Thursday 18 June 2020

Blog Tour: Interview with Ronan Brady Author of World’s Apart @AnomalyRonan @Lovebooksgroup @MercierBooks

Today is my stop on the blog tour for World's Apart by Ronan Brady. I have an interview with the author today and if you like the sound of that, you can click here to order your copy now. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews. There are also some exclusive videos at the bottom of this post if you want another taste of this book.

Here's what it's all about...

At just under six foot in his socks and weighing in at fourteen stone, Ronan Brady is a solid slab of rarest Roscommon meat. He has a natural tendency to throw himself about – some would say recklessly, others would say enthusiastically – into whatever he sets himself to. Ronan had a ‘normal’ childhood in Roscommon and knew by the time he was a teenager that when he grew up he wanted to play football for his county and become a teacher. Ronan had achieved his life ambition when he took up ‘Flying’ as a hobby. A hobby that transformed his life and took him to heights he never dreamed of, performing in the smash hit show Riot alongside Panti Bliss, and going on to tour the world. Worlds Apart is an open, humorous account of Ronan’s life journey,

Here's that interview for you...

First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?

Perhaps not such a clichĂ© answer, but I got into writing when my publisher approached me asking if I’d be interested in publishing a fitness book. At the time I was part personal trainer and part circus performer. I didn’t consider myself a writer and only had a few random blog posts and a small email list that I sent out thoughts, tips and upcoming performances to.
The idea of a fitness book didn’t appeal to me and I thought I could potentially create something more powerful. I only had the ideas and stories though, and didn’t have to correct literary skills or the words per minute to assemble a cohesive 65,000 word document. So I trailed a sample chapter with a ghost writer who I met by pure chance, pitched it to Mercier, and they loved it. And that was the beginning of me writing.

Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?

I don’t. The only marginally consistent writing I do are morning pages, and they aren’t so consistent. Usually when I’m stressed, blocked or anxious. It’s amazing what comes out in morning pages.

Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer to write?

With this being my first book, a particular style hasn’t yet been established. What I’ve found for me with creating anything, whether it be writing or creating performance art, it’s better to allow whatever needs to come out come out. So sometimes trying to create something specific is a hinderance and if I just start, what needs to be created in that moment is what comes out. It can be a scary process, like going on a journey with out a destination and no map. But it’s often how I best work.
What was the inspiration behind your book?

The inspiration was to tell authentic honest stories that can provide learning and be useful to people. If I was going to take the time to write something at all, I wanted to to pour myself into it and produce something of substance, not produce a book that was simply more noise. I wanted to write the book I would have loved to have read as a teen or young adult. To present situations, circumstances and events to people so they can take lessons from should they wish, and if not, for them to have enjoyed the story anyway. I love to observe other people and learn from that. I don’t necessarily like being told what to do. I like something to be presented to me, and then I take away what I feel is useful. I wanted to offer that same scenario to my readers.

What is your writing process-do you plan it out first? Write a bit at a time?

For this book I sat down with my ghost writer and we conducted a series of interviews over the course of a week. Two sessions per day, morning and afternoon, separated by some kind of physical activity around lunch. A hike, a surf, a run etc. A beer in the evening helped the process too. It was important we were comfortable with each other and trusted each other.
Once the initial recordings were done. The chapters were drafted and became online, editable google docs. There is where I went in and made corrections, elaborated more on the story or changed words or phrases to be more my voice.

What kind of research did you have to do before/during writing behind your book?

The research came after the first draft. It’s crazy how our memory can blur the past. Sometimes separate occasions spanning over years melding into one single instance. I had to go back and seek out accurate timelines and talk to other people present. It was a wonderful conversation starter and I enjoyed the process and catch ups with people.

How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?

I like to read them. I like to understand what people enjoyed or didn’t like. It’s a dangerous game, but I’d rather know than not know.

Are friends and family supportive of your writing?

They are. It’s a huge achievement to create a book and have it published. People realise what a mammoth task that is and really appreciate it.

How do you feel leading up to your publication day?

Super nervous. I’ve found we can never truly have open or truthful conversations with each other unless we have exposed something of ourselves that we might not usually or to be vulnerable. Even though reading a book is not necessarily a conversation, I want it to feel somewhat that way, so that is the manner I have created it. The book is somewhat exposing and that can be nerve wrecking, but it’s also exciting and important.

Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?

I really enjoy Emilie Pine and Michael Harding.

Finally...what are you working on right now?

Right now I am trying to accept the world for what it is right now and how I navigate that. Stories are what make the world go around, so I want to continue telling them. I am practicing speaking stories more, how to record audio and to camera. Stories will always be stories but the way in which we tell them may need to be malleable for a while.
Ronan Brady
Ronan Brady is a physical performer, aerialist and hoop artist who is recognised internationally for his expertise with the Cyr wheel. He is a native of Roscommon, where he was a teacher and played intercounty football, before embarking on his stage career.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your excellent interview and for taking part in the tour!

    Meggy from Love Books Tours