Today I have an author interview with Carol Rivers on the tour for her book Girl With Secrets.
A coming of age war story and family saga full of romance, mystery and danger in London’s East End. From the Sunday Times and ebook bestselling author of the Lizzie Flowers series and A Wartime Christmas comes a gripping NEW coming-of-age saga about love, loyalties and secrets.
IN THE TURMOIL OF WAR, CAN SHE KEEP HER FAMILY TOGETHER?
1938, East London. Nine year old Daisy Purbright is a country girl at heart and together with beloved brother Bobby, they’ve enjoyed the endless freedoms of rural England.
But when her father gambles the family’s fortunes on a speculative investment in London’s docklands, Daisy and her family are swept up into the intrigue, danger and excitement.Desperately the Purbrights attempt to settle to a new life in the East End, but the whisperings of war grow louder.
Then, one late afternoon in September 1940, Adolf Hitler conducts a paralysing bombardment on London and war tightens its grip. Life changes dramatically and closely guarded secrets threaten the Purbrights’ happiness.
Can Daisy and her family survive one of the most fateful events of the 20th century?
Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Pam Howes, Rosie Clarke and Dilly Court.
Do you write a certain amount of words in a day and have you a strict regime of writing?
I begin my day by reading from a favourite book for just a few minutes. Inspired, refreshed and invigorated, I’m ready to tell my own story. I write a book in about nine months and publish one a year. Slow in comparison to some, but I get there in the end.
Can you give a brief description of GIRL WITH SECRETS?
Indeed I can.
It’s 1938 and a reckless decision is made by Daisy’s entrepreneurial father to relocate from a country village to the heart of London’s East End. Ignoring the whispers of conflict with Germany, the move is made just before the country goes to war and Britain becomes the Luftwaffe’s main target. GIRL WITH SECRETS is about Daisy’s brave journey as she grows into adolescence during the Blitz, one of the most terrifying events of the 20th century.
So you’re back on the mean Streets of East London?
Sagas are rolling tales that cover long expanses of time and often travel. But my turf is London, though other locations come into play during the natural course of each story. GIRL WITH SECRETS is based in the East End, but returns occasionally to Daisy’s roots in a country village called Wattcombe. This time I wanted to explore the differences between two different environments and this suited my plot perfectly.
If you could give advice to anyone wanting to write, what would it be?
One word – read! If your read lots you can write lots. Read every spare moment. Get into the heads of your characters. Examine the plots. Notice the crunchy dialogue and how the writer uses it to convey information that doesn’t end up in long and boring paragraphs of narrative. Play with punchy, fresh adjectives, hard-hitting verbs that create stomach-turning tension. Have holes (conflict) for your main character to fall into and climb out of. READ how the authors of your choice do this and follow a pathway into writing. READ EVERY DAY and love reading.
Last of all, Carol, what do you do to relax?
Lockdown has inhibited us all, but that’s where writing plays a dual part in surviving this tumultuous event. Writing and reading are home-lovers hobbies and yet we must have exercise even though social distancing is paramount. Walking, watching birds, being part of this amazing universe and breathing the fresh air is my norm. We live by a river and walk its banks or go to the sea and the cliffs when not in lockdown. The water, the fields, the trees, the wild animals, the sky and the great beyond; I miss it and look forward to rejoining the world very soon!
Mum and Dad were both East Enders who were born on the famous or should I say the then infamous Isle of Dogs. Their family were immigrants who travelled to the UK from Ireland and France, while others emigrated to America.
As a child I would listen to the adults spinning their colourful stories, as my cousins and I drank pop under the table. I know the seeds of all my stories come from those far off times that feel like only yesterday. So I would like to say a big heartfelt thank you to all my family and ancestors wherever you are now … UK, Ireland, France or America, as you’ve handed down to me the magic and love of story telling.