Hi and welcome to my stop on Tamar Hodes’s The Water And The Wine blog tour with Hookline Books and Love Books Group Tours 🙂
Many thanks to Kelly @ Love Books Group
Interview with Tamar Hodes…..
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
I am lucky that ideas seem to come to me all the time, usually in the middle of the night! This novel is a mixture of fact, fiction, research and my own ideas.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
Yes. Many of the characters are based on the real people who lived on Hydra in the sixties but I have fictionalised them to some extent. Jack and Frieda Silver are based on my parents but again they are a fictionalised version of them. Not all the events in the novel happened.
How do you pick your characters’ names?
That was easy as most of the characters have the real names that they had but the made-up names came easily.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
I think that a lot of writing is thinking. Driving to work and also swimming provide me with the mental space to try to think about characters and plot and work issues out. By the time I sit at the computer, all that planning and a strange kind of alchemy happen and the words pour out although, of course, there is also a lot of editing and redrafting that comes later.
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
Alice Munro, Anita Shreve, Virginia Woolf, George Eliot, and Emily Bronte for Wuthering Heights.
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I would love to have met Virginia Woolf, although I suspect that I would have been intimidated by her manner and her incredible talent.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Yes. I read a huge amount and my parents always encouraged me to do so, but not in a pushy way.
When did you start to write?
I wrote my first novel when I was eighteen but I was always writing as a child. It seems to be innately what and who I am.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
No specific book but I would urge writers not to feel that they have to have happy endings. I see life as messier and more complex than that. Fairy tales which end with ‘And they lived happily ever after’ seem ludicrous to me.
If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
Pageturner. That would capture my own reading, how I want my novels to be for my readers, and my philosophy, which is to try to keep going forwards and to enjoy good times when they occur but to walk through the hard times. My father had a useful saying: There are times to enjoy and times to endure.
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
I like Dorothea in Middlemarch as she embodies that stoical philosophy. I would take her for a treat and give her lovely pastries and good coffee as she is always thinking of others rather than herself.
What are you working on right now?
I always have short stories on the boil or rather on simmer. I can return to them in between novels, when I want to.
Tell us about your last release?
Apart from The Water and the Wine, I have three short stories being published this year.
Do you have a new release due?
Only short stories.
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
Drink champagne with my family and have a toast.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
They can post reviews on my Amazon page or Goodreads but if they want to ask me a question they can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
I see life as difficult, wonderful, beautiful, ugly, magical and mundane. I hope that I convey that in my fiction.
It is the 1960s and a group of young writers and artists gather on the Greek island of Hydra. Leonard Cohen is at the start of his career and in love with Marianne, who is also muse to her ex-husband, Axel. Australian authors George Johnston and Charmian Clift write, drink and fight. It is a hedonistic time of love, sex and new ideas. As the island hums with excitement, Jack and Frieda Silver join the community, hoping to mend their broken marriage. However, Greece is overtaken by a military junta and the artistic idyll is threatened.
About the Author
Growing up, Tamar Hodes’ neighbours were Leonard Cohen, his girlfriend Marianne, and other writers and artists on the Greek island of Hydra. Her parents took her to the island to pursue their own art and writing. However, the bohemian nature of Hydra destroyed their marriage. The Water and the Wine is a fictional account of those days.; Tamar Hodes’ first novel Raffy’s Shapes was published in 2006. She has had stories on Radio 4 and others in anthologies including Salt’s The Best British Short Stories 2015, The Pigeonhole, Your One Phone Call, the Ofi Press, MIR online and Fictive Dream. Tamar was born in Israel and lived in Greece and South Africa before settling in the UK. She read English and Education at Homerton College, Cambridge. For the past thirty-three years she has taught English in schools, universities and prisons.