Thursday, April 3, 2014

Author Spotlight - Hannah Emery

Welcome to new Harper Impulse author, Hannah Emery, talking about her debut novel, Secrets in the Shadows.

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I have written stories for as long as I can remember. I love writing about how fragile the present is and how so much of it depends on chance events that took place years ago. I studied English at the University of Chester, and I now work in a college where I mentor higher education students. The most important things in my life are my family, my friends, books, baking on a Saturday afternoon, getting glammed up to go out for champagne and dinner and having cosy weekends away. I live in Blackpool with my husband and our little girl.

What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
It’s my second book, but the first to be published. I learnt a lot from writing my first, but I felt I could do better!

What inspired this book?
Lots of things: Blackpool, my fascination with twins, my obsession with family history and the amazing way that one decision can affect future generations for hundreds of years.

Who or what was the inspiration for your hero?
There are two heroes in Secrets in the Shadows, and my inspiration for them is my years of chatting to friends, watching things like Sex and the City and wondering why some people go for Eliots, and other people go for Noels…

Have you any burning ambitions to write a story in a different genre?
I adore the YA genre so I would love to try that. I’d also like to try and write a children’s book. Reading to my daughter is one of my favourite things to do, and her favourite books are amazing and inspiring. Julia Donaldson is a genius.

What was the most fun part of writing this book?
I loved researching Blackpool. It’s changed a lot in the last hundred years or so, and it was fascinating to learn about its history and incorporate what I found into my book. The event that sparks the main story of Secrets in the Shadows is a fire that actually happened on North Pier in September 1921. Reading a newspaper article about the fire was amazing - I love old newspapers.

Which of your characters would you most like to be?
I would like to be Grace. Although she is troubled, she’s strong, gifted and likes to have fun. And she owns a book shop!

Do you have any tips, tricks or sacrificial rituals you do when you hit a story roadblock?
I read. My favourite authors always inspire me again!

Where do you write?
Ooh - well at the moment, I write on my laptop on the sofa or sitting on the bed - normally with coffee. But we’ve recently moved, so I will soon have an office space! I’m going to be doing a blog post about my office soon, so look out for it on my blog!

A must-read for fans of Kate Morton!

In 1920s Blackpool, eleven year old Rose wanders away from her parents and has a unique gift bestowed upon her. This gift will leave a haunting legacy, seeping down through the generations…
Decades later, Louisa has a vision of her mother walking into the sea. This isn’t the first time it happens and it won’t be the last, but what she sees isn’t always what she wants. The rest of her life is spent trying to change the future that haunts her.

In present day Blackpool, Grace is going to be married someday. She knows this because she’s seen it; a vision of a white dress, daisies embroidered on the sleeves, the groom by her side, vowing to love her forever. Except the man in her premonition doesn’t belong to her- he belongs to her twin sister, Elsie.

Haunted by what they know and what they are afraid to find out, all three women must make a choice: in the face of certain destiny should you chase the outcome that’s “meant to be”, or throw away fate and choose your own future?

Twitter: @hannahcemery

Secrets in the Shadows is available from Amazon, Amazon UK and all other major eBook retailers.


Caroline said...

Best of luck with your latest release, Hannah. X

Sally Clements said...

That sounds like a really interesting story, Hannah! Thanks for going minxy for the day!