#BookFeature |THE GENERATION GAME by @sophiestenduffy | @Legend_Press |#Fiction #Interview #Author #OrderLink

It is our spot on The Generation Game book blog tour. Sophie Duffy stops by to share with us a picture that tells a story and Sophie also wants to know what’s your favourite ever Saturday night television programme? Tell us in the comments.

Generation Game Cover

The Generation Game by Sophie Duffy

  • Fiction
  • Family
  • Secrets
  • Literary Fiction

|Synopsis|

Philippa Smith is in her forties and has a beautiful newborn baby girl. She also has no husband, and nowhere to turn. So she turns to the only place she knows: the beginning. Retracing her life, she confronts the daily obstacles that shaped her very existence. From the tragic events of her childhood abandonment to the astonishing accomplishments of those close to her, Philippa learns of the sacrifices others chose to make, and the outcome of buried secrets.

| Author Interview |

What book truly inspired your life and why?

Although I have a love/hate relationship with Virginia Woolf, I have to admit that one of her books did inspire my life as a writer. I read ‘A Room of One’s Own’ when I was a student as it was a set text for one of my English Literature units, Women Writers. It touched me deeply, in particular, the part about Shakespeare’s sister where Woolf imagines the life Shakespeare would have had if he’d been born female. It wasn’t until I started writing myself when my three children were small, that I realised the importance of having a room of my own. This hasn’t always been a room – it’s been a bed, a summer house, a corner of a room, a café, a car, and various retreats. But a space in which to create is not a luxury. It’s essential. Writing is not a hobby. It’s a job. And it’s a vocation.

 

How did you pick who you dedicated your book to?

‘The Generation Game’ is a story about family – and that family isn’t always people connected by blood. I dedicated it to my two fathers. My own dad died by suicide when I was ten which had a huge impact on my life and ultimately led me to become a writer. I spent a lot of time with him as a child as he worked from home, first in the sweet shop in Torquay – the inspiration for this story – and later in our guest house in Teignmouth. He read to me a lot and we played cards and Scrabble as he was unable to get out and about. I’m so grateful for those years. The second father was my step-father, Ralph, who married my mum when I was fourteen. After a few tricky teenage years, we grew to love each other and he gave me away at my wedding. He sadly developed Alzheimer’s and died in 2007.

 

Did you do a lot of research for your book?

The setting of a sweet shop in Torquay was the starting point and I didn’t have to research that as it was all in my memory. I did research into Bruce Forsyth, Larry Grayson and The Generation Game and into various national events such as the Royal Wedding which included watching lots of clips of the crowds that lined the streets of London etc. Also the Silver Jubilee, the miners’ strike, the Great Storm, and Diana’s death.

 

What was your favourite read of 2017?

Last year I mainly read novels by women written in the 20th century as I have been blogging about this. #100WomenNovelists. Probably my highlight was revisiting Barbara Pym’s ‘Excellent Women’ written in 1952. As Alexander McCall Smith says in the introduction to the Virago Modern Classic edition of ‘Excellent Women’, it is ‘a novel that on one level is about very little, (but) is a great novel about a great deal.’ Witty, poignant, charming. And my favourite quote is: ‘The burden of keeping three people in toilet paper seemed to me rather a heavy one.’

 

If you had to take three books on a desert island what would they be? ‘Behind the Scenes at the Museum’ by Kate Atkinson (1995). I have read this several times and never tire of its depth and complexity and yet its utter accessibility. Atkinson’s narrative technique is bold and yet simple, whizzing us back and forth in time. Even when we know what is going to happen, she somehow deepens the tension so that you must hold your breath to read what you already know is coming. And then, boom!, it hits you over the head again. I think this is why it can be read and re-read.

 

‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole’ by Sue Townsend (1982) is just simply a work of comic genius. Adrian, a year older than me, had the shared misfortune of being a small town mediocre teenager in the 80s when everyone else was rocking the big fashion and flashing the cash. If I was on a desert island, I would learn this book by heart.

 

I think I would also choose a Victorian novel as they tend to be very long. Probably ‘The Mill on the Floss’ by George Eliot, because Maggie Tulliver is such a great character, the antithesis of a Victorian heroine – clumsy, forgetful, impatient, messy, emotional. And her relationship with her brother, Tom, is one of the most poignant and heartbreaking in the literary canon.

 

Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?

It took ten years from my first creative writing evening class in 2001 when my kids were small and we were newly living in Worthing, to seeing my first novel in print in 2011. ‘The Generation Game’ won the Yeovil Literary Prize as a work-in-progress in 2006 and I got an agent as a result of this. Unfortunately he was unable to sell it. So I wrote another novel which he didn’t like. So I had two novels that I still believed in and no hope of publishing them through my agent so I decided to go it alone. I entered ‘The Generation Game’ into the Luke Bitmead Bursary and it won. The prize was money plus a publishing contract with Legend Press. I now have a lovely agent who sold ‘This Holey Life’ (2012), ‘Bright Stars’ (2015), and ‘Betsy and Lilibet’ which is being published this October – all with Legend Press. I also write under the pseudonym Lizzie Lovell and ‘The Juniper Gin Joint’ will be published by Allen and Unwin in July. This is turning out to be a busy year.

 

Can you share with us a photo that tells a story?

The Giraffe, my Mummy, and Me.

The giraffe, my mummy, and me

What would you like your readers to know before starting your book?

Readers often think ‘The Generation Game’ is semi-autobiographical. It is most definitely fiction, though there are elements of my life in it. You’ll have to guess which bits are true.

 

Do you have any questions that you would like to ask your readers? What’s your favourite ever Saturday night television programme?

Website Link http://www.sophieduffy.com

 Instagram Link: @sophieduffy05

 

|Buy Link|

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| Publishers Info |

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If you enjoyed the blog please leave a like and a comment. We would love it if you could share it on Twitter & Facebook.  It really helps us to grow.  Thanks so very much.

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