Welcome to my author interview with P. K. Lynch to discuss her latest release Wildest Of All. Interviewing authors is one of my favourite posts to do here on Always Trust In Books as it a brilliant way to get insights into a book. Inspirations behind novels can be just as compelling as blurbs, the synopsis or summaries. I hope these will entice you into trying WOA in the future. Legend Press have had an outstanding 2017 with some rock solid releases. Wildest Of All sounds like a bold, passionate and captivating story centred around grief. Thanks for stopping by to check out the Q&A!
About P. K. Lynch
P.K. Lynch is the author of ARMADILLOS (2016) and WILDEST OF ALL (September 2017)
P. K. Lynch trained as an actor and her first professional job was playing Lizzie in the film of Irvine Welsh’s novel, Trainspotting.
After having a baby, P.K. completed her first stage play, Promise. Her second play, King of the Gypsies, played at the Edinburgh fringe, and then toured.
She then enrolled on the MLitt Creative Writing programme at Glasgow University where Armadillos was awarded the Sceptre Prize for Fiction.
Personal Website: lynchpinpauline.wordpress.com
Book Synopsis for Wildest Of All
The Donnelly family are a tight-knit bunch, but when one of their own dies without warning, the mother, the daughter-in-law, and the daughter, despite being united in grief, are each sent hurtling in wildly different directions.
From the churches of Glasgow to the nightclubs of London, can they find their way back to each other before it’s too late? And in the wake of a parent’s death, who exactly is responsible for looking after whom?
The Q&A Section – P.K. Lynch
Could you give us your own personal overview of the novel?
Wildest of All is the story of what happens between family members when their linchpin dies suddenly. Peter Donnelly leaves behind his mother, partner, and daughter. Somehow they have to learn how to function without Peter holding them together. Unfortunately, grief and past trauma informs their every interaction, and soon they’re hurtling in wildly different directions.
Where did the original inspiration for Wildest Of All come from?
My own parents died within three years of each other when I was in my early twenties so I feel I know a bit about grief. I’ve also long been fascinated with my paternal grandmother’s story. Her mother died when she was a baby and she was brought up by someone she wasn’t related to. She was very bright and due to her circumstances didn’t get to finish school or go to university – like a lot of women in those days. I’ve used those nuggets of truth and fictionalised them in order to explore the effects of the past on the present.
How long did it take you to finish the book from first draft to finished piece?
Ha. From first draft to finished piece? Not long at all. Months. But the story’s been rolling around in my head for years and years. I had a lot of false starts.
Grief is an interesting theme, what are you trying to achieve with this story?
I’m quite a Polly Anna type of person. I’m trying to convey how important it is that we are all encouraged to be the fullest version of ourselves possible. Thwarted ambition, abandoned dreams, unfulfilled potential are tragedies wherever we find them but sometimes sacrifices are made for the greater good. The mother in my book makes a difficult decision to give something up but she does it because she prioritises her daughter. It’s the right thing to do. However, another character is forced into a life of sacrifice and it has damaging generational consequences.
Could you give us some insights into what challenges you faced when writing Wildest Of All?
Initially it was going to be just Sissy, the daughter’s story, but I found grief cannot exist in a vacuum and other voices had to come in. Sissy is a typical angry teenager at the beginning of the book, sometimes selfish and unpleasant to be around. I couldn’t let her sense of injustice go unchallenged so I had to give voice to the people who she perceived to be the root of her pain. I wanted to examine how far reaching death can be. The narrator describes Peter’s death as ‘a bomb going off and all life after nothing more than a series of after-shocks’ – I wanted to explore how a single death can resonate in the most unexpected places and this involved bringing in more distant characters. My editor suggested I streamline the novel and make it more about the triangle of women. It was the right thing to do though I’m very pleased I’ve managed to keep a sensitive postman in!
How did you celebrate after you have finished writing Wildest Of All?
I haven’t yet. I’m not good at celebrating. I have a nasty habit of focusing on the areas I’m still not happy with. I’ll celebrate if readers react positively because that’s the whole point, really.
What is the most interesting part of being an author in your opinion?
Learning, learning, learning! No project is the same. I bet any writer will tell you their internet search history would take some explaining. I just wish I could remember everything. I tend to become an expert on a subject for the duration of the project and then promptly forget the whole lot.
How do you wind-down from work/writing?
Wine and box sets. The occasional walk. I should do a lot more of those.
Have you read a book recently that you would personally recommend to the readers of this blog?
I recently read The Power by Naomi Alderman. It is the book I wish I’d written. So smart. My partner read it straight after me and we still need to talk about it because I wonder if men and women react to it differently. I know he loved it but I wonder if he had the same tingle of excitement I had at the prospect of developing a skein. A real eye-opener of a book.
Thank you for stopping to check out my Q&A with P.K. Lynch about her latest release Wildest Of All. I am excited to read this book and see where it takes me on the subject of grief. I have read quite a few books centred around loss this year and each one has been meaningful and profound. I am sure this is too. Show your support for P.K. Lynch and her work in the comments and until next time, Happy Reading!