Here is the beautiful Westbourne Bookshop. The owners have just celebrated their first birthday and are working hard to create the perfect environment to shelter the work of the authors.
And look at what is on their shelves. My own novel Silencio.
Water caressed my body, I flipped over and flattened my feet against the tiles. Before I pushed, a voice breached my solitude.
For a second, I thought it was a figment of my imagination, a phantom sound created by rushing fluid in my ears, lacking their original ability after the trauma of years attending concerts and discotheques. I propelled my body against the pressure of the water.
A white-haired man wearing a shirt, too short to hide his belly, grasped the gate and leered through the metal bars. My eyesight is not quite what it used to be, worn down by years of reading small print in poor conditions, and the goggles distorted my view but I saw that he was admiring my costume.
‘Are you enjoying it?’
My heart shattered. Years ago, that man had captured it with his flame locks and fine physique. I lowered my gaze and saw the true image of my self and yearned, just for a minute, for those days long gone.
I recently received a lovely review on http://www.amazon.com from a reader who learned about my novel while she was flying home to the States from the UK. Apparently the passenger in the adjacent seat was reading Silencio and she recommended it so this reader downloaded it on to her Kindle.
I love this story as it does not rely on marketing or publicity or arm twisting and therefore, gives me a great feeling of pride as an author of a book that someone wants to read.
One of my favourite things about writing about the past is doing the research. Both of my novels have been set in the recent past and so there have been plenty of personal accounts to give an insight to the environment and era. People love to be asked about the 1960’s and many of my friends and colleagues have rich recollections of that period. Whereas my first novel took place in Spain, this second one is located in York and its surroundings, making it easier to research. I spent several days in the fabulous Railway Museum in York where there are old photos, magazines and articles. While there, York Theatre was closed and the company relocated to the National Railway Museum to perform. We were fortunate enough to obtain tickets for the incredible production which told the history of the York Railways against the backdrop of the wonderful old engines and carriages. Over 200 performers were involved.
My research in Spain led me to villages affected by the Spanish inquisition and along the paths less travelled by the normal tourist. Locals filled me in on their customs which change from one area in the country to another.
The best thing about the research is that my understanding of my subject develops and hopefully makes my writing entertaining and realistic.
As research for my next novel I would like to interview people who are either adopted and have sought out their birth families, or are a birth mother or father who has been contacted by an adopted child. I am particularly interested in the family and relationship dynamics and how these change after the initial contact has been made.
Of course, anything you tell me will be treated with confidentiality.
Contact me either through this site or at http://www.laberrynovels.org.
I will be discussing my novel Silencio with Gill Henry on Total FM 91.8 Costa Blanca at 13:30 Spanish time. In addition to the inspiration and stories behind the book, I will be talking about some of the influences on my writing, the music I love and anything else we can fit into our one hour slot. Send me in some questions in the comments section and I’ll try to answer them during the time I am on air.
The following is a copy of a 5* review of my debut novel Silencio on Net Galley. Needless to say, I am delighted.
Totally love this book and pleased to be able to review it for Net Galley. Well researched, full of suspense. A mothers worst nightmare, her newborn is stolen. Overtime Mercedes is relentless in her search for the truth about Spain’s stolen babies.
I cried so much reading this brilliant book about baby trafficking, how 40years after franco’s death people in Spain searched for so many “lost” babies. I live in Spain for part of each year. I did not know about this and am reading more about it since reading Silencio. A heartbreaking true fact. I cannot imagine how these mothers must have suffered. I loved the ending, can’t wait to read her next book. This is a winner.
My first novel Silencio is beginning to sell and is currently being read in Thailand and in Australia which my husband says makes it an international bestseller. I can only hope that is a prophecy.
Exciting Day Yesterday.
The first copies of my novel Silencio were delivered and my novel is now available for sale in paperback from Troubadour Publishers and for pre-order at Waterstones and Amazon.
and for pre-order in ebook format from Apple and Amazon.