Friday 17 August 2018

Spaghetti Head by Sarah Tyley @sarah_tyley #BlogTour #SpaghettiHead #RandomThingsTours #MyLifeInBooks

In a peaceful world with a massively reduced population, the planet’s all-female governing System need Nell Greene to have a child, and fast. But there’s a problem: she’s still single and her manipulative inner voice wants her to remain that way. Nell meets a man she has liked for years and believes he could be ‘the one’ - but can she quiet her inner voice, overcome her debilitating fear of commitment, pressure from her family, and the consequences of the punishment she will face if she doesn’t fall in love with him and reproduce: or will the System win? `Spaghetti Head is a fun, quirky, and sweet read. I jumped into Spaghetti Head expecting the typical post-apocolyptic novel - but what I got was so much better. While the story is set against a backdrop of a world governed by computers, still recovering from a major natural disaster, and on the verge of a human revolution, the real heart of the book is Nell's journey of learning to love and trust. Nell struggles throughout the story to overcome SID, her inner voice that is a constant cause of pain and distrust. With the help of a few unique and special characters, Nell works to make peace with SID. There were so many moments in the book when Nell had a moment of enlightenment or a moment of insecurity, and I identified with her so much that it took me by surprise. Spaghetti Head is truly a special story.' Amazon reader. Spaghetti Head is Sarah Tyley's debut novel that addresses issues of modern womanhood, environmental devastation and the impact of technological advances on our freedom, relationships and mental health

Spaghetti Head by Sarah Tyley was published on 4 May 2018. As part of the #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour I'm delighted to welcome the author here today. She's talking about the books that are special to her in My Life In Books.

My Life in Books - Sarah Tyley

The first book I loved as a child was the Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf. I didn’t understand the horrors of bullfighting at the time, but I did love Ferdinand because he would rather smell flowers than fight. He was different. And we’ve all loved him for it.

Then I started reading poetry and I couldn’t imagine my life without a Spike Milligan poem in it:

My sister Laura’s bigger than me
And lifts me up quite easily.
I can’t lift her, I’ve tried and tried;
She must have something heavy inside.

Need I say more? A Children’s Treasury of Milligan is one of my absolute favourites, and I would say that Spike has influenced my writing more than anyone else. I wrote a lot of poetry whilst travelling in my late teens and early twenties and many of them were daft. The world needs daft.

In my early twenties I read The Chariots of the Gods by Erich Von Daniken and believed many of Von Daniken’s theories of extra-terrestrial influences on early human culture were plausible. From this book onwards, I set out on a journey of looking at and feeling differently about the world around me.

A few years later a friend passed me a copy of The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield, and although sometimes a little long-winded, this book explores psychological and spiritual ideas, many that have their roots in ancient Eastern traditions. The mix of Celestine with Chariots really strengthened my quest for a greater meaning to life and have both impacted on what I like to write about.

Another I read shortly after I’d well and truly tucked into reading self-help was What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter. I bought this in a tiny and very dusty treasure-chest of a book-shop in Islamabad and devoured its contents in days. Again, it was all about changing energies – this time on an internal basis. I have read it and re-read it over the years and it played a direct role in Spaghetti Head evolving into the story that it did.

I had many self-help books open at this point in my life and I went to a spiritual church one evening where I received a message from the medium that it was time to shut all my books – I had all the information I needed: it was now time to start writing.

And so I closed my non-fiction books, started writing Spaghetti Head and returned to reading fiction: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert was a good one. I had travelled on every continent throughout my twenties and been questing for a higher purpose throughout my thirties and Eat Pray Love brought all of these aspects together in a funny, brilliant novel. Chapter 42 with Gilbert’s portrayal of an attempt at meditation is a classic to any of us who have ever tried it.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is another book that I loved. I read it as I was starting out as a professional gardener and it is a great tale of self-development, loss, love and hope. I found the way it uses flowers as the main thread throughout the story really inspiring and genius and I learnt an awful lot about gardening in the process!

After some years away from reading self-help/spiritual books, I stumbled upon Butterflies Are Free to Fly by Stephen Davis – It is an easily readable look at quantum physics and how recent scientific experiments can change our understanding of life, our reality, and our spirituality. I love the author’s style, the fact that it is a free eBook and the way he challenges us to ‘step out of the movie theatre’.

Trying to maintain a balance of fiction/non-fiction these days, We Were Liars by E Lockhart is the best and most moving novel that I have recently read - I just could not put it down. We are used to stories giving us a happy ending, which this one most certainly doesn’t. After I’d finished reading it I thought about it constantly, and even now, three years later it still bothers me – isn’t that the sign of a brilliant read?

And as far as my writing life is going, I don’t think I’d have managed to finish my debut novel, Spaghetti Head without having read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Written as a novel I love the writer’s style and the fact that it is packed with great writing advice. It is witty, easy to read and as I consult my daily ‘to do’ lists I always attempt to tackle them ‘Bird by Bird’.

Sarah Tyley - August 2018 

I grew up on a dairy farm in Somerset and had a lovely childhood running around outside, spending alot of time surrounded by cows. I would have to be biased towards Friesians, but really any cow will do - I love them all.

I have written a diary since I was twelve, and some years ago I thought to myself ‘hey, that must mean I’m a writer’ – and so I embarked on short stories. I never quite got the hang of those so moved on to trying a novel.

I currently live in France splitting my time between my gardening business, writing, and playing tennis. I love Roger Federer almost as much as I love cows

Author Page on Facebook
Twitter  @sarah_tyley

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