Wednesday, December 27, 2017

FEATURED AUTHOR: RICA NEWBERY




ABOUT THE BOOK

It is 1942 in Oslo, two years into the German occupation of World War II. Maria and her three daughters are used to coping with the hardships of war, but when Maria’s husband leaves her for another woman and a German officer is billeted to their home, their troubles are only just beginning. Maria and her daughters must stop fighting with each other and find a way to survive through grief, dread and fear.






LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT INTERVIEW WITH RICA NEWBERY


A few of your favorite things: 

Photos, my mother’s art, iPad and iPhone.
Things you need to throw out: 

Dresses from ten years ago, old photos, iPad and iPhone.


Things you need in order to write:

Reference books, my ancient lap-top - off line since lightning struck when it was plugged in, peace and quiet.
Things that hamper your writing: 

Getting distracted checking my emails and Facebook, interruptions, appointments, fatigue, procrastination, lack of confidence.


Things you love about writing: 

Getting lost in the world of my imagination, feeling the emotions of my characters, bringing them to life, storytelling.
Things you hate about writing: 

Self-starting, dread at reading what I wrote the day before, overcoming anxiety and inertia, no-one cares what you have written, no-one has asked you to do it, what if it is no good?

Things you love about where you live:

Living on the outskirts of Bristol with advantage of city and access to fields and woods nearby.
Things that make you want to move: 

To be nearer my daughter and grandson.

Words that describe you:

Lively, amusing, driven, honest, loving, quick witted.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: 

Talks too much, ‘not as funny as she thinks she is,’ disorganized, untidy, does everything in a last minute rush, could go on, but -

Favorite foods: 

King prawns, salmon, mangos.
Things that make you want to throw up: 
Fermented herrings 

Favorite music: 

Besame Mucho, "Dance Me to the End of Love."
Music that make your ears bleed:

Irish country music (sorry, I love everything else about the Irish, I’m married to one).

Favorite beverage: 

Sparkling wine.

Something that gives you a pickle face: 

Fermented herrings, see above.

Favorite smell: 

Chanelle No 5, creosote, lemon. 

Something that makes you hold your nose:
Those fermented herrings.

Something you’re really good at:
Making people laugh.

Something you’re really bad at:
Mornings.


Something you wish you could do:

Sing.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: 

Killer Sudoku, it’s so addictive.

Something you like to do: 

Travel, watch movies, listen to podcasts while walking my dog.

Something you wish you’d never done: 

‘Non, Je regrette rien.’ (Edith Piaf)

People you consider as heroes:

Emmeline Pankhurst, Martin Luther King, Rosa Marks.

People with a big L on their heads:

Donald Trump, Donald Trump Junior, Ivanka Trump, need I go on?



Last best thing you ate: 

Grilled mackerel with beetroot and buttery new potatoes.  

Last thing you regret eating:

Huge slab millionaire’s shortbread in my car driving back from London, chocolate everywhere, waist expanded by several inches.

Things to say to an author:

'Wow, what a page turner!’ ‘I was so moved when . . .’  ‘It was so real.’

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book:
‘I fell asleep on page 2.’ ‘Of course, if you were a real writer….’ ‘Stick to your day job.’

Favorite places you’ve been: 

Darjeeling, Beijing, Lagos, St Petersburg.

Places you never want to go to again: 

Luton, Tierra del Fuego (aka ‘End of the World’).

People you’d like to invite to dinner:

Michelle Obama, Alvin Hall, Terry Gross (Fresh Air Podcast).

People you’d cancel dinner on: 

Jeremy Clarkson, Stephen Bannon.

Things that make you happy:

My family, my dog, my friends.

Things that drive you crazy: 

Noisy eaters, crinkly paper, loud music in caf├ęs or restaurants.

Most embarrassing moment:

In a pub and pedophilia is being discussed and I say ‘Who is Peter Filiac?'

Proudest moment:

Becoming an adoptive mum.

Biggest lie you’ve ever told:


I never tell lies.

A lie you wish you’d told:

‘I did not report you to the DVLA.’

Best thing you’ve ever done: 

Adopt my 2 children, both babies when they came to us.

Biggest mistake: 

Reporting my mother to the DVLA. (Although I really had no choice.)

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: 

Traveled around China on my own.

Something you chickened out from doing: 

Walking up Ayer’s Rock, (Uluru) had to stop after 10 metres at ‘Chicken Rock.’

The last thing you did for the first time: 

Arranged a retrospective art exhibition for my mother’s work.

Something you’ll never do again: 

Run a half marathon: could hardly walk for days afterwards and now my knees will only do five kilometers. 




CHATTING WITH RICA NEWBERY


Rica, tell us about Reluctant Courage.

It is 1942 in Oslo, two years into the German occupation of World War II. Maria and her three daughters are used to coping with the hardships of war, but when Maria’s husband leaves her for another woman and a German officer is billeted to their home, their troubles are only just beginning. Maria and her daughters must stop fighting with each other and find a way to survive.

Why did you decide to write this book?


My mother, Brit Maja Holmsen was eight years old when the Nazis marched into Oslo, her home town. She grew up to become an artist and a very powerful and magnetic character. Like most of us she had her flaws, and I wanted to understand her, to imagine the hardships she endured, and how this must have shaped her as a person. I also wanted to feel closer to my Norwegian roots.

Reluctant Courage is fiction but based on real life. What research did you do for this book?
I did a great deal of research for this book, including visits to the Resistance Museum in Oslo and Falstad Museum in Ekne, near Levanger in the North of Norway. The courage of the Norwegian people recorded here is an inspiration. My aim is to bring the war years in Oslo, as experienced by Maria and her three daughters, to life. The characters in my book are fictional, however, and are not true to any real people.


Who are you?
I am a retired psychiatrist living in Bristol with my husband and Elkhound. After being totally immersed in work and bringing up two children, I finally came up for air when I retired. I enlisted for a Creative Writing course with the Open University and knew then that I was going to write a novel inspired by my mother’s life.

I hope you enjoy my book. If you do, I am sure you will feel the same admiration for the survivors of the war that I do.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Rica Newbery is a retired psychiatrist, living with her husband in Bristol. After completing an Open University course in creative writing, she wrote her first novel Reluctant Courage. Although her novel is fictional, it is based on much research and inspired by haunting stories from her mother’s childhood in Nazi-occupied Oslo.

Buy the book:
Amazon UK  |  Amazon US  |  Book Venture Online Book Store (USA)