The opening lines of my debut novel In the Shadow of Winter are written above. Like the heroine, Eleanor, I too have a strong relationship with the past. My inspiration to write about 1940s Britain comes from the traces that still live around us today. It comes from the tales that my elderly friends and neighbours tell, and from the details and contradictions that have been recorded from a time we know so much about and yet no two people ever describe it in quite the same way.
I love the fact that I don’t have to rely on history books and hard facts to underpin the narrative of my characters’ lives. I can ask real living people for their experiences and weave them into fiction. This is what first inspired me to write In the Shadow of Winter and set the intensely emotional adventure that unfolds within it, with all of its danger, romance and mystery, in the winter of 1947.
My second novel The War Widow has just been released. This too is set in 1947. Kate Ward, the heroine of this story, is finding that her life is unravelling during the chaotic days of November while the rest of the country is busying itself with the excitement around the original Royal Wedding – the wedding between Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten.