Friday, 22 August 2014

Mary T Bradford: My Husband's Sin

A great big welcome to Mary T. Bradford. It's our pleasure to introduce another debut novelist and her work to Heart of Fiction readers.

Mary comes to us today from north County Cork in the south of Ireland where she lives with her family.

Notice I said debut novelist. Mary is previously published with a collection of short stories called A Baker's Dozen. She's also ventured into script writing, and some of her work has made it into magazines and newspapers. Today's release, My Husband's Sin, is Mary's first published novel.

Don't let the title confuse you. My Husband's Sin is not a mother's tale of husbandly misdoings. This story is told from the point of view from one of the daughters, Lacey. It's on her mother's death that family secrets are about to unfold, during which time, Lacey learns why her mother had always treated her differently than she did her other children.

My Husband's Sin is a deeply moving story of one woman's journey through her family's skeletal closet. It pulls at all the emotions from loss to acceptance, anger to forgiveness, and dubious past to a future worth looking forward to. Lacey is instantly likable and one can't help but follow her journey as she gets to the truths in her family. Mary's unique voice creates lasting imagery and makes this a quick read. This is a fabulous debut novel. I can't wait to see what's up Mary's sleeve next.

Before we get to that, Mary gave us a little of her time for a quick chat. Join us --

Welcome to Heart of Fiction, Mary, and thanks for taking time from your busy schedule to chat with us.

Tell us, please, as a mother of four and a hectic home life, how do you schedule in writing?
My writing routine is fairly disciplined which surprises me when I think about it! I write in the mornings in my local library where I meet up with my longest writing friend, Daniel Kaye. There, I catch up with emails and social media in general first and then get down to the writing side of things. I work on whatever project is on my priority list. I am lucky because the  staff in the library are wonderful people. They bring us tea and biscuits, and Dan and I chat about all and everything during the ‘break’. Some days there can be many ‘breaks’. I spend three hours, from 10a.m. until 1p.m. most morning’s, at the library, except for Mondays and Sundays when it is closed.
Tuesday is our catching up day for what we did at the weekends and plan the next few days ahead too. So once lunchtime arrives and my writing time is up, I head for home and then tackle the housework, go shopping, catch up with family, prepare dinner, visit relatives that might need to be taken out for groceries etc. Basically everything else in life that is not writing related.
But my day isn’t over yet, after dinner around six thirty, I will tackle some more writing and then finally go to bed to read. I like to hit bed early.
I recently bought a Kindle Paperwhite and I am embracing the world of e-books. My pile of to-read paperbacks sit on my bedside locker and like most writers, I dream about writing that bestseller too!
Sounds like the library is your place of employment. You've set up regular hours, go in five days a week (rain or shine, I'm sure), and you have a co-worker, and office help who bring you tea :-) . Sounds wonderful. You also mentioned writing from home what's that writing space like?
My writing space is filled with light. Like I mentioned earlier, I write in my local library. It is an old disused church so there are magnificent large windows. I work upstairs at one of the many tables provided. It is a place where I have made many friends and have become one of the regulars. I held my book launch, for my collection of short stories there and I also was involved in organising other anthology launches. The library opened in the evenings to accommodate it all.
Of course, I carry a notebook with me everywhere I go for those inspirational moments.
At home, I have created a space for myself in the piano room for my writing. It is a long counter top along one wall with shelving around it. I keep my writing materials there plus my craft materials. There are double glass doors that lead to my garden, so again I have lots of natural light. I can close the timber double doors that lead into the sitting room when I am in there and with no interruptions, have the ideal place to write.
Oh my goodness! When you said library, I envisioned a sterile, modern building. How wonderful that your community repurposed a local church! And your home office sounds lovely too. I love natural light. So, what do you enjoy when you are not writing?
I love being with my family, three of my four children are away from home, one in the England and another in Germany and the other in Galway City, the West of Ireland. So I like to visit them, and I am hoping my fourth child, when he decides to leave home, goes somewhere nice for me to visit, maybe in the USA, fingers crossed!
I enjoy crafting. My mother taught me to knit when I was four, so I am knitting and crocheting when I have spare time for family and friends. I love cross-stitching too.
Of course reading is on my list too. My home is filled with bookcases overflowing with books! I don’t really have a favourite author, I enjoy so many. In fact I’m very forgetful when it comes to author names and book titles and have been known to buy the same book twice, on one occasion, three times! I totally forget I have a copy at home, plus it doesn’t help that my daughters are avid readers too and often take my books to read without telling me. So I think I haven’t bought a copy of a certain book and go out and get another one. So really I’m not to blame, Lisa and Audrey are the culprits.
I walk also, I try to get out for a walk every day, nothing major just a couple of miles. As a heart patient it is important. So there you have it, all my interests and what I get up to.
You have me laughing here about your books and your daughters. I'm sure you're very happy that they're so into reading. I've done the same as you with rebuying books I've already bought or already read. I blame the publisher for recovering books every few years! I generally remember favorite authors but terribly good with titles sometimes. I'm more visual and can tell you if I've read a book by looking at the cover! See what I mean? "Oh, look. My favorite author has a new book. I haven't seen this cover before." :-)

I love that you're so into crafts. I've met many authors who love to knit/crochet/quilt/paint/etc as a way to keep the creativity going while giving themselves other creative challenges.

Thanks for sharing some of your precious time with us. It was fun learning a little more about you.

As always, there's a free book on offer today. All you need to do is comment with your email address to put your name into the draw for an ebook copy of this book. If you can't wait, just click on the link to grab your copy.

• • •

In the weeks following Lillian Taylor’s burial, her four loving adult children assemble for the reading of her will. For the grieving youngest sibling, Lacey, life is about to come crashing down as a deep secret is revealed. The fall-out affects every member and they struggle to regain the happy family unit they once shared. Each of the siblings, take the reader on a journey as they try to come to terms and learn to handle this huge revelation.

Lacey fled the Sherman and Jones Solicitors’ office in turmoil, only pausing to catch her breath before descending the cold solid steps. The appalling words kept ringing in her ears. How the bloody hell could a mother do this to her child? A bitch, that’s what she was. Lacey should have trusted her instinct all through the years.

The pleasant July day was lost on her. Without thinking further, she sought solace in the bar further down the street. In the dimly-lit pub she was the only woman.

Lacey Turner didn’t drink alcohol this early, but placed in front of her now was a double vodka with bitter lemon. Taking the glass in her trembling hand, she drank swiftly. The sour liquid made her shake her head. God, it was unpleasant. In one corner, two elderly men were sipping their stouts. Another up at the bar was reading the day’s paper.

The barman came over to where she sat and smiled. “A tough morning so far then?” He wiped down the glass-topped table and replaced some beer mats with fresh un-tattered ones.

Lacey didn’t reply. She couldn’t. The shock of this morning’s events was still gripping her tight. Christ, her life had been turned upside down in the stroke of a pen. Her hands still shook.

Looking the barman up and down, she acknowledged he was kind of cute. If times were different, she might even flirt with him; his tight black t-shirt groaned across his chest, but she didn’t have time to daydream. Reality had her gripped in its cold heartless hand.

“Can I have another?” Lacey called out to the bar attendant as he moved on to wiping down other tables. He nodded and went to the bar to get her fresh drink.

Her mind was swimming with horrible thoughts of her mother. Dear Lord, she mustn’t think like that any more. She was Lillian, not Mother. Where do you start to pick up the pieces of your life after something like that? Her mobile phone rang: it was Sally. Lacey snapped at it, turning it off in one quick touch. Bloody family. Her bloody family!

The fresh glass was placed in front of her. He seemed to linger for a moment, waiting for Lacey to make eye contact. She really did not want his company but he wasn’t going anywhere, judging by his stance before her. She looked up at him. Yep, definitely cute.

“You could try talking. This will only lead to a headache and misery.” The guy smiled encouragingly, but all she did was stare back at him, confusion and anger in her eyes. Throwing a twenty on the table, she stood up and paused.

“Maybe misery is what I deserve.”

Her taupe Guess handbag and caramel jacket hung on the chair. She shoved the bag onto her shoulder, took her jacket, and walked out. Kind, attractive barmen were not what she wanted. She desired space and freedom to take in and assimilate the horrible rotten words that she’d heard today. Who would believe it? Who would have thought when she’d wakened this morning at seven, that five hours later her life would have crashed down around her? With her mind troubled, she wandered without direction through the busy streets.

Lacey’s world had stopped, yet around her cars passed by beeping their irritation with the slow traffic, people pushed and chatted without a concern for the young woman in their midst. She strolled along, not fully noticing life around her. Those words, those poisonous words, kept swirling in her mind. The look of horror on her siblings’ faces would be etched on her memory forever. She couldn’t face them right now. What must they think of her?

“Watch it.” The woman grunted at Lacey.

“Sorry.” Lacey didn’t know what she was apologising for, but it startled her into realising she needed to get home. It would be safe there.

• • •

Mary T Bradford has been writing mainly short stories for a number of years now and has enjoyed success with her fiction in many magazines, newspapers and anthologies both in Ireland and abroad. It was because of this success, Mary took the plunge and self published her first collection titled, A Baker’s Dozen (2012) and is available in both print and e-book format from Amazon and other sites. She decided to tackle a novel when one of her stories kept getting longer and the word count continued to climb and so ended up with My Husbands Sin. She has also branched out into writing plays and has seen her work shortlisted and performed.

When taking a break from writing and reading Mary loves to crochet or cross-stitch, crafts in general interest her. Living in County Cork, Ireland, she is married and is a mother of four children. Having overcome open heart surgery in 2008, Mary made the decision to dedicate more time to her writing as her children were almost raised and were starting to spread their wings. Family is important to her and her writing often reflects the ups and downs of life that all families go through daily.

Connect with Mary through any of the links on this page and that is something else Mary enjoys, chatting with people!

Find Mary online --

Website -
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Tirgearr Publishing -

Don't forget to leave a comment with your email address for the draw!

Or get your copy now at Tirgearr Publishing for just $3.99.


  1. Thank you Kemberlee for a lovely chat and to all at Tirgearr Publishing for the great support x

    1. Welcome to Heart of Fiction, Mary, and congrats on the release of your first novel.

      This is a great and complex story. What was your inspiration behind it? What made you want to tell this particular story?

    2. I was at a funeral when this story came to me. Looking around at the people gathered I wondered how many of them were hiding secrets that would probably come to light after their death. Often it is during the reading of the will that all is revealed. So when I got home, I thought about it more and then I put pen to paper, and hey I had My Husband's Sin.

  2. That's one thing people don't understand about writers. We get ideas everywhere. Even funerals.

    I love that you write in a converted church (awesome library!). And I know your town has some history. Have any local stories inspired your writing? If so, what was it?

  3. Yes there is a lot of history involving the town, the stories have not been inspired me as of yet. Since I write mainly about family, some characters in my work have been known to have a little bit of town folk in them. One particular piece comes to mind, a short story called, 'Coal dust is Gold'. My local Coal-man asked me to write something about his profession and so I did. It was published by the Cork Evening Echo.

  4. Hi Mary, Congratulations. Your big day has arrived. I enjoyed reading your interview with the Cork newspaper. And your excerpt here of My Husband's Sins.
    What a brilliant writing space. I guess it's not too noisy when you write and get inspiration like this.
    Enjoy every minute of your success. Cathy X

    1. Thank you Cathy for dropping by. The library is a wonderful place to go to. They are not overly strict and everyone is lovely there. We have all become friends from going in every morning. x

  5. Congratulations, Mary. God I wish I was as disciplined in writing as you seem to be! I dream of getting three hours to myself (and dream of having someone to make me write beside me) during the mornings!

    1. David, it has become routine, I have been going in to the library over 5 years now. My family are reared and so I have the freedom. It is not all writing, we chat a lot too and laugh loads. Thank you for dropping by.

  6. aw Mary such an exciting time!! We must celebrate on Splinter weekend. Well, well done!!! So very thrilled for you. May this one be the first of many more!!! Great stuff!!! xxx

    1. Thank you Mari, you are such a dear friend xxx