Saturday, February 11, 2012


Today, I am more then excited to present or guest host: Marie Landry. She has written a lovely book Blue Sky days, and I hope you all get the chance to read it.

Guest post  Who Tilly Campbell-Ward is NOT based on…

After reading Blue Sky Days, I’ve had people tell me they genuinely hate Emma’s mother, Tilly. That’s good…that’s what I wanted. If you feel genuine emotion toward a character, then I feel I’ve done my job as an author.

Tilly is self-centred, snobby, and a poor excuse for a mother. A good deal of Emma’s struggles come back to her dysfunctional relationship with Tilly—always trying to please her, never living up to her impossible standards, feeling like she wasn’t loved or cherished or any of the things a daughter should feel.

So who, you may ask, is Tilly based on? Well…I can tell you who she’s not based on: my own mother. My mum was so worried that people would think Tilly was based on her. She didn’t want people to think that she was a cruel dictator of a parent when she’s actually the complete opposite. It actually became a bit of a joke with us, so when I wrote my dedication, I made sure to put it out there for the world to see: “…and Mum, thank you for being the complete opposite of Emma’s mother!”

My mum is truly nothing like Tilly Campbell-Ward. Tilly came almost entirely from my imagination. I found it more of a challenge to create a completely fictional character and to let my imagination run free coming up with the nasty, biting things she said to Emma. As a writer, I like a challenge; my mum is my best friend—one of the kindest, sweetest, loveliest, most generous people on this earth—so it would have been too easy to write a character like that. Not to mention the fact that the story would have been much different if Emma had had a supportive, loving mother!

Now, when I say that Tilly was ‘almost entirely from my imagination’, I did take qualities here and there from people I know—mothers or mothers-in-law of my friends, and just maybe a particular family member of mine who shall remain nameless but has a number of the qualities that make Tilly such an unlikable character. Inspiration really does come in all forms!


Thank you so much for lettimg me be part of such a great tour. This is really a great book.

First off, I'd love for you to tell us a little bit about yourself.

Well, I just turned 28 in December. I live in Ontario, Canada, and I’ve been working as a freelance writer since 2009. I’m passionate about writing, music, reading, and blogging. I have a book blog called Ramblings of a Daydreamer where I post book reviews and other bookish-themed posts. Blue Sky Days is my debut novel.

Was writing always something you wanted to do? Or was there something else and you just kind of fell into writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember; it’s always been my dream, and I was determined to do it professionally in one form or another. I figured I’d have to do something else before I could be a professional writer, but I couldn’t really think of anything else I wanted to do, so since I love children, I became a preschool teacher and then a nanny. I enjoyed it, but knew it wasn’t something I wanted to do forever, so I committed to writing full-time.

What inspired you to write this book?

A lot of things, really. I had quite a few ideas for a story, and realized they would fit well together. I always knew I would work cancer into a story somewhere because my dad had leukemia when I was little. When a friend of mine was diagnosed with leukemia several years ago, the idea for Nicholas being diagnosed with cancer formed fully in my mind and I just started writing.

Did you have to do any type of research?

Not as much as many other authors. I was already quite familiar with leukemia since my dad was sick for two years, but I did do a bit of cancer research to make sure I got my facts straight. I also had to do some research about the construction business for Nicholas’s job; my editor actually helped me quite a bit with that.

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?

Oh, that’s a hard one! My mum has often joked that we should write a story about our lives and call it Survivor because we’ve both been through so much, but we’d have to label it fiction because nobody would believe it was true. Other than that, I might name it after my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer.

What advice would you give aspiring writers?

Never ever give up. If you want it bad enough, don’t let anyone discourage you or tell you that you can’t do it. Dream big and believe in those dreams. Believe in yourself. Work hard. Hone your craft. Be passionate. Do it because you love it, not because you hope to get rich.

What's a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?

A typical day for me starts anywhere between 9 and 10am. I work from home, so I get on the computer almost right away and do my check-ins - email, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. Then I get to work and start writing until lunch time. After a short break, I get back to it until dinner time. I’ll usually take a few hours to read and watch TV, but then I get back to it and will be on the computer sometimes as late (or early) as 3am. I do try to set goals every day because I find it helps me work better. It’s usually a minimum word count, or sometimes sometime as simple as ‘finish chapter X’.

I'd like to thank you for such a great interview, and I hope to be able to do it all over again with any upcoming work you might have. I must say, that I also truly enjoyed the guest post. I had my own thoughts and feelings about Tilly, so getting to read more about her was nice.

Thank you so much for having me here Sarita, it’s been a pleasure! I appreciate your support so much, and I can’t wait to return to talk to you and your blog readers about future projects.

Well everyone, I really hope you enjoyed both the guest post and the interview. If you come back tomorrow, I'll be holding a giveaway.

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