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June 25, 2016 / peoplesbookprize

Carole E Wyer

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In the lead up to The People’s Book Prize 2016 we caught up with author Carol E Wyer to talk about her novel 

Grumpies on Board.

Ex-teacher and linguist, Carol lives in rural Staffordshire with her own grumpy. Having written a series of educational yet amusing books for children, she turned her attention to the adult market in 2010 when her son flew the nest. Her first two novels won several awards for humour and much attention from the media. Since then, she made appearances on across BBC radio and international radio, NBC television and BBC Breakfast discussing age-related subjects such as ‘Irritable Male Syndrome’. Her writing style has been described as ‘humorous & witty’ and often compared to the acerbic wit of Jeremy Clarkson and the humour of Robin Williams.

Carol won The People’s Book Prize Award for Non-fiction 2015 with her best-selling book, Grumpy Old Menopause, and hopes to reclaim her title this year with her follow-up Grumpies on Board.

When did you start writing?

I started writing stories many years ago when I was living in Casablanca, Morocco. I wrote a series of children’s stories with daft titles like Humphrey the Camel and the Dustbin Cats, all inspired by life in Morocco. I didn’t do anything with them other than using them for teaching purposes since I was teaching English as a Foreign Language at the time.

In my thirties and now living in France, I wrote children’s educational books that taught French to children aged 3-8 that were used in schools, but it was not until my son left home in 2010 and I converted his bedroom to my study that I began to write in earnest and for the adult market.

My first novel for adults Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines that written in the form a series of blog posts takes a humorous look at life and ageing. It attracted attention from the media, and I was featured in Woman’s Own Magazine shortly after its release.

As an Author, What Influences You the Most?

I have always loved books and reading. As a child, I read voraciously and ill health in my teens that left me bedbound for many weeks meant I probably read more than the average teenager. I studied English and French Literature at university and became a teacher so I have always appreciated and been fascinated by language. However, I have my English teacher to thank for even sowing the seed of me being an author. She was one of those strict teachers that rarely doled out praise so when she did it was a real honour. She read out one of my stories one day in class. It was humorous, and the entire class fell about laughing. Ordinarily, she never revealed who had written the pieces but on this occasion, she did and added that one day I would be a fine writer. I think that has always stayed with me.

Where did the idea for this book come from?

Grumpies on Board is the third of the Grumpy series of books and came about through our travel experiences. I wrote it because like all my grumpy books; there was a demand from my readers. I receive emails every day asking me for advice regarding retirement and having dealt with hobbies and keeping retired people busy; the next stage was to compile a guide that would make readers chortle but also offer them some fantastic suggestions and ideas so they too could enjoy their retirement and travel. Of course, you don’t have to be retired to take up any of the suggestions or indeed rich. There is something for everyone and some fabulous suggestions that would make great birthday surprise. My husband, being a right grumpy guts hates lying beside a pool on holiday and so I have always had to find holidays and destinations that have inspired us, stimulated us and allowed us to have new experiences.

As with much of my writing, the book has lead to new paths for me, and I now write for Silver Travel Advisor and appear on The Wireless online radio travel show talking about potential places to visit.

The nominees for The People’s Book Prize are voted for by the readers, how important are your readers to you?

I cannot convey how important they are. I try to stay in touch with as many as possible on social media and always answer emails. At one point, I was getting no writing done because I was answering so many emails every day. However, nothing makes me happier than to hear from someone who has read one of my books, enjoyed it and taken time to come and tell me.  After all, that’s why I write.

Delancey Press publishes a variety of brilliant authors, what is it like to be in the company of talented writers?

Being among talented writers makes you try even harder with your writing! I find I am constantly trying to meet new standards and be a better writer.

What book influenced you most as a writer and what are you reading at the moment?

Without a doubt, Candide by Voltaire was the book that influenced me and made me appreciate the humour in Literature. I studied it at university, and it made me laugh so much. Ridiculous in parts but also thought provoking and satirical, it is a classic. I am not reading anything at the moment as I am up to my neck in writing pieces for websites and a novel, but a couple of weeks ago I finished Harlan Coben’s, The Stranger.  It was I call an “easy read”.

What can we expect from you in the future? What are you writing at the moment?

You can expect another release from me later this year. I’ve written a lot of comedy, and now I’m allowing the dark side of my personality to emerge from the shadows and am working on the first of a series of psychological thrillers for next year. True to form, I have a comedy on the go as well for those days when I feel like some light relief. I can’t seem to stay serious for too long!

Find Carol at carolewyer.co.uk

Facebook: Carol-E-Wyer

Twitter: @carolewyer

Goodreads: Carol-E-Wyer

Find More Finalists at peoplesbookprize.com/finalist


home pageThe People’s Book Prize is the unique literary competition that is judged by the nation and open to all UK publishing companies.

You Be the Judge : The People’s Book Prize – “The home for new and undiscovered works”
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