Wordy Wednesday with Kerry Drewery

Today on the blog I have great pleasure in introducing Kerry Drewery, who's new book is out tomorrow!

I sat Kerry down with a (virtual) slice of cake and a cup of something hot and quizzed her. We began with the basics, tell us about yourself Kerry...
I’m Kerry Drewery, my latest book – Cell 7 – came out last year and the sequel – Day 7 – is out on June 15th.

Cell 7 is a speculative fiction, crime, thriller. It’s set in a society where the death penalty still exists but the court system has been abolished. Guilt is now decided by public internet and phone votes, overseen by a reality TV show called Death is Justice. Like X factor with all the glam, but with people’s lives at stake. When arrested, the accused is put in Cell 1, and each day sees them progress down death row, one cell at a time, until they reach the fateful Cell 7 when votes are collated and their fates are decided. (Ok I confess I am totally hooked already and have added this to my Goodreads pile!)
It follows Martha Honeydew who says she’s killed the celebrity Jackson Paige. But why would she admit to this, if it means her death? And what is her relationship with his adopted son, Isaac? Is it as simple as it first appears?

I daren’t tell you too much about Day 7 in case it gives spoilers…but there’s a trailer for Cell 7 here

Do you have another job or are you a full time author? What do you get up to outside of your novel writing?
Currently, I’m also a writer in residence for the charity, First Story, at a school in Hull, where the students have been working on an anthology of their own writing. I love it – I love seeing the process of them writing, and watching their ideas develop! I’m really looking forward to their launch in July. I feel very proud of what they’ve accomplished.
I also do triathlons. I started running about thirteen years ago because I was so unfit and so I could eat cake without feeling guilty! Then I learnt to swim and started doing local sprint triathlons (shorter distance). Then I started doing longer ones. Amazingly – for someone who did everything possible to get out of PE at school - I’ve qualified to represent GB (for my age group) and will be racing in Denmark on 10th June. (This is pretty impressive stuff!) That will be half ironman distance (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run). For some crazy reason (and while in the pub!) I agreed to do the full ironman distance this July. August will be spent sleeping, eating, drinking and reading! (Sounds like you'll have earned it!) Hopefully in the sun.

Why did you start writing?
I’ve made stories up for as long as I can remember. I went through a stage at primary school of just writing story after story after story. It was never anything I took seriously though, and whether it was because of where I live (Lincolnshire) or because of the time (1980s) being a writer really wasn’t something you could aspire to. People would laugh at you. Mostly girls would go on to be secretaries or office workers of some sort, or if you were really clever, teachers. That was about it.
I started writing properly after my youngest son was born and I found I had evenings to myself, then when he went to school the decision was there – do I go back to work and forget this idea of being a writer or do I actually pursue it and take it seriously? I decided it was now or never, and signed up for a creative writing course. When that was finished, I gave myself a deadline - that if nothing had happened by the time my son went to secondary school, then I had to give up the ridiculous notion. I signed with an agent the February before he left primary in the July, and signed with a publisher in the June!

List 3 things that are guaranteed to make you smile.
Being in the countryside on a sunny day.
Wildlife when I’m out on my bike (I saw a heron yesterday!)
Relaxing with family.

Do you have any pets?
I have two dogs and a cat. My old dog – Reef - is very old. She’s nearly sixteen and is a bit blind and very cantankerous. She makes life difficult – but she’s an old lady with aches and pains, and she just wants attention and some love.
My other dog – Astrid - is four-year-old Leonberger. She’s the most loyal dog I’ve ever known, and sits at my feet while I’m writing. She’s wonderful company, and walking her in the morning before I sit down to write, clears my head and sets me up for the day.
The cat? Well, he – Luther - is another matter entirely. He’s so naughty. A neighbour told me that he was leaping on their dog, and could I ‘do something with him’. I don’t know what! The window cleaner stopped me the other day too, he said he’d seen my other neighbour’s Jack Russell get out, spot Luther and chase him to the corner. At the corner, Luther stopped, swiped at the dog, and then chased the dog back! He’s like a stereotypical off-the-rails teenager. Hopefully, hopefully, he’ll calm down as he gets older.

Who is your favourite author? Do they influence your writing or are they a total break from the sort of thing you write?
I don’t really have a favourite author, and I’m not a very loyal reader. I tend to go for the story, rather than the author. Having said that, at the moment, I’m very taken with Claire North’s novels. I absolutely adored The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, have just finished Touch and The Sudden Appearance of Hope is next on the TBR pile. It’s the imagination and ideas behind them that I particularly admire. I think rather than directly influence my writing, they inspire me to write better!

Which book(s) are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read before.

Which three cities would you most like to visit and why?
Oh, I love to travel. I’m quite fortunate that I’ve managed to tick a few off my ‘want to visit’ list, but there are still so many left. Crikey, only three…well I’ve never been to America so I’d go to New York and do the whole tourist thing – Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, have a run around Central Park, go up the Empire State Building.
And then, Moscow. I’ve been to St Petersburg which was stunning and felt so different to other cities I’ve been to, and the stories behind the Church of the Spilled Blood, its history in communist time, all that, was just fascinating, but I’d just love to go to Moscow, walk in Red Square, see the Kremlin, Gorky Park…all of it.
Finally…somewhere in China. Beijing or Shanghai, or Xi’an to see the Terracotta Army (I’m not sure if that’s a city though). *sigh*…so many places, so little time…and money!

Share your favourite book from when you were a child and why you liked it!
The Swish of The Curtain by Pamela Brown. I think because it made me feel part of their gang, and I loved the way they achieved what they wanted to (set up a theatre and put on a show). It was inspiring. Amazingly, Pamela Brown began writing that when she was fourteen and it was published when she was seventeen!

What is your favourite biscuit?
Custard creams. No contest.

In the film of your life who would play you?
Somebody with longer legs than me. I have very short, stubby legs and if they got someone with legs like mine, I’d be watching it sighing all the time.

If you could genetically cross an animal and a vegetable, what would you pick and why? I like the idea of asparagus and a giraffe...tender neck
Woah, tricky question. Presumably this isn’t so I can eat the animal? Because that’s just weird. I do like the feel and colour of aubergines, but they bruise easily, so it couldn’t be any animal too big or bouncy. Something calm. Sloth! Yes, an aubergine and a sloth. (Nice! and no, you 't have to eat it - you can if you like though...sloth moussaka )

You an follow Kerry on Twitter - @KerryDrewery
On Instagram - @kerry.drewery
'Like' Her on Facebook
Check out her Website
And of course buy her book Cell 7 on Amazon

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