It is the first trip to Wordpool for Southport-born author Carys Bray. She has had two books published. the first, Sweet Home, is a collection of short stories, while her novel  A Song for Issy Bradley has won rave reviews. She will be in conversation with fellow author Amanda Brooke on July 3.

Tell us a little about your novels

I’ve written two books. The first is called Sweet Home and it’s a collection of short stories. The second is a novel called A Song for Issy Bradley. It’s about a Mormon family whose daughter dies suddenly and what happens to them in the aftermath of the tragedy.

I write about families. I’m really interested in ordinary people. As a reader I like books that are sad and funny and I try to write stories that manage to be both.  

How long have you been writing?

I started writing in earnest in Autumn 2009 when I began an MA at Edge Hill University. Prior to that I had written a couple of short stories during my BA with the Open University, and I spent a lot of time day dreaming about being a writer – but that doesn’t really count!

What inspires the ideas for your books?

I tend to write about things that scare me. I also write about things that I find funny. I keep a list of funny things people say and some of them end up in my characters’ mouths.

How do you go about researching your stories?

I do a lot of thinking and then I write. I tend to look things up online as I go. Occasionally I interview people. I have interviewed 2 bus drivers for the book I’m working on at the moment.

Are you a fiction reader? Who are the writers you admire?

I love reading fiction. Some of my favourite writers are Carol Shields, Anne Tyler, Helen Simpson and Ali Smith.

Do you work in a disciplined, nine-to-five way, or do you prefer to go with the creative flow?

I think there’s a time for thinking and research and then there’s a time to be disciplined. At the moment I have a daily word count which I have to meet before I’m allowed to go to bed.

Do you have any advice for would-be writers?

Read lots and then write!

Have you visited Blackpool before? 

Yes. I usually come once or twice a year with my children and husband to go to Pleasure Beach and/or Sandcastle Waterpark.

What’s next for you?

I’m working on my second novel which is also set in North West England.


For more information about Wordpool or to book visit You can also like Wordpool on Facebook or follow on Twitter @WordpoolFest.

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