Friday 15 March 2013

An Interview with Aryea Hunt

I have stolen Aryea Hunt, author of Mary's Tears - which is the book I've been constantly talking about - for a quick interview to talk about the inspiration for her novel and on contemporary Canadian fiction.

Mary has been running most of her life, from her past, from people, from emotional attachment. She has survived much and enjoyed little, now her biggest task is at hand. She must return home to Newfoundland, home to the place where her demons were born, and where her past still has the substance to haunt her.

Aryea previously published Mary's Tears in 2006 and republished in 2013 in ebook format only found here.

I am 41 years old woman, born and raised in Newfoundland, Canada but currently reside in Ontario. I have been writing stories since I was seven. I love reading and writing and truly believe that the power of words can change the world.


            1. Pitch Mary’s Tears
Mary's Tears is a story about second chances, past regrets and the possibility that everyone is capable and deserving of love. It centers around Mary, who suffered a tragedy at a young age and ran away from home. Twenty years later she has lost all of her family members and out of guilt and duty returns home to finish a project her father had started before he died, restoring the family home to it's former glory.

Being back in Newfoundland, especially in the place she grew up and was so unhappy causes Mary to suffer flashbacks and, in some instances, spiritual intervention. Whether from her own guilt at squandering her family or by some divine providence she manages to work her way through her demons, with the help of two very unlikely friends who offer something she had never had before, acceptance and love.

2. What inspired the story?
I'm not sure exactly, many thing really. Certainly part of it was that I had been living in Texas and was desperately homesick. My mother was suffering from Cancer and her only real comfort was talking about when we were kids and how things were back on 'The Rock’. I had started the story as a gift to her, to boost her spirits and give her a reminder of home, but then the Cancer took over and she passed away. I went almost two years without even looking at the story, partly because of her death and partly because of things I had happening with my personal life.

Then one night I started to have these very realistic dreams, they were of my mother, and she looked as she had before she became sick. We'd had a rocky relationship before she became ill, but I don't think these were dreams of memory or guilt, they felt like full on live conversations with my mother. She knew she had died, we talked about it at length, and she knew that it was a dream. It wasn't the first time I'd had such strange dreams, so I accepted them probably better than most would.

In the dreams we were always back in our house in Newfoundland, sitting at the kitchen table and drinking tea. She would ask me questions about what was going on, how my sisters were, how dad was coping, and then she would talk about the regrets she'd had. We'd talk about things that we hadn't had the chance to when she was alive and it was a very healing time for me. She kept telling me she didn't want me to have regrets, and one of those conversations, she asked me why I hadn't finished my story.

The next day I started writing the story again, it took on a life of its own and became far more than I had ever intended. Then about four-five months later, it was finished.

3. Why Newfoundland?

There are millions of books out there that are set in the U.S., Britain, Ireland and so forth, so why NOT Canada? We've produced some amazing actors, directors, painters, musicians and authors, they are just less heard of because of the ALL POWER of the United States. Sure, they're our neighbor, but we are just as proud of our country as they are of theirs.

As to why I chose Newfoundland, as I said previously, it was originally to be a book of tales about home for my mother, but also I think I wanted to write about Newfoundland because growing up there I always felt a connection that I couldn't find anywhere else.

Many people talk about finding a little island paradise, but they're always looking for places like the Bahamas and Hawaii. We don't get the best weather in Newfoundland, but it's a kind of paradise. The place, the people, it really is all the things I describe in the book and I have never found anything else to compare it to. And, maybe, I want people to give it a chance. So many people, including Canadians claim they have traveled everywhere in Canada, but every time I ask if they have been to Newfoundland, they say no. I think it's sad that a little strip of ocean keeps so many away from a place that, at least in my mind, truly is magic.

4. What prompted your decision to republish?

 The first time I published I did it for almost the same reason as why I started to write it, as a gift, only this time it was to my family, my sisters and my father, for Christmas. I had never intended to do anything else with it. I wrote for myself and myself only, to get all the stories out of my head!

Then other people started to ask me about the book and so I sold a few more copies. I decided to republish in an E-book because it is what people read now and I thought I could get more exposure to possibly open up publication of more novels. Also, many of my friends and family were going on and on about what a fabulous writer I was and what a great book it was, so I took the leap and put it out there.

5. Follow up: What has changed for you (and the book) between the two publications?

 That's a tough question! To be honest I am my own worst critic. I rewrote Mary's Tears probably four times before I published it the first time, because I am never quite satisfied. I think mostly the characters have stayed the same between the two publications, I think I’ve gotten to know them better because I listened to both criticism and praise from people who have read the book, which is a fantastic tool and gave me further insight into who Tanya, Mary, and Matt really were. I suppose I learned to expose them more in the new edition and added additional background for them as well, to some extent.

You can follow Aryea on Facebook, Twitter and FanFiction (for more of her writing)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you my you have to let me go...I have writing to do and a slave driver press agent. *kisses and hugs*