Today I’m pleased to welcome Louise Beech back to the blog. Louise is the author of How to be Brave and The Mountain in my Shoe. Her latest novel, Maria in the Moon was published by Orenda Books on 30 September 2017.
To celebrate the release of Maria in the Moon, Louise has written a piece about how her novel inspired it’s own song.
My third novel, Maria in the Moon, is out in the world now and has been enjoying her glorious blog tour, with this as the penultimate stop. It feels as exciting as the first time. Perhaps more so. Because this novel was the first one I wrote and it has taken ten long years to get here. And this time one of my books has something a bit extra. Yes, Maria also has her own song. Her very own song!
Let me tell you how…
Something special happened while I was editing the novel a few months ago. Something a little bit magic, I like to think. I got chatting to my long-time hairdresser, Carrie, about the story of Catherine-Maria. She was fascinated by the title. Said it was gorgeous, and it sounded almost like a song. Carrie just so happens to be Hull’s best singer/songwriter, so it’s understandable that while trimming my locks she would hear poetry in my words.
The two of us have been friends for fifteen years. While Carrie was mobile-hairdressing she dreamed of making a music career a reality. And while I sat in a chair for her, surrounded by my children’s toys, I was dreaming of being a published writer. We talked about it all the time. What it might be like. How it would happen.
For both of us – wrapped up in bringing up our kids – it seemed it might never transpire. But our dreams have paralleled. At the same time as my debut book, How to be Brave, was released, Carrie was enjoying the success of her debut album, What If.
So, back to the magic moment a few weeks ago. While we talked about the book, Carrie said she had a melody already in her head, and she felt instinctively that Maria in the Moon was supposed to go with it. ‘Leave it with me,’ she said. I did. And the next day Carrie sent me the most gorgeous lyrics. They made me cry. Not long after, she sent me a recording of herself playing the song in her kitchen. I got goosebumps. It was exquisite.
So, we have been on local radio talking about our collaboration, and Carrie will be playing at my Hull book launch on 20th October. There is a stunning video, too. Also, her new album Seductive Sky, featuring the song alongside some other beauties, will be out very soon.
Watch the video. What do you think? Isn’t it beautiful. It’s been an honour to collaborate with Carrie, and I hope we do again soon…
Carrie’s website – http://www.carriemartin.co.uk/
About the book
‘Long ago my beloved Nanny Eve chose my name. Then one day she stopped calling me it. I try now to remember why, but I just can’t.’
Thirty-two-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria.
With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the devastating deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges … and changes everything.
Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defences we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide…
Something so terrible happened to Maria when she was nine that she can’t remember the first nine years of her life. The not-knowing has made her an acerbic, defensive character who spurns love, but when she volunteers at a call centre for flood victims, her softer side and a memory of what happened start to emerge. Maria in the Moon is part psychological thriller, part love story and fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine will love it.’ Maria in the Moon has been recommended as one of September’s best pulse-quickening page-turners in Red Magazine.
About the author
Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The sequel, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both books have been number one on Kindle, Audible and Kobo in USA/UK/AU. She regularly writes travel pieces for the Hull Daily Mail, where she was a columnist for ten years. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s 2017 City of Culture – and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012. She is also part of the Mums’ Army on Lizzie and Carl’s BBC Radio Humberside Breakfast Show.