Youre Not Alone 3d inamge (1)Today I’m welcoming Rebecca Bryn whom I’ve met through our work for “You’re Not Alone”, an anthology in aid of MacMillan Cancer Care. 

This interview is part of a series of blog posts to introduce my colleagues in this endeavour. The anthology is available for pre-order and will be released on July 11. 

Twenty-seven writers from around the world, including myself have entered an assortment of short stories for your pleasure, show your support by liking the new page on Facebook and expressing an interest in buying the book.

 Amazon for per-order via these links:

You’ll find the Facebook page here:

And here is the fund, in loving memory of Pamela Mary Winton

51x3EtG+dDL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX324_SY324_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_“Touching the Wire” by Rebecca Bryn is a heavy and at times difficult read. The location is a death camp in Poland 1940 and the author spares us little to show the gruesomeness that is camp life. This is the strength of the first part. Much of the literature about the time glosses over and makes us shed a tear. Bryn is more truthful, yet then manages to weave in a love story between an inmate and a young doctor. Very powerful and impressive with lots to think about and reflect upon.
Then forward to present day England where the granddaughter of the doctor delves into the past. When I saw the second part I thought I knew where this would be going but Bryn does an excellent job at bringing the halves together.
A great read I would definitely recommend.

Interview with Rebecca:

How did you come to writing?pic 1

A school friend, who had always loved writing, had a bad accident and was incapacitated for a long while. I suggested she used her time recuperating to write. She began sending me snippets through the post and I would comment on them and return them. Later we exchanged documents via e-mail and one day, sitting at my desktop, I typed Chapter One… and I was hooked.


How did you come up with your stories?

Touching the Wire was inspired by a TV report about war criminals in 2005, and some burr elm boxes my husband was making at the time. pic 2

The Silence of the Stones was partly inspired by the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007, and the release of Angela Canning after evidence given by medical experts regarding sudden infant mortality was found to be unsafe.

Where Hope Dares, the novel that began my writing career, was inspired by a scientific debate on climate change back in 2004. The jury is still out on that one, but I hope to publish the third rewrite at the end of 2015.


You have created great characters. Which one is your favourite? pic 3

Gosh. That’s a hard one. I suppose I’d have to choose Walt Blundell, in Touching the Wire, who was modelled on my much-loved maternal grandfather, but running him a very close second is Alana, from The Silence of the Stones.


Who would you cast to play the characters in a movie?

I can’t think of the perfect people. They would have to be actors with compassion who understood personal pain and the difficulty of having to make seemingly impossible choices.


Are you like any of the characters (and how so)?

I think Alana is the person I could have been, had I had much more courage and much less conscience.


Were the plot and subplots completely planned from the start or did they change during the process, and if so, how?

I had a rough idea where I wanted the story to go, but my novels are character driven, so where I have an idea of the beginning and the end, the journey goes where they take me. Touching the Wire changed dramatically, as will Where Hope Dares, as ideas ferment and outside criticism helps take me forward in a different direction. The Silence of the Stones wrote itself… nothing to do with me, honest. Must have been the runes… I actually did proper rune-castings that had an unnerving knack of taking the story unerringly to its next scene.

What is your main reason for writing?

I have a creative nature. I paint seascapes in watercolour: I make things… I’ve never been good at communicating verbally but I can write things down. Writing is just an extension of myself.


What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?

Being taken on a journey by characters who become your friends is the best thing, and I find the research fascinating. The worst is the time it absorbs at an alarming rate. I don’t have enough hours in my days. Must get up earlier. Hang on… I’ve forgotten to hang out the washing.


How do you balance marketing one book and writing the next?

It’s tough. I spent a lot of time early on building platforms and contacts, and found it impossible to write anything. I have reduced the number of platforms to those that work best for me and, now, I limit my marketing time each day or it would completely take over.

What do you do when you don’t write?

Paint, garden, walk the dog, spend time on our canal boat, help organise art exhibitions for my local art group, of which I’m treasurer, try not to do too much housework, proof-read for a fellow author and attempt, not very successfully, to be a wife and mother.
Tell us one odd thing about you and one really mundane thing.

I like Marmite. Does that cover both things?

What else would you like us to know about yourself and your books?

I write from the heart: my own life experiences are laid bare for all to see.

Who are your editors and how do you quality control your books?

My main editor is Sarah Stuart, a long-time friend and fellow author with whom I share a website. Other readers also input criticism which is acted upon. They are read and reread for formatting, typos and other errors.

How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows?

Hard work: very hard work, but rewarding. Highs have to be when you get good reviews, as lows are when you get bad ones.

What is your advice to new writers?

Write. Don’t be afraid to show your work to people and take criticism as it’s intended – to be helpful.

Who are your favourite independent writers?

I love Lesley Hayes’s writing.

Who are your favourite authors?

Douglas Adams, Tolkien, Stephen Donaldson, Terry Goodkind.

What is your favourite book?

Lord of the Rings

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

Guy Erma and the Son of Empire – Sally Melia

What makes you laugh?

My husband and my dog, Rob Brydon and the late Margaret John amongst other things.

What (not who) would you like to take to a lonely island?

A container-load of paper and pencils… and a large eraser.

Who would you like to invite for dinner?

Mark Knopfler if he brings his guitar.

What would your friends say are your best and your oddest quality?

I’m easy-going. I’m very forgetful. You probably need to be the second to be the first.
What would you chose as those qualities?

Best: I don’t judge easily. My worst? I couldn’t possibly say.

What song would you pick to go with your book?

With Touching the Wire, either ‘Why Worry’, or ‘Brothers in Arms’.

How do you handle criticism of your work?

I’m always happy to have criticism: it’s brought about some of the most brilliant changes to my novels. Recent criticism of Where Hope Dares is the reason for the delay in its publishing and I’m feeling quite excited about where it might lead the story.

pic 1

Rebecca lives on a small-holding in West Wales with her husband, rescue dog and about twenty sheep. She has been painting watercolour seascapes of the stunning coastal scenery for over twenty years, and has been writing for about ten years.

Rebecca Bryn – author of The Silence of the Stones and Touching the Wire




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