Friday, 1 March 2013


My guest tonight is married with three grown-up kids and now lives in the idyllic island of Cyprus. Originally a nurse in the UK, she is the author of a number of historical romances and numerous articles for British and Cypriot magazine. She is also a very widely read blogger with a deserved reputation for helping to promote new authors and their books. I know, because I was one of them!
Her books, though romances, all tend to have a sting in the tale (?) and my personal favourite, Ripper My Love, is no exception. It’s great to welcome its author Glynis Smy as my guest today.

Glynis, firstly many thanks for agreeing to be interviewed. We often exchange Facebook comments on a variety of topics, but tonight I want to find out something about the woman behind the keyboard. You’ve interviewed lots of authors and reviewed their books, but now the boot is on the other foot! Nervous?
Richard, thank you for inviting me along. I am very nervous, sharing me is not always easy but I will give it a go!

How did you get into writing and what was your first work (published, or not!)?
I have always written poetry and short stories. I can’t remember when I didn’t. My first ‘published’ piece was a poem about the Bangladeshi war. It was a inter-schools competition, and I won first place. At the age of 12 it was quite something to enjoy when it put a cork in the school bully’s mouth. She left me alone after that ‘win’. My first real published piece was for a nursing magazine, about returning to practice. I had the photographer in my home, and enjoyed my fifteen minutes of fame.

You became a UK expat when you moved to Cyprus 8 years ago. Was writing books something you concentrated on after you moved and how easy do you find it to write in a hot paradise?
No longer working long shifts, I started to write poetry connected with Cyprus. I had time on my hands, and could concentrate on being inspired. To celebrate my 50th birthday, I decided to self-publish a collection of poetry. Clumsily I finally got there, and ‘came out’ of the writing closet at my Halloween party, (my birthday bash – born a witch). One day, I found myself knee-deep in a novel, and that was it, I was hooked. It is my life.

For the most part you write historical romantic fiction and always with a twist at the end. Is the twist a Smy trademark?
Lol, I think so. I cannot write without adding twists, they come to me as naturally as killing off folk … characters. As a reader, I love many styles of endings. As a writer, I like to imagine my readers give a little gasp, shed a tear, or smile at whatever twist I have added.

You followed Ripper My Love with Maggie’s Child. Both books have ultimately resourceful female lead characters, though to me Kitty in Ripper is resourceful by luck, whereas Maggie has to fight all the way. Was this intentional and which sort of heroine do you prefer writing about?
Kitty is a lucky character. She is proving to be so in Ripped Genes. This is a sequel novel, and she is unfolding her new life to me. When readers asked for more, I was not sure she would be strong enough to give me a story. I should have more faith in her, she is going to prove, yet again, she will triumph.
Poor Maggie, she really struggled through life. Each time I wrote something for her, I wanted to sweeten it with roses but just couldn’t. She wanted to prove herself. Her guts and courage made me throw challenge after challenge her way, and she showed me just what a woman could do when at their lowest.
I have a novel - in – waiting; The Man in Room Eighteen, and the main character is Elle Buchanan. She is a sixteen year old girl in the 1800’s, who is abandoned and alone. She is a mix of Kitty, and Maggie. Luck smiles upon her one minute, and then throws her to the wall the next.
I had no intention of writing these style of novels. I wanted to write soft romance. Somewhere from inside of me these women showed me I could take risks. So I did. I will always write about strong heroines, I realise that is where my heart is happier.

You write a lot of magazine articles. What subjects do you particularly like writing about?
I did write a lot, I have stopped now. My novels have taken over. When I did, I enjoyed writing about life, and hobbies. I wrote about beer brewing for one magazine. It was great fun getting DH to brew the stuff. He doesn’t drink, so I did the testing!

Even in the UK writing can be a very lonely job. How do you find it being in Cyprus?
I am a hermit in the hills, and enjoy that lifestyle. I could not live without the Internet though. I have so many friends online, and would hate to lose contact. However, I do have a hankering for being in a country where I could travel to a conference, and pop into a library. We have neither, and it is too expensive to make flying over, a regular event in my life. Besides, when in UK, I want to see my gorgeous granddaughter, and girls, so wouldn’t have time.

Do your book basic plots ever come from historic fact, or do you just have an incredible imagination?
Ah, now Ripper came from both. Obviously the character in real life gave me the base to build a story from my imagination. Without that murderer, I would possibly not have written the story. Maggie’s Child is pure imagination. I allowed my twisted mind the freedom to play. I did see a documentary about Romanian women giving up their children for a better life, and Maggie knocked on my brain and told me her tale of woe. The M in R 18, is based around my old birth town, and some historic facts, and faces, are introduced into the story. Again, the rest is pure imagination … with a twist.

Do you have a set routine as a writer and a special place where you work?
I started out with a routine, it failed. I wrote the first two novels ad hoc, and threw away the writing plan I had written out for my daily programme. This time I am following the advice of another writer, and taking regular breaks. This has meant I try to have a routine. I do have DH to consider, it is not fair for him to take a back seat in my life when the intention was for us to have a life together. So if he wants to pop out for lunch, go for a walk, or simply to chat, then I break away. After all, he does all the cooking, and for that I am very grateful. Once I get head down, I forget to eat the right foods.

What projects are you’re working on right now?
As mentioned before, I am working on Ripped Genes. This book came about as a request from readers. Comments, emails, and texts made my mind up, so I set aside TM in R18, for my latest. The exciting thing about this one, is the research is all fresh and new because of the way Ripper, My Love, ends. I do love research. The real stuff, not the procrastination side of writing!

I know you already do an awful lot to help new authors, but what is the most important piece of advice you could give a budding writer?
I like to think I am paying forward. I received so much support when I started out, and still do, that I wanted to give something back. Hence the blog where I showcase books free of charge for authors. I cannot review, I just love showing off their books.

What advice would you give a budding author?
Have faith in yourself. You can do it, if the book wants out, it will find a way. Never give up because you feel you can’t get published. Self-publish if you cannot find an agent/publisher. Don’t waste your life wishing you had, just do it! Get the book out there, print off a paperback version, hold it in your hand and realise your dream. Go for it, ask for help. I did when my mentor passed away, and now have a beta reader in Talli Roland! Yes, I know how lucky I am.

One last question, Glynis. If you could achieve one important goal within the next 5 years, what would it be?
My Photo
Oh,, to see Ripper, My Love as a movie! Seriously, if I could achieve one goal it would be to meet a few of my online friends in person. To hug them and say thanks for supporting me. To enjoy a glass of wine with Ms. Roland, and say ‘bottoms up’ with her in the UK, at a conference/event. to see Ripper, My Love as a movie! Seriously, if I could achieve one goal it would be to meet a few of my online friends in person.

Glynis, it’s been a pleasure talking to you, and my thanks for not mentioning how wonderful the weather is in Cyprus, when we’re all shivering in the UK!
Ah, well my gloating days are over. We had snow in our village a few weeks ago. Our garden looked delightful. The Christmas post had been delayed, and arrived that day. It felt like a white Christmas, so DH and I enjoyed it just as if it was. A magical 24 hours, and I am happy with just that … 24 hours of snow.  I have attached a photograph for you to enjoy. Thank you for hosting me today.

Glynis has an excellent web site at:


  1. What a great interview, love the school bully silencing! A nice insight into Glynis.

    1. Hi Gina, Many thanks! Glad you enjoyed the interview. Glynis is such an interesting person to talk to.

    2. Thanks, Gina. Yes, she gave me strength with her silence.

    3. I didn't realise what an interestingly assertive side you have. Remind me never to cross you. I'd be worried about the cork.
      Love you really. Your grateful friend from Polemi.

    4. Annette (Sandra),

      Lol, you see a different side to the writer when we meet. You are too nice to cross anyone. Will miss our planned writerly meet ups, but I will be there for your online lessons. I am determined your blog will grow!

  2. What a great interview, love the school bully silencing! A nice insight into Glynis.

  3. Smashing interview, Glynis and Richard. And it's such a good way to get to know more about people (or am I just nosy?).

    1. Hi Mo, Many thanks for the comment! Much appreciated. You're certainly not nosey, Mo. It's great to talk to people like Glynis so we can all find out more about them.

    2. Maureen, not nosy, curious. Thank you, and glad you enjoyed the interview. Richard, is a smashing host.

    3. Since this interview, my life in Cyprus has altered, and we are returning to the UK to be with family. I will still be me, and writing!

  4. Lovely interview! I'd like to have a cuppa or a glass of wine with you and Talli, too!

    1. Oh, Deniz, wouldn't that be wonderful? I have had several UK writer friends asking for a meet up. I am going to be busy. Oh, and with Talli, and me, it will be wine! :)