15 Mar 2016
Broken Faces by D.M Carr
Release Date: 15 December 2015
Publisher: Green Shutter Books
It doesn’t take long for Freddie to discover that the life he enjoyed before the war has vanished and that he is going to have to find a way to live with the consequences of the choices he and Charles have made.
Broken Faces beat 7000 other entrants to be a runner-up in the Good Housekeeping Magazine Novel Writing Competition (2012) they described DM Carr as as ‘one to watch’, They also added, ‘In Deborah Carr’s Downton-esque tale, Broken Faces, a soldier suffers a life-changing injury in the Great War’. The book also received a special commendation in that year’s Harry Bowling Prize.
As the weight of the plaster of Paris slowly increased on his face, he tried to steady his breathing and not give in to claustrophobia. It would be worth it in the end. He concentrated on the gentle American accent of the woman clasping his hand. She had a kind face. Her lack of shock when he’d been unmasked was admirable. Or was it simply she had grown used to seeing men such as he? They told him she was a sculptor. Someone overheard her say she saw beauty in the men she helped and that those men with missing noses and shattered faces were like the sculptures she created.
All he could think about, apart from the suffocating pressure on his nose and mouth, was a poem he’d heard someone recounting back at Les Invalides. Was it by Yeats? He wasn’t sure. He recalled it was about Easter in 1916, but not referring to the Front, even so the words still resonated. How did it go? He couldn’t quite remember. He was now one of the gueules cassées. One of the broken faces and his life would never be the same again.
Firstly, thank you very much for interviewing me.
My pleasure, D.M. Tell us, do dreams ever inspire your writing? What did you last dream about?
Dreams haven’t inspired my writing so far, but I do have vivid dreams most nights. Last night’s dream was a bit too chaotic to relate – mainly because I’m not quite sure what was happening in it – but I do know that it included Tom Hardy, so that was a bonus. It probably didn’t help that I’d been watching Mad Max before going to bed.
When did you first start writing? And when were you first published?
I started writing when I was very young but wrote my first book twenty years ago – it hasn’t seen the light of day, but one day I might rewrite it. I was first published about twelve years ago in an anthology, but my first book – written as Georgina Troy – was initially self-published through a small imprint in 2013 before being picked up by Accent Press in 2014.
What is it about the genre you write that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres?
I’m fascinated by the Great War and the horrors of it. I used to have several horses and have ridden most of my life so the relationship between the cavalrymen and their horses intrigued me. Having been deputy editor for Alternative Thursdays (non-chick lit books) for Novelicious for over six years, I’m sent and have reviewed books in many genres. I particularly enjoy historical and psychological thrillers.
Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
Broken faces is about four friends and how their lives change when one of them, Jerseyman Freddie Chevalier, has a life-changing disfigurement in the Great War. He’s secretly in love with his best friend’s, Charles’ fiancé and when Charles is discovered with another woman, his fiancé, Meri, is devastated and goes to stay with Freddie’s family in Jersey. Not the best plan maybe? Charles has a younger sister, Lexi, who is in love with Freddie but he’s known her most of his life and only sees her as a friend. Reacting to their individual situations the men join the cavalry, Meri joins the V.A.D.s and Lexi is left at home with her mother on the family estate becoming increasingly fed up with her lifestyle.
What inspired you to write it?
My love of the Edwardian period and the devastating changes the Great War brought to so many families. I’ve studied the shocking injuries inflicted on such young men and the brilliant surgeons, especially Sir Harold Gillies, who strove to rebuild their faces. I was also fascinated by the masks made by artisans to cover those areas of the injured men’s faces that were missing. Gruesome but equally fascinating.
Have you ever spotted anyone reading your books anywhere?
I’ve been out when someone has heard a friend talking to me about one of my books and the other person has said how they’ve read and loved my books. That’s a little surreal because authors spend most of their time alone in front of a computer screen, so when someone from outside that space reads, comments on, and has opinions about the book, it’s an incredible feeling.
Who designs your covers?
Broken Faces is published by Green Shutter Books and they designed the cover. The cover is a picture of a real ‘broken face’ wearing a mask covering the lower half of his face. We wanted the cover to be simple and to the point.
If your latest book was made into a film, who would you cast?
Well Charles is dark-haired with piercing blue eyes, so I suppose local Jersey boy, Henry Cavill looks rather like him. For Freddie, who was very handsome until being disfigured, I suppose someone like... I’m not sure. In my mind Freddie looked just like a real person, William Kearsey, a gorgeous looking man who was horribly disfigured and whose looks changed completely after he was injured.
What's your favourite book that made it to the big screen?
I haven’t seen it yet, but Me Before You by Jojo Moyes has been made into a film and I can’t wait to see that book brought to life.
What were the last two books you read?
Girl Number One by Jane Holland, which I loved and I re-read the Milton St John series by Christina Jones, I adore her books.
Name one female author who you think deserves to be better known.
Only one? Then I suppose it would have to be Karen Clarke, she’s a fabulous writer.
Where do you write?
I write in a shed in my garden. The shed was a category winner in the 2009 Shed of the Year competition, which was exciting, especially as I was interviewed for the Sunday Times. The shed is filled with manuscripts, bits and pieces that I’ve collected such as driftwood and coloured glass or shells from the nearby beaches. They’re all bits that inspire me in some way. I also have pictures pinned all over the walls.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? And did you follow the dream?
I wanted to be an actress, so no, I didn’t follow that dream. I did also want to be an author, so that ambition has been fulfilled.
In the movie of your life, who would play you?
Someone a bit kooky. I wasn’t sure who to say, but my mother suggested Kate Hudson… not someone I’d have thought of.
Top drink to make you tipsy?Champagne
Shopaholic or shopadon't?Only a shopaholic when it comes to books!
Sky high heels or closer to the ground? I love heels.
E.L. James or Jilly Cooper? Jilly Cooper
Cry baby or tough cookie? Cry baby when watching films/tough cookie when I have to be.
Exotic beach or enchanted forest? Exotic beach – so I can sit and read without being disturbed.
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