Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Start of #MKMania - Revisiting 'The Fabulous Works of Marian Keyes'

I have always loved Marian Keyes as an author and I am not alone; Marian is the bestselling Irish author of thirteen wonderful novels and her books have been translated into thirty-six different languages.  

It is only recently that I have come to really see the person behind the author.  The age of social media allows a reader to engage with and 'get to know' the person behind their favourite books on an entirely different level.  

What I have come to learnt is that as well as being a bestselling author, Marian Keyes is twitter-obsessed (if an thirty-seconds goes by without a tweet I know that something is wrong or that she has been separated from her phone, like the time she went to see Strictly be filmed and had to surrender her phone to get close to PASHA!), a lover of knobs (yes, knobs but of the furniture kind) and can often be found completing BeachHouse Banjo(TM) projects or obsessing over the latest fad (Pink and Black Magnets (i.e. Magnums)) or the demise of the Pink Snack.

It is not difficult to see why Marian is so popular.  Her ability to make you laugh out loud by using 140 characters or less is unfaltering.  I very rarely stray from my twitter newsfeed but since discovering Marian on twitter, I direct myself to her page numerous times a day to see what is happening in the world of Marian and Himself.

On Marian's website, there is a section called 'Eleven Things About Marian' and it is here that I learnt how Marian became a bestseller.  I was gobsmacked to discover that Marian never intended to write a novel.  In fact, Marian Keyes has a law degree.  As a lawyer myself, it is hard to imagine that I have inside of me what it takes to be a funny and talented writer in the way that Marian is.  I don't, I know this.  Marian is a very special lady.  Her story goes along the  lines of this: Marian started writing short stories a few months before she gave up the alcohol and after leaving rehab decided to send them off to a publisher.  She says that in a bid to get the publisher to take her seriously, she enclosed a letter saying that she had also written part of a novel.  Of course, she had done no such thing and indeed had no intention of doing so either.  However, the publisher wrote back asking to see the novel.  I am sure at this stage mild panic and hysteria kicked in.  However, she managed to pull herself together pretty quickly as she wrote four chapters of Watermelon, which became Marian's first novel, in a week, yes, you heard me, A WEEK (!!!) and on the strength of that was offered a three-book contract.  It does not surprise me, as every book contract was utterly deserved, but it amazes me and that story alone is testament to what an incredible writer she is.

Having spent so much time in Marian's twitter-company, I realised that it has been so long since I read Marian's early books that I have resolved that this year, I will re-read each of her books in order.  2015 for me is the year of #MKMania (not MK as in Michael Kors, MK as in Marian Keyes!).  I urge you to join me in reminding yourself of the magnificence of 'The Fabulous Works of Marian Keyes'.

So, to start: Watermelon:

"At twenty-nine, fun-loving, good-natured Claire has everything she ever wanted: a husband she adores, a great apartment, a good job. Then, on the day she gives birth to her first baby, James visits her in the recovery room to inform her that he's leaving her. Claire is left with a beautiful newborn daughter, a broken heart, and a body that she can hardly bear to look at in the mirror. So, in the absence of any better offers, Claire decides to go home to her family in Dublin. To her gorgeous man-eating sister Helen, her soap-watching mother, her bewildered father. And there, sheltered by the love of an (albeit quirky) family, she gets better. A lot better. In fact, so much better that when James slithers back into her life, he's in for a bit of a surprise."

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