06 Caroline Finnerty

Caroline Finnerty lives in County Kildare in the countryside and is also the author of In a Moment (Poolbeg, 2012) and the mother of three small children. Caroline is awesome, as everyoneimagesCARVZ0FZ knows. To find out more about her books, click here.

1) What is your name? What is your quest?

Caroline Finnerty and my quest is to make readers connect with my stories and hopefully leave them thinking about them afterwards.

2) Okay, tell me about your book.

It's called 'The Last Goodbye' and it is set between London and Ireland. Here's the blurb:

Sometimes the decisions we make can last a lifetime. . .

Kate Flynn has spent her whole life running away from her past. She reckons the best decision she ever made was to leave Ireland for London the day after she finished school. Having seldom returned home since, she would be perfectly happy if she never had to go back there again. But when her partner Ben forces her to make the trip back home, Kate's Dad gives her something that will change the way she looks at the past forever.

3) What was the most difficult bit to write?

Part of the story is set in 1992 and quite a bit of medical research was required so in order to get it right, I had to read a lot of primary literature published in that era. I brought me right back to sitting in a sweltering library cramming for my finals.

4) What surprised you about writing it?

The last minute title change from 'A Small Hand in Mine' to 'The Last Goodbye'. I keep having to remind myself that the name has changed.

5) First line:

"I had always thought that she was selfish for doing what she did. I knew that was harsh but I felt if she had done things differently, then everything could have been very different."

6) What's the next project?

I'm plodding (slowly, very slowly) through my third book. Name TBC. It's the story of an unlikely friendship between a man called Conor and a boy called Jack who come into each other's lives when they each could use a friend.

7) Your three main characters are trapped in a barn during the zombie apocalypse. What's the outcome?

Well, Nat would probably open the door and invite them all in for tea, then Ben would try and enter into peace talks with them but in the meantime Kate, my main protagonist would probably be so obnoxious that the zombies would run away and go pick on some other poor book creatures.

8) Your book's been made into a movie. What's playing over the opening credits?

Bell X1's 'Eve'. As well as being a beautiful song, it is featured in the book too.

9) When and where is the book available?

From 1st July. To use the old chestnut 'available in all good bookstores' as well as Poolbeg.com and Amazon.

Thanks Janet for having me round here as part of your Literary Love Fest!

No, thank you, Caroline!

My two cents: The cover blurb calls The Last Goodbye 'a heart-wrenching and emotional page-turner' and I agree. It's sad and funny, full of memorable characters and surprising turns. My favourite parts were the perfect depiction of obnoxious adolescence in teenage Kate (she greets her mother, home from the hospital after a round of chemotherapy, with 'What are you doing here?'), and the small, heart-breaking details, like the father's gift of a make-up set 'in colourful shades of pinks and blues - the girl at the chemist assured me she would love it' for his punker daughter on the saddest Christmas ever.

Here are those opening credits:

Get your copy of Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World here

...in Ireland and the UK 

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In the U.S.A.

In Canada...or try here. Or go independent.

"...astonishingly good....a juicy coming-of-age story...also an important read." The Globe and Mail

"...poignant...heart-wrenching. This stunning debut will surely appeal to both teenage readers and adults." Quill & Quire, starred review

"Witty, devastating, with a melancholy humour..." Sunday Business Post

"...page-turning, top drawer stuff..." BGE Book Club

"...warm, witty, heartfelt and utterly engaging..." The Irish News

"A stunning debut. I loved it." The Irish Examiner