Thursday, 6 April 2017

Author Spotlight with Mary Thorpe


Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Mary Thorpe, a retired Social Worker and Author.
She has written a moving family tale, “That’s Just How It Was," through which much can be gleaned about life during the push for Irish independence. The book is the biography of her remarkable grandmother, Bridget O’Rourke.



Tell us a little about yourself

*I am a retired Social Worker {Manager] I have five children and seven grandchildren.
As a Social Worker, I felt the driving need to record my grandmother’s story, in recognition of Bridget’s harsh life and also as a tribute to her and the millions of others like her.
These were people who made the best of things whilst still retaining a sense of pride, of the worth of education as a ticket out of poverty, and of the importance of retaining one’s dignity and commitment to the family through good and bad times,while acknowledging that Bridget possessed the old Irish good luck as well, in marrying a good man and in gaining the sponsorship of her patron, N. Stanislav Murphy.

This is from the Foreword .. but I could not have written it as good myself.

Within Bridget’s story, however, Mary is also writing about an era of tough times, and she acknowledges ‘these roots’ as the make-up of her own resilient Irish character. She is proud of her grandmother’s achievements, especially with regard to the life chances Bridget was able to create for her family – and rightly so!


Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?


*Yes.It is a Historical Biographical story about my grandmother's life, and it was through these harsh times that many thousands of Irish people emigrated to many, many foreign shores... I would like to believe that this book would help them understand their history and the reasons why immigration was so right.


Are your writings based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

*My Grandmother's life.

What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
• Irish History Books

What book are you reading now?

*The three sister queens


What are your current projects?

I am writing a 2nd book of what I hope will be a theology!

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

*A Local historian in Bray Co Wicklow called Henry Cairns


If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

*Yes... I would read more of the history first.
Basically, it was my granny's story and I now wish that I had put more effort into it about Irish History.
Although she walked through that history, I would leave some things out and put others in.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The research and then trying to sell it are challenges.


Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Yes . I would like them to read the book, and gain an understanding of why Irish people left their native land and all the reasons for it.
If they could find that understanding, then I believe that I had told the story well.


Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Knitting/crochet .. my grandchildren

What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Murder mysteries

Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
* Country and Western

If you were not a writer what else would you like to do?

*A Barrister /Lawyer/ Criminologist !!

That’s Just How It Was" is a moving family tale through which much can be gleaned about life during the push for Irish independence
This is a satisfying, emotionally involving read.”- Clarion Review

Get Mary's book at this link.