Back in May 2017 I was on a six-month motorhoming trip around Europe with my husband. We’d reached Sicily and were sitting in a campsite restaurant one evening, when we began talking through ideas for my next novel. I’d just finished a round of edits for The Drowned Village and was ready to start work on something else. I had this vague idea I wanted to do something around the Irish war of independence, and that my contemporary character would uncover a cache of old guns under a barn – that would be the trigger to set her off researching the past.
We sat in that restaurant and began thrashing out ideas. My husband’s Irish so of course he knew a lot more than me about this period in history. I jotted down a load of notes, kept mulling it over for the next week or two and ended up with a plan for the novel that eventually (after several title changes!) became The Forgotten Secret.
This one turned out to be the most difficult to date to write. Partly because I didn’t do enough research before starting to write. Partly because for some reason I wrote most of the contemporary storyline before the historical (usually I do them the other way round, so at least I know what happened in the past, and know what my contemporary character needs to discover). And partly because hitting the right note for the historical story was tricky. I wanted the novel to illustrate the premise that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. But I didn’t want it to be overly political or partisan.
I think I got the balance right. Early reviews are positive. I hope everyone enjoys this novel, and do let me know what you think of it!