I am delighted to welcome author, Faith Hogan on to my blog for a Q&A 🙂
Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?
A) First off, Abby thanks so much for having me on your blog, it’s lovely to be here! My new novel came out in February and it’s called Secrets We Keep. It’s a story about love, family, betrayal and – yes, you guessed it secrets. It’s set in a little corner of the west of Ireland and the action plays out around a local dilapidated bath house. The book follows the story of Kate who wants to make something of her future and Iris who’s trying to make sense of her past. They are two distant relatives, drawn together in companionship, both forced to confront their pasts and learn that some people are good at keeping secrets and some secrets are never meant to be kept.
Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?
A) Secrets’ We Keep is a story inspired by place. It’s very much of the place I come from, however the books I love are all very character driven and I suppose that will always be the case for my books too.
I’m a bit of a planner in that I like to have an idea of who I’m writing about, I do like to sit and think for quite a while before I decide to write. Sometimes, there’ll be a great idea, but then when I actually start to flesh it out, I just know it’s not going to ever be much more than ten thousand words!
I love writing that first draft; it’s like a long ramble in the woods. I start and keep on going, occasionally I’ll glance at what is a very shaky plan, but mostly I let my fingers walk across the key board.
Round two is the tidy up then if I think it’s half decent I let my sister read it. While she has it loaded on her kindle, I try to forget about it. I’ll concentrate on other things. Eventually, I won’t be able to ignore it anymore and I have to dive in again. There will be more re-drafting, more cutting, filling in, changing around and wrestling with it before I think it’s done.
The next stop is the agent – if all is good with it and she’s happy, it will go to the publishers. After that, I’m working off their suggestions – which are usually very good. The final draft is always a bit nerve wracking, you know you’ve done all you can, without driving everyone crazy, but it’s still hard to let it go…
Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?
A) This is very much a moveable feast. I’ve read some superb Aria books over the last few weeks and I’d be hard pressed to pick a favourite there, so I’ll just recommend them all 😉
Over the last year or so, the most memorable have probably been ‘The Trouble with Goats and Sheep,’ by Joanna Cannon – I adored the language in this odd little book. ‘The Muse’ Jessie Burton and I must say, I really enjoyed ‘The Chilbury Ladies Choir,’ by Jennifer Ryan.
Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?
A) This is almost as hard! I loved books as a child and when I look back, most of childhood and teenage years are marked out in books. I was a big Enid Blyton girl, then it was onto Agatha Christie and from there onto Arthur Conan Doyle. When I was fourteen, I read Ivanhoe and I suppose I fell a little bit in love then!
Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?
A) Honestly, there have been so many. I suppose, I’ll never forget that first email that Aria were interested in signing me for My Husbands Wives – that was one of those, once in a lifetime moments! Then holding the actual book in my hand, seeing it in a book shop…yes, there have been a few alright
Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?
A) It would be very hard to whittle this down to just one person, but suffice it to say, I’ve a great network of support around me. Without all of those people closest to me there would not be a chance to write and without their belief there may not be the sustained effort it takes to get to the finishing line every time.
Of course, outside of that, none of us would be writers without readers, publishers, agents and of course lovely bloggers! In the end, books come full circle, I think and sometimes it’s the feedback you get when they’ve flown the nest that makes you consider them all over again and gives you appetite for the next one!
My Husband’s Wives by Faith Hogan
One man, three wives, too many secrets. A heart-warming story of love, loss, family and friendship. A compelling debut that fans of Freya North will love. Paul Starr, Ireland’s leading cardiologist dies in a car crash with a pregnant young woman by his side.
United in their grief and the love of one man, four women are thrown together in an attempt to come to terms with life after Paul. They soon realise they never really knew him at all.
The love they shared for Paul in his life and which incensed a feeling of mistrust and dislike for each other, in his death turns into the very thing that bonds them and their children to each other, forever.
As they begin to form unlikely friendships, Paul’s death proves to be the catalyst that enables them to become the people they always wanted to be.
The Secrets We Keep by Faith Hogan
Some people are good at keeping secrets but some secrets are never meant to be kept…
Two distant relatives are drawn together and forced to confront their pasts. A bittersweet story for fans of Patricia Scanlan and Adele Parks.
The beautiful old Bath House in Ballytokeep has lain empty and abandoned for decades. For devoted pensioners Archie and Iris, it holds too many conflicting memories of their adolescent dalliances and tragic consequences – sometimes it’s better to leave the past where it belongs.
For highflying, top London divorce lawyer Kate Hunt, it’s a fresh start – maybe even her future. On a winter visit to see her estranged Aunt Iris she falls in love with the Bath House. Inspired, she moves to Ballytokeep leaving her past heartache 600 miles away – but can you ever escape your past or your destiny?
Bio Faith Hogan
Faith Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.
She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.
Her debut novel, ‘My Husband’s Wives,’ is a contemporary women’s fiction novel set in Dublin. It was published by Aria, (Head of Zeus) in 2016. ‘Secrets We Keep,’ is her second novel out on Feb 1st 2017.
Twitter (her favourite) https://twitter.com/GerHogan
Web Page. http://faithhogan.com/
*Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.