I’m so pleased to welcome to Carmel Harrington to the blog today. Carmel’s new book Every Time A Bell Rings was published as an e-book by HarperImpulse on 15th October and will be available in paperback on 19th November. Now if you’re like me and are a huge fan of the film It’s a Wonderful Life, you’ll recognise that title as something Zuzu says at the end of the film. Carmel’s book is inspired by the film and I am really looking forward to reading it. I’ll add a review when it’s a bit nearer Christmas. In the meantime, let’s get to know more about Carmel and her book.
An angel gets its wings… Belle has taken all the Christmas decorations down. This year they won’t be celebrating. As foster parents, Belle and Jim have given many children the chance of a happier start in life. They’ve loved them as if they were their own. They shouldn’t have favourites but little Lauren has touched their hearts. And now her mother is well enough to take her back and Belle can’t bear the loss. Hence, Christmas is cancelled. So when Jim crashes his car one icy December night, after an argument about Lauren, Belle can only blame herself. Everything she loves is lost. And Belle finds herself standing on The Ha’Penny Bridge wishing she had never been born. But what happens to a Christmas wish when an angel is listening? Will Belle realise, before it’s too late, that her life is the most wonderful life of all? Inspired by the timeless tale of beloved Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, Carmel Harrington’s next book tells the story of Belle, a young woman and foster carer from Dublin who faces the hardest decision of her life this Christmas on The Ha’Penny Bridge.
Thanks for agreeing to take part today Carmel. First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?
I’m Carmel Harrington, sometimes known as MrsH! Usually HappyMrsH because I am happy – 99% of the time. I’m married to a great guy – Rog and we have two beautiful children, Amelia (5) and Nate (4).
They are my happy pills. I guarantee that if you spend a few minutes in their company, you can’t help but break into a hallmark cheesy grin. That’s a fact. Except when they spill something. Then it’s not quite as much fun.
I live in Wexford, which is on the south-east coast of Ireland. Love it here. It’s a pretty idyllic location, small close-knit village, close to the beach and the forestry, with nothing but amazing views from every room in our house. I’m lucky.
When I’m not being wife, mother and susie homemaker (ha!), I write. Mainly contemporary fiction which looks at the themes of love, loss and hope. I always aim to make my readers both laugh and cry, because I think that’s what we do when faced with tough times. Always smile through the tears. I also do some TV work, as a panelist for the daytime show Midday on TV3 and a regular guest panelist on a number of radio stations. And when I’m not doing all of that, I squeeze in some freelance writing.
What inspired you to start writing?
My children. I always wanted to write, but had never been brave enough to put myself out there. When the kids came along, I knew I had to lead by example. Can’t expect them to be fearless and follow their dreams, if I didn’t do the same myself.
Tell me about your journey to publication?
For me, I started off by self-publishing my first novel Beyond Grace’s Rainbow as an eBook. It became a no.1. bestseller in iTunes and top 100 bestseller on Amazon, so I got noticed by an agent, who signed me and who in turn got my publishing deal with Harper Collins’s romance imprint, Harper Impulse. I’ve now signed a second contract with Harper Collins this time with the Harper Fiction team.
Do you have a work in progress just now?
I’m working re-writes for my fourth novel, The Road Back Home, which is a story about the Guinness family, who spend a summer travelling around Europe in a campervan! Each of them, Mum, Dad, teenage daughter and young son, all struggling with life and each other. This trip is forcing them to examine their life together, themselves and ultimately discover if they can find their way back home – together.
What’s your favourite book you’ve read so far this year? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose!
So far, but it could change, because I’ve stacks of books to read yet this year – I’ve loved CL Taylors’ The Lie, Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die and Paula Hawkin’s Girl on the train. That was hard!!!
What are you reading just now?
Freedom Child by Jax Millar
Tell me about your reading habits: book or kindle, bed or bath, morning or evening?
I always have three books on the go. One on my bedside locker, for late night reading before I go to sleep. One on my kindle, for whenever I’m commuting by bus or train and any spare moments I get while out and about. And lastly, one on audio, that I listen to while I’m doing housework!
So as you can see, I read books, morning, noon and night … at least whenever I can squeeze them into my day!
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
I’m on twitter as @HappyMrsH and Facebook/happymrsh
Most days I’m on both, having a natter with all!
You can also catch up with news on my website http://www.carmelharrington.com
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
Ooh, so hard. Oh, I know! I want to be Amy Gumm in Dorothy Must Die. I’m a complete an utter Wizard of Oz nut, so I’ll have to be her. I want to go save Oz. I really do.