Wednesday, March 14, 2012

THE FIVE W’S Of Gillian Duffy + ebook giveaway

Congratulations to our winner Margaret! 

I just love doing Q&A's and getting a glimpse of who writers are. Today, Gillian Duffy author of The LA Commandments, is visiting A Novel Review. Let's get to know:


Hi everyone. I’m Gillian, I’m from Dublin, Ireland, and I’m a full-time university student.  I returned to college to study English and History in September 2010 after I’d been made redundant from my management job in Operations and Logistics (not very interesting I must add).  At the time it was a shock to the system, but in hindsight I wouldn’t change a thing.  I was serious about writing and what could be better than studying the work of the world’s best authors and poets.  I’m really enjoying my course and if I know half as much as my lecturers by the time I’ve graduated I’ll be happy.

WHAT? What do you enjoy doing other than writing in your spare time?
I’m a massive music fan (I enjoy most types - I’ll even listen to Jazz if my Nana makes me!) and going to concerts is one of my favorite things to do.  I saw The Kings of Leon, White Lies, Paul Weller, Guns N Roses (their entire 3 song set), MGMT, Florence and the Machine and Fleetwood Mac last year and I hope to outdo that line-up in 2012.  I saw Snow Patrol last week (great gig) and I’m going to see Noel Gallagher on 17thFebruary.  I’m also a major film fan, so if I’m not in the cinema I’m watching DVDs or Sky Movies.

I played the drums as a teenager (I say ‘played’ - ‘battered’ might be a more fitting description) and I’m hoping to learn how to play the guitar this summer.  If you’re in Dublin this year and you hear a screeching discord escaping from an apartment complex that will most likely be me torturing my sister’s guitar.
I also love travelling.  My favorite holiday so far was a trip to California in 2008.  That was when I was inspired to write The LA Commandments.

WHEN? When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved stories (whether they come from a book or the screen) and when I was young I loved reading Roald Dahl, especially George’s Marvelous Medicine.  I spent many Sunday afternoons as a child in my Nana’s watching Darby O’Gill and the Little People (over and over again!), so books and films have always been really important to me.  Back then, my Mum or my aunt Linda would take me to the cinema most weekends, so I think they instilled that love of story in me.

I’ve always had an active imagination and in primary (elementary) school my teacher was always telling me to stop day-dreaming out the window.  I tried to transfer some of those day-dreams onto the page when I was about nineteen, but studying and being a teenager took over.  Then everything changed in 2008 when I visited California on a family holiday.  That’s when I was inspired to begin writing seriously.  I had my eureka moment driving through the Mojave Desert; I pictured my characters leaving recessionary Ireland for California to create their American Dream.  When the idea of the novel came to me it was a great feeling – I felt like anything was possible.  All that sun must have had my serotonin levels maxed out! Soon after that trip I began the first draft of The LA Commandments and I haven’t stopped writing since.

WHERE? Where do you write?
At home at my kitchen table.  It faces a wide, ceiling-to-floor window, which fills the room with lots of light (and sun, if the Irish weather is having a good day).

WHY? Why do you write?
I write because it makes me happy, and there’s no better feeling than hearing that someone has enjoyed your novel.  When I began writing seriously I felt like I’d been given a new lease of life – I’d finally found what I wanted to do.  For me, creating character, plot and setting is really enjoyable. There’s no doubt that it can be difficult sometimes, but the positives outweigh the negatives ten-fold. Now I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.

Recently I hadn’t been writing as much as I usually do (two little things called Christmas and exams got in the way) and it wasn’t until I restarted editing my second novel that I realized how much I’d missed it.  It gives me a great sense of accomplishment and the feeling you get from doing something that you really enjoy is indescribable.  Confucius sure knew what he was talking about: ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’

Thanks for reading,
Gillian x

Thank-you so much for joining us here on, A Novel Review, Gillian! Wishing you the best of luck with The L.A. Commandments. 

(from Joanne Kavanagh and best friend Suzie pack their bags and swap dreary, depressing Dublin for the cool Californian coast. Both are determined to start a new life in the land of opportunity, leaving behind the recession and their complicated families.
They make a pact at the airport to stick religiously to the ‘LA Commandments’, a list of ten ‘Thou Shalt Nots’ for their new life in LA, including ‘Thou Shall Not Fall in Love,’ but when Jo befriends sexy, shy musician Marc, and Suzie falls for womanizing bar-man Chris, not only are the commandments at risk of being broken, but also the girls’ hearts…
With all California has to offer —sunshine, shopping, killer nightlife, and drop-dead-gorgeous men, will the girls stay faithful to the LA Commandments?

Doesn't it sound like a great read? Well I'm thrilled to be able to offer an ebook copy! So this giveaway is international! Make sure to leave a comment with your email address below. I'd love for you to be a follower and to subscribe by email, but you don't have to! This giveaway will close on March 28, midnight EST.


  1. new follower courtesy of Blogoholics. Come by my blog when you get a chance.

  2. Sounds good to me too! Count me in and I'm a follower.


  3. Sounds great. Can't wait to read this!!

    wordywon AT gmail DOT com

  4. Signing up to be a follower now!


  5. Sounds like a great read!

  6. Sounds great!

    mrsaerowland at gmail dot com

  7. sounds great and I am a follower

    kyfaithw at aol . com

  8. This giveaway is now closed! Thanks everyone who participated!