I have mentioned the ‘Books that Changed Me’ segment of the Sun-Herald before. Two of the segments caught my eye recently. Both Stepanie Alexander and Cathy Kelly mentioned one of their own books. Bit cheeky? Well no,
I’ll let them explain in their own words.
Cathy wrote, “My first novel, ‘Woman to Woman’, changed my life. I started writing it at a second-hand kitchen table on an elderly computer. I had always wanted to write. I toiled over it for two years and, in 1997, it was published in Ireland and, to my joy and astonishment, was successful. Within six years, I was no longer a full-time journalist double-jobbing as anovelist at nights and weekends, but a full-time writer. What a joy.”Indeed one can imagine the joy – another example of overnight success coming after a lot of hard work!Stephanie wrote, “The Cook’s Companion really did change my life. Not only did it succeed financially so I was able to choose how to spend the next part of my life, but it has offered me the sort of reward that few authors receive. Daily, I am told by the public how they love this book and how they use it. That is a wonderful feeling.” Stephanie also nominated the Billabong books, an old Australian children’s series. I also devoured that series and Norah of Billabong was definitely my first ever love! One of Cathy’s other nominations was ‘The Three Musketeers’ by Alexander Dumas. She wrote, “At 15, I was immersed in all things French. These books were steeped in the world in which they were written. It was probably the oldest book I had read at this time and had a huge impact on me – to think that something written so long ago could captivate a girl hundreds of years later”. Ah indeed, the magic of reading! Cathy’s latest book is ‘The House on Willow Street” and Stephanie’s latest is a memoir, ‘A Cook’s Life’.
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P.S. The Cook’s Companion has truly been an extrarodinary success. At Brays alone we have sold over a thousand copies!