I’m so happy today to have as my guest Deirdre Palmer. Not only is Deirdre a fellow author at Storm Publishing, but she’s also one of my oldest writing friends, as part of our support group the Write Romantics. Welcome, Deirdre. Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself please?
I live in the lovely south coast city of Brighton. I write women’s fiction and psychological suspense/thrillers under my own name, and shorter women’s fiction with romance as Zara Thorne. I’ve recently joined Storm Publishing with a four-book contract, and that’s very exciting!
It’s nice to talk books with you, Deirdre. What’s the first book you remember reading or owning?
Anything by Enid Blyton, starting with Noddy! My mother read to me constantly, the same books over and over, and I think that’s how I learned to read fluently before I went to school.
Noddy was the first book I remember owning! Our neighbours were moving house and gave me a copy as a present. I was in love with Enid Blyton’s books from that moment on. It’s lovely that your mother read to you so much. What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
No particular favourite, but I loved Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield, because it opened up a world that was unfamiliar to me.
That seems to be a very popular book, and it’s another one I never read. Do you have a favourite among the books you’ve written yourself?
Yes, my first full-length book, Remarkable Things, which was published by Crooked Cat. I’ll always have a soft spot for this one. It’s a story about adoption, identity and motherhood, and also features a later life romance.
Do you read any genres apart from the one/s you write in?
I enjoy reading historicals, but apart from my two books set in the 1960s, if they count as historical, I don’t write them. Far too much research involved, and so much potential for getting it wrong!
Yes, I can imagine it would take lots of time to get all the facts straight. Which author/s had the biggest influence on you?
Tricky one – my influences change all the time, and I’m discovering new brilliant writers all the time. Originally it was authors like Joanna Trollope and Deborah Moggach, now it’s more likely to be T M Logan and B A Paris, both amazing pysch fiction authors. Also Jojo Moyes, Sarah Winman and Eve Chase, all fabulous writers.
Do you read books more than once?
There are lots on my bookshelf I intend to read again but haven’t got round to it. There are so many lovely new books waiting. But I make an exception for the Miss Read books – see below!
Which book (if any) is your go-to comfort read?
The Miss Read books, definitely. Her Thrush Green and Fairacre series, set in the 1950s Cotswolds. I love the little black-and-white illustrations. I discovered Miss Read in the library when I was about 14 and have been reading and re-reading them all my life.
You were kind enough to send me a Miss Read book, and I really loved it. Such a gentle, nostalgic book. I must read more of them. Do you prefer hardback, paperback, e-book, audio, or no preference?
Ebook and paperbacks. Hardbacks I find too cumbersome, and I tend to drift off with audio!
Haha, I know how you feel! What’s your current read?
I’ve just started Still Life by Sarah Winman. She’s a brilliant writer.
What’s next for you?
My first book with Storm Publishing was published on 27th June. It’s called The Wife’s Revenge. My second, The Girl in the Dark, will be out in September. I’m writing another psychological suspense at the moment, which will be the fourth book under my Storm contract. It’s about a woman called Briony who inherits Summerdene, a beautiful old house in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, from her godmother. Briony lived there as a teenager when her mother died, and certain traumatic events from that time are resurrected when somebody unexpected arrives in the village.
That sounds brilliant. I’ll look out for it. Thank you, Deirdre. It’s been lovely talking to you.
You can find out more about Deirdre by following her on Facebook,
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or catch her on Instagram.
The Wife’s Revenge
Tell a lie once, and all your truths begin to crumble one by one…
Fran made the biggest mistake of her life when she had an affair with Ben. Both their families live in the small, tight-knit town of Oakheart, and their daughters are the best of friends. The relationship is over, but her guilt haunts her every waking moment. She tries to push it down, but it’s always there, simmering just beneath the surface.
Fran has managed to keep the truth hidden from her husband… so far. But the cracks in their marriage are starting to show. Meanwhile, Ben and his wife Tessa seem stronger than ever, though Fran knows that things aren’t always as they appear. When Tessa begins trying to get closer to Fran, she’s scared – scared of what Tessa might do, of what she might lose.
High Heaven, a cliff overlooking the disused chalk pit on the outskirts of town, is a place of secrets. A woman tragically died there years ago, a woman who – Fran is shocked to discover – had a connection to Ben. The more she digs, the more she realises that the people around her aren’t who she thought they were at all.
The truth is out there, somewhere… but is Fran brave enough to face it?
A gripping page-turner of a story! Fans of The Wife Between Us and The Couple Next Door will love this twisty tale of friendship, betrayal and deceit.
As the January wind whips down the stairs to the train platform, Ellen Randall huddles into her coat, shivering. Suddenly, a flash of red catches her eye and she turns. It’s a scarf. Red and cream, in a large, checked pattern. And the person wearing it— No! It can’t be…
Three weeks later. In the dimly lit depths of the abandoned station, an eerie silence hangs heavily in the stale air, wrapping around the young man like an invisible shroud. Every step he takes echoes through the tunnels. Cautiously, he ventures deeper into this forgotten place.
His pulse quickens as he stumbles upon her, a small figure huddled in a worn sleeping bag. The girl looks cold, hungry and very frightened. Carefully, he approaches her. “Please tell me how I can help you.” His voice is gentle. She meets his eyes, and his heart twists with worry and protectiveness. If someone’s hurt her—
Then, she laughs; a ripple of sound that rises to the arched roof and echoes around them. “I killed somebody,” she says. “And, before you ask, I meant to do it…”
A totally unputdownable psychological thriller, perfect for anyone who loved The Doctor’s Wife by Daniel Hurst and anything by Shalini Boland.