Welcome to the BrizzleLass stop on the Headline Publishing tour of The Secrets We Share by Emma Hannigan. I am honoured to have a Q&A with the author herself which is thought provoking, honest, and insightful. For my UK readers there is also an opportunity to win a paperback copy of this wonderful novel!
Title: The Secrets We Share
Author: Emma Hannigan
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Headline Review
Publication Date: 9 April 2015 (Paperback 13 August 2015)
Format: eBook / Paperback / Audio
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US Waterstones
The Irish Top Ten Bestselling Author of Driving Home for Christmas and The Summer Guest returns with another warm and delightful tale.
Devastated after a tragedy, Nathalie Conway finds herself on a plane to Ireland. She is on her way to stay with her grandmother Clara. The grandmother up until now Clara had no idea existed…
As Clara awaits her granddaughter’s arrival, she is filled with a new sense of hope. She has spent the last twenty years praying her son Max would come back into her life. Perhaps now her son can find a way to forgive her for the past. And her granddaughter may be the thread to stitch the pieces of her beloved family back together.
Which of the characters was your favourite to write and why?
All my characters are quite different. I enjoy writing different age spectrums as it allows me to think quite diversely. I always try and put myself into the characters shoes. I loved writing Clara’s character as there are little snippets of my grandmother in there. There are tiny parts of my teenage self in Nathalie and I loved the force of nature attitude behind Ava… Oooh I can’t choose one!
What gave you the idea for The Secrets We Share?
Two people inspired the story. The first person was my grandmother. She shared her story of coming to Ireland from war torn Austria with me. The second person was holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental. He’s a family friend and such an inspirational person. I knitted the two stories together and added my own sprinkling of fiction. ‘The Secrets we Share’ is a book I’ve waited years to write. I knew the right time would come and here it is!
How did you start writing?
I was having cancer treatment and needed something to take my mind off things, so I began to log what was happening. I discovered a new way of escaping while entertaining myself at the same time. I feel very blessed that I am now in a position to try and entertain readers too!
What is your writing process?
I’m very disciplined. I don’t understand how any writer can be productive without a proper routine. I have an office and I write every day without fail. I don’t believe there’s a secret to being an author, it just requires time and effort! I really enjoy creating stories though. So although I work as hard as I can, I am so lucky to have a job I adore.
I plan each novel before I start. I do a chart with all the characters names and what they look like. I’m so unbelievably bad at remembering their names though! I know what they look like in my mind’s eye, but I’m dreadful with names. I toss the ideas back and forth with my editors and my agent before starting. Brainstorming is a brilliant way of honing in on ideas and knowing the bones of a story before jumping in. After that it takes shape organically. I’ll never tire of that process. There’s nothing more rewarding that seeing a character come to life! I love it.
What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
I tried all sorts of jobs. First I trained to be a chef. I taught cookery and had a catering company. Then I moved to an engineering company. After that I trained as a beauty therapist. They’re all quite diverse jobs! I enjoyed each of them at the time, but I know writing is what I was meant to do. It fits into my life and I couldn’t imagine not being able to do this.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
Being allowed to make things up! All jokes aside, it’s wonderful to delve into my own imagination day after day. I find it so cathartic too. No matter what goes on in the world or how bad my day may have seemed at first, after a few hours at my desk I feel calm and serene. For me, writing is just as relaxing as reading. I love nothing more than floating on the cloud of my imagination. It’s delicious!
Tell us something about yourself that will shock your readers!
I’ve had cancer nine times. I’m addicted to coffee. I feel sad if I don’t eat chocolate every day. I want to be a cat when I grow up…. Maybe I should stop now!
Who is in your dream book club?
Graham Norton, Oscar Wilde, Meryl Streep, Joan Rivers, Quentin Tarantino, Oprah and my parents. If all the famous people wouldn’t talk to me, I know Mum and Dad would!
What are your future book plans?
I have a new book out next Spring. It’s called ‘The Perfect Gift.’ I’m so excited to share it. As always it’s a labour of love and I will be crossing my fingers and toes and hiding under the bed hoping readers will embrace and enjoy it.
Now for my UK readers, I have a copy of The Secrets We Share available in paperback for one lucky winner!
Head to Rafflecopter now to take part!
About Emma Hannigan:
Emma Hannigan is one of Ireland’s hottest name’s in women’s fiction, her warm-hearted novels and believable portraits of family life and friendships have captured the imagination of readers. Behind her escapist novels, Emma has been fighting an epic battle with cancer, and it was the need to put her thoughts down about the disease that started her writing. Emma has now beaten cancer an astoni astonishing 9 times and is an ambassador for Breast Cancer Ireland. Emma is the author of nine bestselling novels and a bestselling memoir, Talk To The Headscarf. Emma lives in Co. Wicklow with her Husband and two children.
Emma Hannigan Links: