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Friday 6 September 2019

ℚ♫ Sleeping Through War - Jackie Carreira

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Sleeping Through War (, Matador, 233 pages), a Literary Historical Women's Fiction.

"Poignant! Tumultuous! Important! [...] This is a beautifully told masterfully crafted story of courage and love... these women’s characters were so well developed I felt as though I knew them by the end of the book... I also really appreciated the news snippets sprinkled throughout the story it gave everything a sense of authenticity... absolutely recommend this book it will make you look at the late 1960s from a different angle..." ~ 
Berit, Amazon Vine Voice

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to fellow Brit, Jackie Carreira; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Sleeping Through War , or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"While I was researching the book, I tried to find out what kind of music people might have been listening to at the time the story was set.  I was a professional musician myself for twelve years, so putting together a playlist for a book is a total pleasure for me.

Here are some of the songs that were in the music charts in 1968.  There are some true classics among them, including my personal, childhood fave... ‘White Horses’ by Jacky."    
How much of yourself is reflected in Sleeping Through War, and how?
"I was a little girl during the time that Sleeping Through War is set – May 1968.  I spent most of my childhood in the same part of East London where Rose’s part of the story takes place, but also spent a long period living with my grandparents in the ‘Old Quarter’ of Lisbon in Portugal where Amalia lives in the book.

Those formative years had a huge impact on me, and I can still conjure up the sights and sounds and smells in my mind.  These days my childhood would be called ‘disadvantaged’ by the media, but my memories are of a vibrant, colourful, lively place and time.

I drew on this extensively in those parts of the book and, I must say, it was both cathartic and enjoyable to revisit those childhood experiences in my writing."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Sleeping Through War - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Sleeping Through War’s cover was designed by a very talented artist and photographer called Andrea Kennard.

We’ve known each other for over twenty years, but it wasn’t until I asked to use her image that she told me, quite casually one day, that her father had once designed a book cover.  ‘Oh, really?’ I said, ‘Was it a book I might have heard of?’ ‘Probably,’ she replied.  ‘It was the first edition of 1984.’  Apparently, Andrea’s father, Michael Kennard, used to go fishing with George Orwell!

I was stunned.  We’d known each other all that time, both huge book-lovers, and she’d never thought to mention this literary nugget of information.  Orwell is one of my favourite authors, so it’s fantastic to have that little connection to him.  Andrea also designed the cover for my second novel, The Seventh Train.  It’s already won an award for its design, so great cover art clearly runs in her family."
Can you tell us something quirky about Sleeping Through War, its story and characters?
"I don’t know if it’s quirky, but Amalia in the book is named after Amalia Rodrigues – the most famous and celebrated Fado singer ever.  If you’ve never heard of ‘Fado,’ I’d recommend doing a search online and listening to some, especially while you’re reading Amalia’s story in Sleeping Through War.  It will provide you with some great, atmospheric background music.  I call it ‘The Portuguese Blues’ because almost every Fado song ever written is about love, death or fishing!"

Who would you recommend Sleeping Through War to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?

"The readers who would probably enjoy my books most are those who love character-led fiction; books that make you feel like you’ve just met a real person that you could talk to.  I write for people like me who want to understand themselves and other people. What makes us tick?  Why do we do what we do?  What does it take sometimes just to survive?  These are the kind of themes that underline most of my writing.

Sleeping Through War in particular is about ‘ordinary’ people that are too often overlooked in our world of increasing media celebrity and fleeting fame."
If you could / wished to turn Sleeping Through War into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I love this question! Amalia would be played by a young Penélope Cruz, Mrs Johnson by Kathy Bates when she was in her early 40s, and Rose by Octavia Spencer.

Penélope Cruz as Amalia Kathy Bates as Mrs Johnson Octavia Spencer as Rose
All shot on location, of course, in Lisbon, Washington DC and Hackney in London.  With a cast like that, I’m sure there’ll be directors queuing up!"
Washington DC
Hackney, London
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"People are what I like to write about the most, whether they’re from the past, the present or the future.  There is nothing more fascinating to me than trying to work out what the hell we’re all doing here on this planet.

Sleeping Through War looks at how little our struggles and triumphs have changed in the last fifty years.  My second novel, The Seventh Train (published earlier this year) is set in the present and looks at the challenges so many people face today.  I guess the next task is to write a bunch of people in the future.  How different will it all be?  Hopefully we will learn more in the next fifty years than we’ve done in the last fifty."
What is in store next?
"Leading seamlessly on from the last question... Novel number three is currently two very different books that are fighting it out to see who wins!  I’ll let you know who the victor is when they’ve finished arguing with each other.  In the meantime, I’m writing a comedy/drama for TV that is completely top secret right now.  All I can tell you is that it should be funny, which I’m enjoying thoroughly."
Thank you for sharing, and we hope you are having a great tour!

Sleeping Through War
Available NOW!

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