Saturday, March 11, 2023

Q&A with Therese Beharrie




Therese Beharrie is the author of the novel A Ghost in Shining Armor. Her other novels include And They Lived Happily Ever After. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa.


Q: How would you describe the relationship between A Ghost in Shining Armor and your novel And They Lived Happily Ever After?


A: Companion novels, I would say. You could absolutely read one without the other, but they're both much richer for having read the other.


Q: The Publishers Weekly review of the book says, in part, “Their slow-burning will-they, won’t-they combined with Beharrie’s laugh-out-loud narration makes this a surefire crowd pleaser.” What do you think of this description, and what do you see as the role of humor in the novel?


A: I was thrilled by it! It's always a pleasure when people enjoy your work, especially when they recommend it to others.


My books tend to be heavy on the emotional development of the characters, so I try to use humour to diffuse that. I also find it represents the world well. Even through tough emotional times, we find ourselves laughing and enjoying life.


Q: How was the book's title chosen, and what do you see as the role of ghosts in the story?


A: It was a play on the fairytale idea of “a knight in shining armor.” The perfect hero swooping in and saving the damsel in distress.


But with the slight change to the title, I hoped to convey how this notion would be challenged. My heroine does not need to be saved, nor is she a damsel in distress. The ghost aspect was also meant to imply the supernatural and fantasy element, which I think adds a fun layer to the story. 


Q: Adoption is one of the book's themes--how would you characterize the dynamic between your character Gemma and her parents?


A: Challenging, like family dynamics tend to be. Of course, the adoption element does add nuance to this that families who don't have this experience won't share, but as with every family, love and responsibility make for a complicated mix!


Q: What are you working on now? Will you return to these characters?


A: I'm taking a break from writing at the moment, although I do hope to return to this genre someday, if not this world specifically. I loved writing magical contemporary romance!


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: My next novel, Single Dads Club, will be out in June! It's about a man who unexpectedly finds himself a father, and the community that rallies around him to help raise his son, including a delightful waitress with a secret past... You can pre-order it here.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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