: Unforgetttable books…
Roy:  Trinity (Leon Uris) and Skallagrigg (William Horwood)
Sue: Best part of being a writer…
Roy: The creative writing process itself I find enjoyable – it challenges me in a good way. And of course the satisfaction of being able to complete the task and present a finished product.
Sue: Worst part of being a writer…
Roy: Definitely promotion and selling. I have no interest at all in that I’m afraid so I’ll remain a writer starving in a garret.
Sue: Oh yes, writers have to know their marketing A to Z these days.
Before we sign off, can you tell us what your readers can expect from you next?

Roy: My nearly-finished WIP is darker and on the subject of human trafficking. It’s my attempt to shine a light into some dark corners in a readable way. Modern slavery is an abomination that is still largely ignored by the world at large and it reflects badly on all of us.

Sue: I can’t wait to read it 🙂 Good luck, Roy!


Author. Traveller. Body positive. Mental health advocate. Bengali vegetarian. Cat mother. @UofR alum.

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