The Inspiration Behind Tyringham Park
An Interview with Rosemary McLoughlin
We spoke with Rosemary McLoughlin to discover more about her writing process. What was the Inspiration behind Tyringham Park? We also discussed personal stories and philosophies that led her to write for her remarkable work.
My main interest in life, my passion in life the thing that I’m most interested in is nature versus nurture. This was the real inspiration behind Tyringham Park. I thought, how can I cunningly put that into a story. Old-fashioned stories with a beginning, a middle and an end really appeal to me. I like good people to triumph and baddies to get their comeuppance. But I’m also… actually, I don’t believe in good and evil because I think it’s all related to conditioning. I don’t think anyone’s evil ….even Hitler.
I think the saddest thing that you can read in a book is a good person who does the wrong thing for the right reasons or does the wrong thing for the right reasons it isn’t necessarily a bad person led to me is the scientist so I think I would try this so the only way I could do that if I’m not giving away the plot is to separate two identical twins at birth which has been done often and it glided the incredibly corny or funny so I wanted to do it in a serious way to really study the difference between two identical twins brought up in two completely different ways.
Turning The Tables on the Portrayal of the Irish
When I used to read about the Irish in Australia, what we learned about the Irish was only one sentence in the whole of 5th and 6th year for the leaving cert. The line was “….while England was struggling for her life Ireland was stabbing her in the back.” In so many novels the Irish were always portrayed as feckless drunks, charming, illogical and the aristocracy were always well-educated, controlled, fair tempered. Which of course is a load of rubbish so I decided to turn the tables and to have the native Irish desired by the Anglo-Irish instead of the other way around.
A Traditional Approach
I think we’re all going through a phase now modern art being abstract, modern music being discordant, modern stories having no plot … deconstructions. But from my vantage point of 70 years, I think that everybody loves the story with the beginning middle and end. Everyone loves the picture that they can identify with. Everyone loves a piece of music with a melody. So basically I’m a traditionalist.
On the Process of Writing
The writing style, I think that’s something you have. I don’t think you can do anything about it. You either have an ear for language or you don’t, an ear for rhythm or you don’t, and I find with my background in being an English teacher that I’m very strict about grammar. I have to have the sentences correct. I wouldn’t be able to write in a modern way of writing because I wouldn’t know how to, so once again traditional in that sense. The plot and characters are so interwoven that you can’t separate them. A certain person will do such a thing and I think that’s quite magical when it happens. But when they do, they have to follow their trajectories. They can’t make a sudden change just to suit the plot.
Painting versus Writing
Writing would definitely be my first love if I had taken it up first a long time ago. Painting is easier because it’s quicker, in my opinion. I can do a painting a week. Whereas a book would take me two years! It’s more sociable because people could come in and have a look at it and talk about it. You go to see the frame, you go to the galleries….. it’s much more social. When you talk to other painters you talk about colour and so on whereas writing is completely solitary. I bored my poor family to death and killing you dare talking about my characters cuz to me they were so real I wanted to talk about them I didn’t talk about anything else and it’s very like having a new baby where you’re really interested in nobody else is.
The first rule about picking a painting is the subject matter and I feel the same with a novel, don’t pick a boring landscape or don’t pick her face that doesn’t fascinate you don’t pick a story that doesn’t interest you so only for that reason subject matter I think is number one in both cases color and composition and language and all that comes second but first of all pick something that you find interesting, that’s the only connection I could see between two.
My Views on Writing
I think an outsider always has a better view of things. For example, if you go into a family where there’s a scapegoat but nobody in the family notices. It’s because they’re so used to it. They think that person is being picked on because they deserve it. That it’s pure injustice and it’s become ingrained in the family. When I was coming over here for the first time I came over by boat when we stopped in South Africa. Everyone there I met on the day told me how wonderful South Africa was. “If you lived here you’d understand that it’s the only system that possibly works”! But you have to leave here to know that so as an outsider you could see it was most unjust and cruel.
You can notice the same thing in a family. An outsider is needed to see that someone as a favourite it is big favourite about the other children, so I think that sounds vantage point is really good. The other reason it’s good is that when you’re visiting the country you think those rules are set in stone. This is how life is. It’s not until you go to another country you realise that it’s purely cultural, that it that there are such things as differences of national characteristics.
But I wrote it I went through up a lot of dark alleys and went through the wrong crossroads and so on. Then I just delete and go back and start again until it was logical. You tend to get a bit carried away so I’d say on the whole I wrote the book three times. I’d say I deleted the entire book twice! But that was because the plot is extremely complicated and there are an awful lot of characters in it. I think I bit off more than I could chew. It was complicated but the basic idea was that two babies would be separated at birth. That was the start of it. Then I had to say how would that happen. By the time I decided on that and worked it all out, it didn’t happen at all until the very end of the book. So, I have to write a sequel! It’s going to be the twins story.