Thursday, 12 July 2018

Addiction with Mary Grand

In this special feature about addiction, I am truly delighted to have Mary Grand sitting in the hot seat talking about her books, Hidden Chapters and Behind the Smile. Both these books have a theme of addiction. Please sit back and be prepared to be hooked!

Mary, tell us a little about each book

Hidden Chapters, set on Gower, explores motherhood, adoption, and family secrets. In this book Catrin is forced to examine the web of lies and secrets from her past, the unexplained death of her ‘golden brother’, the truths about her alcoholic mother and the relationships she has now with her father 
and husband.

Behind the Smile is about Lowri who moves to an apparently idyllic village on the Isle of Wight. She slowly discovers the secrets people are hiding behind their smiles. One person is hiding a secret addiction to online gambling which is slowly destroying her life.

What or who inspired you to write about alcohol and gambling?

I was inspired to write about alcoholism in Hidden Chapters by adults I have known who grew up with an alcoholic parent. Their experiences were often hidden and yet had a real impact on their adult life and relationships. In Hidden Chapters, Catrin, the main character, must confront her past because of crisis in her family and her marriage. As a result of her childhood, when she was frequently the main carer for her alcoholic mother, she has learned to put the needs of others before herself, has low self-esteem, lives for the approval of others and has lost the ability to feel or express her feelings because it hurts so much. This is her story as she acknowledges how she has been hurt, that she has needs and has a right to love herself and be loved by others.

In Behind the Smile the inspiration came from reading about the growing problem of addiction to online gambling. I was aware of numerous adverts on TV promoting this as a fun activity and offering all kinds of enticements to sign up. On the other hand, I read heart breaking stories of lives ruined by the addiction that is often hidden, even from partners and family. For research I visited online gambling sites and was really shocked at what I found. 

The sites aimed at woman were very “pink”, “sparkly” with cuddly animals and fairies. It was surreal and disturbing.  The sites work at getting people hooked, offering free introductory games with odds inflated to favour the player when she is gambling with play money. Of course, the odds change in favour of the house as soon as real money is involved.

In Behind the Smile, Heather appears to have a perfect life. She starts online gambling for fun, likes escaping into this shiny apparently comfy world that welcomes her back her each time she goes online, and gives her an adrenalin rush each time she wins. However, by the time of this story she is secretly addicted, and no one knows the enormous financial debt she is getting the family into.  Crisis forces the problem into the open, and Heather is faced with difficult choices if she is to find a way to recover.

Tell us a little about you?

I was born in Cardiff and have retained a deep love for my Welsh roots. I worked as a nursery teacher in London and later taught Deaf children in Croydon and Hastings. 

I now live on the beautiful Isle of Wight with my husband, where I walk my cocker spaniel Pepper and write. I have two grown up children.

Is there another book on its way and if so can we have a peek at what is about?
This book is also set on the Isle of Wight. It is about Anya whose husband is killed by a hit and run driver. Slowly she realises that it was not an accident but that the killer is among her closest and most trusted friends.

You can find Mary on all of these social media platforms…


Book links

Short Stories
Making Changes

I am sure you agree these books are addictive, so please check them out. 
And, don't forget to come back and meet another great author and their page turning books.

See you tomorrow! 
Until then, have a fabulous day and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.


Brought to you by
 In the Cold Light of Day


Chill Awards for Independent Authors

1 comment:

Mary Grand said...

Thank you so much Pauline for giving me the opportunity to share about my writing and in particular about addition. The photos of Pepper look great xx