We are delighted to welcome Carmel Harrington to our blog today to talk about her new book Every Time a Bell Rings.
What was the inspiration behind this novel?
Every Time a Bell Rings is inspired by the beloved Christmas movie It’s A Wonderful Life. The movie has incredible themes to work with, both dark and light - from love, family, friendship to utter despair and hopelessness.
My story is set in Dublin and centres around the life of Belle Bailey. Its told in three parts, from Belles early childhood, right up to the present day.
It was a joy to write.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes, ever since I was a young girl, standing in my local library choosing my next read, I dreamt of one day having a book on those book shelves!
What other jobs have you had?
Lots of different ones - from waitress, to shop assistant as a teenager. Then I worked with Aer Lingus for ten years, before moving to an american multinational as a Sales and Marketing Manager.
How did it feel when your first novel was published?
It was the single most beautiful moment of my professional life. And it’s up there in my top five moments of my personal life too, only eclipsed by my wedding day and children's births!
I literally whooped out loud with excitement, I cried tears of joy, I danced, I sang, I celebrated, I sat quietly and felt awe that it had finally happened. It was wonderful.
Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?
No, I haven’t, but if it did happen, I’d walk away, take a break for a few days and recharge my batteries and creative brain.
What motivates you to keep writing?
So many things - a reader getting in touch, the actual joy I get in creating all these characters and plots, seeing my book - my book with my name on it! - on a bookshelf. All motivates me.
Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa?
Yes. It’s impossible not to lose yourself in their lives, they become like family to me. And when they are sad, I’m sad for them. And when they are happy, I walk a little lighter, smile a little brighter.
What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Once you have written your manuscript, make sure it is the very best it can possibly be, before you submit to an agent or publisher. I’d invest in a good edit. Or at the very least, make sure that you get constructive feedback from writer friends.
Know the industry, be informed. There are a lot of options now for aspiring writers and publishers worldwide are now more accessible than ever before.
Get involved on twitter and Facebook with your favourite authors and publishers. Start a conversation with them; you may be surprised at how accessible they are!
Take advantage of any opportunities that are out there. For e.g. there are so many literary festivals on, not least of which this one! Empower yourself with knowledge. And enjoy the journey. Believe in yourself and know that it will happen one day. The when is the only bit that is unknown.
Which authors inspire you?
So many - Maeve Binchy, Stephen King, Suzanne Collins, Liane Moriarty, Cecelia Ahern, Paul O’Brien, Jane Austen, Harper Lee.
What are you reading at the moment?
Jax Millar’s Freedoms Child.
If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
I’ll be home for Christmas.
Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?
Belle Bailey would be played beautifully by the Irish Actress Ruth Negga.
What is your next book about?
The Road Back Home is about the Guinness family who are sent on an eight week tour of Europe, in a campervan, by grand-dad Pops.
It’s a story about discovery, family and love.
Thank you to Carmel for answering our questions. For details about the book please see below.
Book Angels x
Every Time A Bell Rings !
… 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 is full of Irish charm, magic, and the warmth of the festive season this is an emotional, heartwarming story that will stay with you long after you’ve reached ‘The End’. !
Author: Carmel Harrington
Title: Every Time a Bell Rings
Publishers: Harper Collins
Publication Date: Ebook; 15th Oct, Paperback; 19th Nov 2015
Link: Uk: Amazon
To read our review of Every Time a Bell Rings please click here
About the Author
Carmel Harrington lives with her husband Roger and children Amelia and Nate in a small coastal village in Wexford. She credits the idyllic setting as a constant source of inspiration to her. !
Her first book, ‘Beyond Grace’s Rainbow’ was originally self-published in August 2012. Grace’s
story quickly became a bestseller - fast forward 12 months and Carmel joined the prestigious
HarperCollins publishing house, represented by Trace Literary Agency. Beyond Grace’s Rainbow was voted Romantic eBook of 2013 and Kindle Book of Year 2013. Her second novel ‘The Life You Left’, was published in June 2013, was also an eBook bestseller and earned Carmel the nickname, ‘Queen of Emotional Writing’. !
Carmel writes emotional family dramas and they share one common theme - strong characters who
find themselves in extraordinary situations. She loves to dig deep and see how they cope, as they grapple with life-changing moments. !
She is a regular on Irish TV as one of the panelists on TV3’s Midday Show, as well as being interviewed on RTE1’s Today Show, TV3’s IrelandAM and TV3’s The Morning Show. She has also been interviewed on US TV - Indiana’s WNDU. A a regular guest on radio stations and a
popular freelance writer. Carmel is also a popular motivational keynote speaker, at events in Ireland, UK and US. !
Twitter @HappyMrsH !