I’m so disappointed not to have been able to read and review Saving Missy by Beth Morrey in time for my slot on the blog tour as I have heard wonderful things about it with rave reviews from other bloggers. I’d like to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate in the blog tour and for putting me in touch with Beth so that we could stay in together today to find out more about Saving Missy.
Staying in with Beth Morrey
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Beth and thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
Thank you for inviting me! I actually love staying in, even after months of lockdown.
We’re certainly well practiced at it aren’t we? Now, I rather think I know but tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I’ve brought along my debut novel, Saving Missy, because I think it could provide a bit of warmth and hope in these difficult times.
We most certainly could do with some comfort Beth! Tell me, what can we expect from an evening in with Saving Missy?
Missy Carmichael is a proud, spiky, and very lonely old woman who you might not initially warm to. I wanted to create a flawed, layered character who had a rich and sometimes thorny past, and I hope that as the book progresses, readers will come to understand Missy, and maybe love her as much as her dog, Bobby, does. When I wrote the book, I set out to make people cry in a happy way, and I hope that’s what the story achieves – I was after the lump-in-throat quality of It’s a Wonderful Life! Darkness making way for light.
From what I hear Beth, you’ve managed that beautifully. I truly cannot wait to read Saving Missy. It’s so wonderful to have older protagonists too. Why did you choose to do that?
There’s a poignancy and stoicism in old age, and I wanted to reflect that in my protagonist – the depth and mystery, triumph and tribulation of a long life. Missy’s story plays out against the backdrop of 20th century history, and I was really interested in that intersection of personal and national events. The narrative incorporates the suffragette movement, the introduction of the pill, the Brexit referendum, the closure of libraries… Missy is, to a certain extent, the product of her environment, her background and upbringing. We all are.
We are indeed. So what else have you brought along and why have you brought it?
Well, I’ve provided a bottle of white wine, because Missy drinks a lot of it! And cake, because there are at least three significant cakes in the book, including a delicious courgette cake. I’ve brought you some flowers that are appropriately figurative, since Missy is keen on flower symbolism. I’ve gone for zinnias, which represent lasting friendship. As an extra guest, I’ve invited my own dog, Polly, although she is not remotely sociable and will climb on the furniture and leave dog hairs everywhere.
Not to worry. I’ll get the hoover out when you’ve gone!
Blackadder is a running theme in the book, as I’m a massive fan, so I’ve brought a DVD of the second series, and perhaps we can watch an episode or two. I do a very good impression of Queenie. The final thing I’ve brought is some post-it notes, to play The Name Game. There’s a deleted scene from an early draft of Saving Missy, where they play this at Sylvie’s house on Christmas Day. Everyone has famous names on their foreheads, and they all have to guess who they are. Denzil is Anneka Rice, Sylvie is Minnehaha, and Missy is Clarissa Dalloway.
Wine, cake, flowers, a dog, a classic sitcom and a parlour game! It’ll be a busy evening in.
I think we’re going to have a wonderful evening Beth. Thanks so much for staying in with me to chat all about Saving Missy. Now, you cut the cake and pour yourself a glass of wine whilst I put the kettle on for a cup of tea for me and tell blog readers a bit more about Saving Missy.
Seventy-nine is too late for a second chance. Isn’t it?
Missy Carmichael is prickly, stubborn – and terribly lonely. Until a chance encounter in the park with two very different women opens the door to something new. Something wonderful.
Missy was used to her small, solitary existence, listening to her footsteps echoing around the empty house, the tick-tick-tick of the watching clock. After all, she had made her life her way.
Now another life is beckoning to Missy – if she’s brave enough…
About Beth Morrey
Beth Morrey is a former TV producer who worked on various shows including Channel 4’s The Secret Life of Four Year Olds and ITV’s 100 Year Old Drivers. After several attempts at completing a full-length novel, she finally achieved it just before her 40th birthday. Saving Missy has sold in 17 countries, and was one of the top ten bestselling debuts of 2020. Now Beth is a part-time writer, and full-time harassed mother, dog-walker and caterer.
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