Mary Carter, author of The Pub Across the Pond, is my special guest today!
The Pub Across the Pond is the story of Carlene Rivers, who decides to purchase a raffle ticket. The prize is a pub in Ballybeog, a small town on the western coast of Ireland near Galway Bay. Carlene is completely shocked when she learns that she is the winner! And at thirty years of age, she leaves her boring life in Cleveland behind and heads off to claim her prize. She is instantly smitten with her new home and business, not to mention the former owner of the pub, Ronan McBride, a handsome, charming and very eligible bachelor.
Carlene learns that “sometimes leaving home is the only way to find where you belong.”
Surprises I’ve Had Since Publishing “The Pub Across the Pond”
My mom thinks Liam Neeson should play Declan in the movie. (I never thought of Declan as that handsome, but I’m willing to stretch the part if Liam wants to do it!)
The Dublin Irish Festival in Dublin, Ohio invited me to attend next year’s festival to sign books. (And I said yes!)
The cover to the audiobook is different from the paperback cover. I love them both!
Some readers have contacted me stating that they have the same anxiety disorder as my leading character, Carlene, does. (Sometimes she can’t urinate in a public restroom.)
My Irish friends (often cynics) told me I nailed the Irish culture.
Sam’s Club sold five hundred copies in one weekend.
The Barnes and Noble on Fifth Avenue in New York City has a stack of the book on one of their front tables. (Up until now I’ve never had my books on the front tables unless I sneak one there myself.)
Barnes and Noble will feature The Pub Across the Pond in their online book club. The date is being determined, but it won’t be until spring or summer.
Readers are already asking for a sequel! (So do I but that’s probably up to my publishing company.)
It’s my first novel where readers have said it’s a book they will read again some day.
Writing a novel is a lot of work. Publicizing a novel is a lot of work. So it’s rewarding to celebrate the little surprises that come after the book has been released into the world. I’m still very much a “working writer,” meaning I’m not rich and I still have to hold down a second job to make a living. Sometimes I ask myself if I can keep up the pace. If I never make another dime more than I make now, and have to work two jobs the rest of my life, will I still write a novel a year?
They’re heady questions, and I would guess I’m not alone. What do you do for a living? What are your passions in life? Are they one and the same?
And what about the little surprises that come when you spend time doing something you love? Do you notice them or do you quickly overlook them? Everyone needs something in their life that they do because they love it. This might mean you never get rich, or famous, or applauded. But each day is a chance to do it again, and hopefully learn and grow in your craft or hobby, or art, or sport. Not everyone has the privilege of working a job that is his or her passion in life. I used to think this wasn’t fair. I’d listen to actors give their Academy Award speeches and want to throw things at the television when they bragged about how amazing it was and lucky they were to be living their dream. Of course I was happy for them, but I would think, “What about the people who aren’t so lucky? Don’t we all deserve to be living our dream? Then who would pick up the trash?”
I no longer feel that way about it. Because, yes, some of us will never make a living doing what we love. But we can all do what we love, every single day. We have the luxury of indulging in our passions in our free time. Sometimes there are benefits to that. Less pressure to produce.Just pure enjoyment. Whereas writing is also a job for me, luckily the answer to my existential dilemma is yes.
I would continue to write if I wasn’t getting paid for it. Don’t get me wrong — I want to be a best seller and write exclusively full time. But until then, I’m going to do it because I love it, because I have to do it to feel connected to something higher than myself, because it excites me to get better and better with each book, because I still get excited reading novels, because I love to listen to other writers, because I get excited whenever a new book comes out on the craft of writing.
If you’re like me, and sometimes feel you aren’t quite doing what you’re meant to be doing, try letting go of the notion that if you don’t get paid, it doesn’t count. Because it all counts. And no amount of money can make you fall in love with something. And if you love doing something, you should love doing it regardless of what it does or doesn’t lead to. If I suddenly had a million dollars, I might have a nicer house and a better retirement plan than pitching a tent on a beach somewhere, but the act of sitting down and writing, and the pleasure and pain that comes with it, would feel exactly the same.
I’ll leave you with a link to an inspiring article about a garbage collector in Queens who decided to indulge in his passion during his free time. Life is truly our oyster, and we shouldn’t waste a single day without cracking its shell. Click here.
Mary Carter is a freelance writer and novelist. The Pub Across the Pond is her fifth novel published by Kensingon, following My Sister’s Voice, She’ll Take It, Accidentally Engaged, and Sunnyside Blues. She is also the author of two novellas, A Very Maui Christmas (included in the anthology Holiday House) and The Honeymoon House (included in the anthology Almost Home).
Mary is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, which is part of the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Currently, Mary is hard at work on her sixth novel.