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Monday, 9 November 2015

ℚ The Near Miss - Fran Cusworth

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Near Miss (, AUS Impulse, 200pages), a Contemporary Fiction novel.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops


Hello Fran, welcome to BooksChatter.

What was the inspiration for The Near Miss?

"I saw a child run onto a road at my local ice cream shop on a very hot day, and she was snatched back in the nick of time.  I started thinking (in a sort of heatwave-induced dream) about the people who were involved, and what if she had actually been hit, and what if they’d gone on to become friends and change each other’s lives ...  I probably think too much."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Some of the scenes are set in my home suburb, such as the above one, but also others.  The kindy scenes were imagined at my son’s kindy at the time – he’s in grade four now, so it was a while ago.

Grace, Melody, Romy and Eddy all have a little of me in them.  Grace has my constant, slightly neurotic mental chatter and anxiety; Melody shares some of my calmer side, eternally seeking a bit more Zen.  Romy is me at an earlier stage of my life, unfulfilled and fairly selfish and Eddy shares my cautious, kinder, order-loving self ... it’s hard to believe humans can be all these people, but I’m sure if you look at yourself you’ll know it’s possible!"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for The Near Miss - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Harper Collins created the cover and I love it.  The picture of the ice cream cone fallen on the road comes from the first chapter, where the child runs on the road into traffic, and the main characters meet."
Why should we read The Near Miss and what sets it apart from the rest?
"Umm... I like finding the funny and the tragic and the drama of life out of the every day business of raising kids and surviving suburbia."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Near Miss, its story and characters?
"There is a scene where a woman (Romy) announces to a dinner party of friends that she’s had an affair, and she later declares that this will be her year of doing new things.  That was based on something that happened at a dinner party we held at home one hot summer night – such self assuredness and lack of repentance, I had to immortalise it!"
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I seem to write about family, about parenthood, about the comedy and drama of every day suburban life.  Relationships and female friendships.  These are definitely the books I like to read, from Jane Austen to Monica McInerney to Liane Moriarty."
What is your writing process?
"When I’m writing a novel, I’m a morning person.  I either get up at 5am and write until 7am a few mornings a week, or if I’m lucky enough to be able to do so, I meet a group of other writers in a cafe and we do Shut Up And Write, where we write for 25 mins, drink coffee for five, repeat, repeat.  I have dear writer friends who read drafts for me and give fabulous advice.  I despair, give up, swear off it, return to it, do another draft.  And repeat!"
What is in store next?
"I’m writing a time travel fairy story, which sounds a bit out there, but at the heart of it are the things I always seem to be returning to; human relationships, family life, the great drama of raising children and getting by.  I’m about to start a new life as a nurse, so I’m sure that will influence me in some creative way."
I cannot believe you retrained as a nurse!   I may have to take some inspiration from you...

And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?

"I am a cat person, and I always have a cat.  Caspian is my current cat friend, although in our house Caspian prefers my teenage son to everyone else.  My home is pretty special to me; it’s where all my favourite people – husband and two sons – live."

I love the box of toys :-)  Thank you for sharing and for joining us today.

The Near Miss - available NOW!

UK: purchase from Amazon.co.uk purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK purchase from Google Books find on Goodreads
US: purchase from Amazon.com purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US

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