Sunday, 22 March 2015

The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable **** BLOG TOUR & AUTHOR INTERVIEW ***

How can a memory so vivid be wrong? 
In the summer of 1986 Robin and Izzie hold hands under The Faerie Tree and wish for a future together. Within hours tragedy rips their dreams apart. 
In the winter of 2006, each carrying their own burden of grief, they stumble back into each other's lives and try to create a second chance. 
But why are their memories of 1986 so different? And which one of them is right? 
With strong themes of paganism, love and grief, The Faerie Tree is a novel as gripping and unputdownable as Jane Cable's first book, The Cheesemaker's House, which won the Suspense & Crime category of The Alan Titchmarsh Show's People's Novelist competition. It is a story that will resonate with fans of romance, suspense, and folklore.

The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable is launched on 21 March 2015, I'm thrilled to be kicking off the BLOG TOUR for the author, here on Random Things.

Whilst the actual faerie tree of the title is so very central to this story, I must admit that 'themes of paganism' would not be my usual choice when selecting a novel to read. However, there is so much more to The Faerie Tree than magic and spells. This is a story of human relationships, it's also modern and gritty and so so elegantly written. I was quite swept away by the whole story.

The central theme that I take away from The Faerie Tree is that of memory and loss, and how the human mind can often play tricks on us when trying to deal with trauma and tragedy.

Robin and Izzie are tremendously strong lead characters, both have their own personal issues, both have been damaged, and both have led lives that been unfulfilling. When they met, back in 1986, they were young and they were discovering love. They visited the Faerie Tree, and it is there that their relationship changed for ever. Tragedy beyond their control affected their lives, and their minds and it wasn't until twenty years later that they would face up to what happened, how they dealt with it and how to move forward.

Jane Cable creates characters that are believable, who have problems, who are often annoying and frustrating, but whose story is compelling. She cleverly takes the reader into the heads of two damaged and fragile people, and this is done so very well. Despite their faults, both Izzie and Robin are characters that the reader will root for throughout this really excellent novel.

I have to mention the faerie tree of the title, and how wonderfully it is described; both the location and the fable. This fine, strong, old tree has been a place for people to share their problems and their hopes for many years. It is decorated with ribbons, and coins and letters are left for the faeries, in the hope that visitor's problems will be resolved.  The faerie tree is a symbol of hope for Izzie and Robin, and many of the more emotional scenes take place under it.

The Faerie Tree was not what I was expecting at all, it far exceeded my expectations. This is high quality writing, and the author is very talented. Her characterisation is outstanding, the story is impeccably paced and very convincing.  A great novel, and one that I'd certainly recommend.

The BLOG TOUR for The Faerie Tree continues this week, at the following blogs - please pop over and see what my fellow bloggers have to say:

23 March      Rosie Amber

24 March     Liz Loves Books

25 March     My Reading Corner        

26 March     Crooks on Books

28 March     Jaffa Reads Too   

29 March    Being Anne   

31 March    Beadyjan's Books

I delighted to welcome the author of The Faerie Tree; Jane Cable, here to Random Things today. Jane has kindly answered some questions for me ~ I hope you enjoy this short interview.

Do you read reviews of your novels? Do you take them seriously?
I always read reviews. I was very lucky with The Cheesemaker’s House because the vast majority were really positive. Which makes me even more nervous about The Faerie Tree – your review, on the opening day of the blog tour, is likely be the first so I’ll be quaking in my crocs.

Like any sort of feedback, when the same messages keep coming through then I do take them seriously. Everyone has their opinion, but when it turns out to be shared then it’s definitely time to take note. Writing is a wonderful hobby when you do it for yourself, but when you publish books you really should listen to your readers because you are expecting them to part with their hard earned cash.

How long does it take you to write a novel?
Years. I think since The Cheesemaker’s House came out I’m even slower, because you need to work quite hard on the marketing side too. I started writing The Faerie Tree at the end of 2010 and looking back at my computer records it took me a couple of years to finish the first draft. The published book is somewhere around draft seven and that was completed to my editor’s satisfaction last July.
If I could write full time then it goes without saying progress would be much faster but that isn’t a luxury available to me at the moment.

Do you have any writing rituals?
I almost always write first thing in the morning because it’s when I feel most alive. I like a skinny latte to hand – my mother bought us a Nespresso machine for Christmas a few years ago and it’s the most used gadget in our kitchen.
The exception is when we’re on holiday – I can write almost any time then and often do. That’s the time I write fastest as well – one fortnight I drafted 25,000 words, mainly sitting on the veranda of our room with a beautiful view of the sea.

What was your favourite childhood book?
I am probably not allowed to say because it was called Little Black Sambo. It was a lovely tale about a little boy in India who out-witted a tiger by making him run round and round a tree so he melted and his mother made him into butter.

Name one book that made you laugh
Judy Astley books make me laugh – she has a real knack of pulling the funny side out of middle-aged domestic dramas. I especially like Unchained Melanie because the heroine is an author. There’s one scene where she does her supermarket shop as one of the characters she’s writing. It’s not a bad tip; when I am struggling with someone I try to do something ordinary as they would do it and it helps no end.

Name one book that made you cry
Omar Rivabella’s Requiem for a Woman’s Soul; it’s about the disappeared in South America and it’s based on a true story, which makes it all the more tragic and shocking.

Which fictional character would you like to meet?
It’s a fascinating idea but I’m not sure that I would – sometimes when you meet your heroes they have feet of clay.

Which book would you give to your best friend as a present?
I have recently given a close friend a first edition of John Betjeman’s Summoned by Bells. I’m going through the sad process of clearing out my mother’s house and there were two identical copies – my parents gave them to each other one Christmas when they were newlyweds. So I’ve kept one and given the other to Ali because she loves poetry.

Are you inspired by any particular author or book?
The book which freed me as a writer was The Time Traveler’s Wife. It made me realise that if you wrote well enough and your characters were sufficiently strong then readers would suspend disbelief and be drawn into your story.

What is your guilty pleasure read?
My guilty secret is that I don’t have enough time to read. I don’t think that any reading should be tinged with guilt; book, comic, magazine: anything’s fine by me.

Who are your favourite authors?
There are authors I will look out for and if I find anything by them I haven’t read then I’ll snap it up. Rosamunde Pilcher, for sure, but also Mary Wesley, Mark Hebden (the Inspector Pel books), RF Delderfield. I hugely admire Sebastian Faulks but find some of his books tremendously hard going.

Which book have you re-read?

Not many, but there are a few old favourites which come out time and again. Douglas Adams’ Watership Down, Rosamunde Pilcher’s The Shell Seekers but most of all Delderfield’s Horseman Riding By trilogy.

Which book have you given up on?

Most famously, Lord of the Rings. I got as far as the beginning of The Two Towers then lost the will to live. It languished under my bed for years when I was a teenager.

Thanks to Jane for some great answers.  For more information about Jane and her books, visit her website  Follow her on Twitter @JaneCable

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