INTERVIEW WITH JANNA GRAY
If you had to describe yourself using three words, they would be?
I’d like to think people find me an approachable, loving and loyal person.
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I’d like Nina to meet Camilla from the Langani Trilogy by Barbara and Stephanie Keating. They are both expatriates with feisty characters and big hearts, they’ve made some pretty big errors of judgment but learned from their mistakes and they have warm, affectionate natures. I think they’d get on famously.
What are you doing when you’re not writing?
Until 2011 I squeezed my writing time between teaching and running the house. Now that I am a lady of leisure I have the time to meet friends for lunch or attend functions – I still get a massive kick out of being sociable during school hours – and like all women I love to shop but not necessarily buy as I swear clothes’ sizing in Dubai is way off kilter! I go to the gym but not for pleasure. To me there is nothing worse that walking nowhere for miles on a treadmill, getting hot and sweaty but I want to be a fit and fab granny when my sons get round to having children. I love cooking (another reason to go to the gym) reading, listening to music, swimming without getting my hair wet and catching up with friends.
Can you share a favorite quote from KILINGIRI with readers?
I have several but this is my all-time favourite: ‘Nina my sweet, if a mother and father can love more than one child, why do you find it so difficult to accept that a child can love more than one mother and father?’
What inspired you to write this piece?
Kilingiri started with the thought … what must it be like for priests to fall in love and want the whole package – the love and companionship of a wife, passion, sex and family life and children. I then went on to consider the Catholic Church’s reasons for refusing to allow her clergy to experience the blessings which the majority of us want and need in our lives and question whether the church has the right to expect celibacy as nowhere in the bible is it stated that priests should not marry and have families of their own. It seemed like a good premise for a story so I went for it.
If you were deserted on an island and could only have one thing with you, what would it be and why?
Sunblock. Who wants to end up like a wrinkled raisin?
If you could have any superpower in the world what would it be?
Patience! I want everything to happen yesterday!
What time of day are you most creative?
Mornings are good for me. I’m wiped by about 9.30pm and fall asleep in front of the tv!