Today, I'd like to welcome Luccia Gray, author of “Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
Luccia Gray was born in London and now lives in the south of Spain with her husband. She has three children and three grandchildren. When she's not reading or writing, she teaches English at an Adult Education Centre and at University. Almost a year ago, she stopped scribbling surreptitiously and decided her life-long dream of stringing words into stories, and stories into novels, should come true, and it did.
OK - HERE WE GO !!
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?
I’m a very obedient citizen and respectful person. I don’t purposefully do anything illegal or hurtful. There are no exceptions under normal circumstances. However, if I found myself in a place where there were undemocratic or unjust laws, or during exceptional situations such as wars, revolutions etc. I’m not sure how I would behave, and I certainly wouldn’t judge anyone until I’ve walked in their shoes. Several characters in Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall take the law in their own hands to save a loved one. Unfortunately, there was little social justice and many immoral deeds occurring in the 19th century, so I can sympathise with my characters’ actions.
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
There is no difference. Everybody who is not dead is living. If you are referring to the intensity with which some people live, happiness or fulfilment, then variety is the spice of life! Some people are happy watching TV every evening, while others prefer to read, paint, play an instrument, go out, get drunk, do social work, go to political meetings, play games, whatever… I make a conscious effort not to be judgmental. I try to enjoy every moment, whatever I’m doing. Sometimes, seemingly insignificant events like a walk with my dog, a cup of tea with a friend, or a game of hide-and-seek with my grandchildren, can be full of immense joy. ‘It’s the small things that make life big.’
No.3 What motivates you to write?
I’ve always been a writer. Although I published my first novel in 2014, I’ve written poetry, short stories and novels since I was a teenager. Kafka said, ‘A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.’ I’m sure this applies to all artists, who need a creative outlet. It certainly applies to me. I need to travel through space and time, and tell stories about the characters who live in my mind.
No.4 Why do humans want children?
I’m sure there are many different reasons for wanting or not wanting children. I can only speak for myself. Once you have them, whatever you thought the job entailed, it was much more than you ever imagined! I wanted to have a family, which for me should be a supportive and loving group of people, who make life safe and pleasant for each other. It’s an ongoing process…Children are a central element of The Eyre Hall Trilogy, which is a family saga.
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book "Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall" ?
I’ve been a writer since I was a teenager, but that doesn’t mean I was ready to publish a novel at that age. Thomas Mann said, ‘A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.’ My greatest challenge was making my novel as good as it could be in order to be shared publicly with readers. Once I finished writing my novel, the hard work started; editing, searching for beta readers, reediting, searching for professional editors, proofreaders, cover artists, formatting, publishing, and promoting, etc.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
Patience and Perseverance in all walks of life. I have a picture of myself aged about ten on my landing. It was taken at school, so I’m in my uniform wearing a shy smile. I was an insecure child living in a complex family. I look at young Lucy every day and tell her to be patient and work hard, because everything will be all right. I think it works; the older I get, the happier I am and the more fulfilled I feel.
No.7 How did you come up with the title "Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall" ?
Thornfield Hall was burnt down, supposedly by Bertha Mason, at the end of Jane Eyre, and when Jane returned to Mr. Rochester, who was living in Ferndean, his manor house, she told him she had inherited enough money to build her own house. Jane Eyre returned to Mr. Rochester on equal terms, as an independent woman, because she refused to be an ornamental element in Rochester’s life. In my sequel, Jane does, in fact, build a new house on the same site with the money she inherited from her uncle John Eyre, and calls it Eyre Hall. The title came before the novel was written! In Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall, the climax takes place on Twelfth Night, 5th of January, thus the name.
No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
I used to handle it very badly, but one of the advantages of being over fifty is that I’m much more self-confident and assertive, so I don’t worry about what others think of me any more. I’m satisfied with my chosen lifestyle, although I don’t object to other ways of living. I try to act fairly and consistently with myself and those around me. I write to the best of my ability, and if someone doesn’t like what I do, or how I do it, they’re entitled to express their opinion, but I’m also entitled to ignore them! I’ve stopped trying to convince others of my reasons. We all have to do our own thinking and be responsible for our words and actions.
No.9 Why should people read your book?
Because it’s well written and full of adventure, excitement, and suspense. Because they’ll discover the magic of a Victorian gothic romance written for a contemporary reader. Because they’ll revisit the mystery and magic of Jane Eyre. Because they’ll meet exceptional characters and travel to exotic places across time and space, where only Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall can take them.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
Why not? If it can be imagined it’s ‘something’! The way you’ve asked the question means you’re an optimist, like me, because you think there is something! J. F. Kennedy was quoted as saying, ‘Don’t ask ‘why’, ask instead ‘why not’.’ It must have been a family idea, because his brother, Robert, said, ‘Some men see things the way they are and say why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?’ There is something rather than nothing because we can ask, wonder, and make it happen.
Thank you Luccia :)
For taking the time to answer my questions
& the best of luck with your new book!
Check out “Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall” on
Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall is the second volume of The Eyre Hall Trilogy, which will chronicle the lives and vicissitudes of the residents of Eyre Hall from the beginning to the height of the Victorian era.
Following Edward Rochester’s death, Jane Eyre, who has been blackmailed into marrying a man she despises, will have to cope with the return of the man she loved and lost. The secrets she has tried so hard to conceal must be disclosed, giving rise to unexpected events and more shocking revelations.
Romance, mystery, and excitement will unfold exploring the evolution of the original characters, and bringing to life new and intriguing ones, spinning a unique and absorbing narrative, which will move the action from the Yorkshire countryside, to Victorian London, and across the Atlantic Ocean to Colonial Jamaica.