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Catherine Yardley

Author of Ember. Represented by @sya_susan

Editor-in-chief Frost Magazine. Freelance writer available for commissions

Eleanor Ray: Features

My debut, Ember, was published in March. It is about Natalie who’s younger sister, Amanda, gets married and pregnant before her. Their father walked out on them on Christmas day thirty years ago after an affair. Amanda wants to get the family back together but Natalie is the oldest and she remembers the most. Meanwhile Natalie breaks up with her long-term boyfriend, Rob, by leaving him on the side of the road. Ember is a novel that explores whether someone should be in our life just because we are related to them, but there is also a love story: can you ever walk away from someone you love, or do some fires never die out?

I have written my entire life. I love it. When I was younger I wrote songs and poems. I even managed to get a poem in an anthology when I was eleven. I have worked in the film industry, in PR and marketing. I have been a restaurant reviewer, a theatre critic, a travel writer, and a features writer. I exclusively write now but it is not all creative. Sometimes you just need to pay the bills!

I write around caring for my three children and running my online lifestyle magazine, Frost.

Tell us about yourself?

Eleanor Ray: About

Are you working on something now? Can you tell us about it? 

 I am always working on something new. I have a book on sub which is set in the acting world, another one being edited, and then another one that I am working on. I also have a short story collection and a children’s book. I am in love with them all obviously. I hope they all find a home.

Eleanor Ray: Text
Which six books will you take to the Island?
Eleanor Ray: Text

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

This book was such an eye opener. The imagination that went into it blows my mind. It is so ambitious and succeeds so beautifully. I was a changed person after I read this book. I made me feel more connected to the world, more spiritual. I can only aspire to such greatness

Eleanor Ray: About
Eleanor Ray: About

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. 

Much like The Life of Pi reading Crime and Punishment changed my life when I read it. There is so much to wonder over in this book. It is written so perfectly and tells us so much about life and redemption. I love the last page especially. I refer to it constantly. Dostoyevsky was in a bad way when he wrote this book, he was living in poverty and his wife and brother had just died. You can tell because he pours all of his suffering onto the page. It’s a challenging book but one that enriches your life.


I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. 

I am obsessed with Maya Angelou. What a life. What a writer. Does anyone else write with such brutal honesty? I am not sure. She is a poet and you can tell even when she is writing prose. I learnt so much reading this book. I also learnt a lot about racism. As well as life and wisdom. It made me more socially conscious. it is a book that teaches you that strength of character, and a love of reading, can overcome trauma and create a beautiful life. Everyone needs to read it.


The Wives By Lauren Weisberger.

I am aware that my first choices are a bit heavy. Ha. Despite this I do love sexy contemporary novels a lot. I read a lot of what could be called women’s fiction. Hate the term, love the genre. I love domestic thrillers too. Anyway, The Wives is a sequel to The Devil Wears Prada. I love the character of Emily. She is such a glamour and sexy bitch, and don’t we all love them? This is such a joyous read full of truths about life and relationships. Could not love it more. Lauren Weisberger is underrated as a writer.

Eleanor Ray: About

The Patient by Jane Shemilt.

I read this at the end of last year and it has really stuck with me. It is about a doctor who meets Luc and is instantly attracted to him. She gives him the drugs he needs and the consequences are vast. Shemilt writes about relationships and love so wonderfully. I was in complete awe. I definitely want to read this wonderful book again. It is a book full of love.

Eleanor Ray: About

Becoming by Michelle Obama.

It showed me that we never become who we are, but that our lives are constantly changing and there is always more growth. I hated that I could never become who I thought I should be, now I know I am aways changing and that is a good thing. I also love her searing honesty and her decency. She is a working class girl done good. I love her so much.

Which disc will you take to the Island?

Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come. It is the most perfect song in the entire world. I have listened to it probably thousands of time. It’s message is wonderful and important, but it is also beautiful. That voice. Imagine if a change really did come. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?

Eleanor Ray: About
What will be your luxury item?
iPad and Charger

I would love to bring my iPad. It would have my Netflix app so I could binge watch shows. Something my children never allow. 

Eleanor Ray: About
Eleanor Ray: Video
Which fictional character will you meet? 

This is such a good question. I think I would like to meet Emily from The Devil Wears Prada because she would be brutally honest with me and give me a make over. I am over being covered in snot all of the time. Lol.

Eleanor Ray: About

Thank You Catherine

Eleanor Ray: About
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