Wednesday 21 September 2022

A Slice of Cake With... Myra Duffy

Today I am delighted to have a slice of cake with author Myra Duffy.

As a child, Myra lived opposite the local library, a perfect location for someone who loved to read. Soon she was inspired to write her own novels. One still survives, though at 900 words might prove too short for today’s market.

At thirteen she won a writing competition organised by a national newspaper. The prize was a puppy – something that wouldn’t be allowed nowadays!

After some time teaching in Madrid and in London, Myra returned to Scotland and a career in educational management.

During this time she continued to write and be published, mostly in non-fiction. But success with short stories encouraged her to return to her first love – fiction. The House at Ettrick Bay is the first in her cosy crime series of eight novels and four novellas set on the Isle of Bute, just off the west coast of Scotland.

Myra Duffy divides her time between Glasgow and the Isle of Bute where her novels are set. She has family connections to the island stretching back several generations.

What kind of books do you write?

Most of my novels are set on the Isle of Bute, just off the West coast of Scotland and feature Alison Cameron, an ordinary woman with a nose for trouble who can’t resist becoming involved in a mystery.

Though small, with around 6,000 residents, the island has a rich historical and geographical diversity which I use as the background to my plots and indeed I incorporate many of these elements in my plots.

Although this is a series, each novel can be read as a standalone.

Can you describe your writing why?

I’ve always written since I was a small child and won a national writing competition when I was thirteen. Most of my adult writing was non-fiction (12 books published) before I returned to my first love – writing fiction.

My first book, When Old Ghosts Meet, is only partly set on Bute and was highly placed in the Crime novel competition at the Scottish Association of Writers Conference several years ago. This was hugely encouraging. The next book, The House at Ettrick Bay, sold well and I decided continuing with a series set on Bute would be a good opportunity to concentrate on a niche market.

But the truth is that I enjoy writing. Usually a first line pops into my head and that takes me on a journey with the characters – I’m never sure where they will end up.

 As well as the Bute books, I’ve written a Romance and a Contemporary novel set in Glasgow. And to date I’ve one Children’s mystery also set on Bute.  I’ve several unfinished novels (non-Bute) and I hope to find time to complete those one day!

Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most

This extract is from the Prologue to Last Dance at the Rothesay Pavilion. The Pavilion is being closed for renovation and a gala dance is held to mark the temporary closure of the building. Jacky is the compere for the evening.

As the dancers slowly left the hall, laughing and gossiping, the lights dimmed little by little until the hall was in complete darkness.

Jacky tugged at his collar. He would miss this place, not only because of the loss of income. Nowhere else he worked gave him the same feeling of excitement as this Art Deco building that was the Rothesay Pavilion. But there was much to look forward to: once the renovation was finished, the building would be restored to its former glory. In no time at all he’d be back here once again, hosting the grand opening.

But that was before they found the skeleton.

Tell us about your latest project

I’ve just launched the latest in the Bute series - Foul Play at the High Kirk. A theatre company arrives on Bute with their production of Sleeping Beauty but  is soon in difficulty as the first death occurs. And Alison Cameron finds herself once more involved in a troubling mystery.

Having now written ten books and four novellas in the Isle of Bute series, I’ve started on a new series, featuring a journalist , set in Glasgow in the 1990s. I’ve finished the latest draft and am now working with my editor to finalise it. The first in the series is called The Lost of Paradise and the action is sparked when Sarah Norsting, the journalist, catches a glimpse of someone from her past on a station platform.

What is your favourite cake?

My favourite cake is Christmas Cake, or fruit cake of any kind!

You can connect with Myra on her website, on Twitter @duffy_myra or find her on Facebook as Myra Duffy or Myra Duffy Writer.

Join me next week when I will be having a slice of cake with Lynn Johnson. 

If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

You can also support my writing endeavours on Kofi with a small donation towards tea and cake - it's what makes the world go round!

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop. Never miss out on future posts by following me.

No comments:

Post a Comment