I’m delighted to host today’s stop on the blog tour for The Married Girls by Diney Costeloe, the sequel to the best-selling drama, A Girl With No Name. Diney has kindly agreed to answer some questions about the book, its inspiration and her approach to writing.
About the Book
Wynsdown, 1949. In the small Somerset village of Wynsdown, Charlotte Shepherd is happily married to farmer Billy. She arrived from Germany on the Kindertransport as a child during the war and now feels settled in her adopted home.
Meanwhile, the squire’s fighter pilot son, Felix, has returned to the village with a fiancée in tow. Daphne is beautiful, charming…and harbouring secrets. After meeting during the war, Felix knows some of Daphne’s past, but she has worked hard to conceal that which could unravel her carefully built life.
For Charlotte, too, a dangerous past is coming back in the shape of fellow refugee, bad boy Harry Black. Forever bound by their childhoods, Charlotte will always care for him, but Harry’s return disrupts the village quiet and it’s not long before gossip spreads.
The war may have ended, but for these girls, trouble is only just beginning.
- Format: Hardback
- Publisher: Head of Zeus
- No. of pages: 480
- Publication date: 4th May 2017
- Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Interview: Diney Costeloe, author of The Married Girls
The Married Girls carries on the story from A Girl With No Name. What are the challenges of writing a sequel compared to a standalone novel?
One of the difficulties is remembering the names and descriptions of the many minor characters. I have a folder labelled “descriptions” and I store any descriptions or interesting details about all my characters, so that if they appear later in the book, or in a sequel, I can refresh my memory on age (they all have birthdays and, if necessary, death dates) looks, behaviour and quirks without having to search through the earlier book to ensure I get them right…
Many of the characters in The Married Girls harbour secrets. Why do you think secrets are so enticing to us as readers?
Everybody has secrets of one sort or another. As a reader you are given hints and they are gradually revealed. They give you insight into that particular character and often lead you on to the next part of the plot. You want to know what these secrets are, and so I, the author, hope you’ll go on reading to find out.
A lot of your novels have been set in the period running up to or during the Second World War. What draws you to this period?
Someone once said to me, “You’re very concerned with war.” No, I’m not, but I do like to set my characters in interesting and/or difficult times, as we can then see how they survive or not. Being caught up in a war or its aftermath can provide such a background.
What do you think is the key to creating an authentic period setting?
Research. Not just reading history, but reading the diaries, letters and memoirs of those who were actually there. If they write and say there were violets growing on the side of the trench or they could hear a blackbird singing when the guns fell silent, then I can include such information knowing it’s possible and thus give verisimilitude to what I am writing.
If you could travel back in time, what period would you choose to visit and why?
Probably Georgian, but history fascinates me and there are good and bad things about every era, so my choice would probably change depending on what I’m reading or writing about.
What made you decide to become a writer?
You don’t decide to become a writer. You just write and gradually you are one.
What other writers do you admire?
Jane Austen, C S Lewis, Susan Hill, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, C J Sansom, Angela Thirkell
Do you have a special place to write or any writing rituals?
I have a study where I work if necessary, but much of the time I’m at the kitchen table. Trouble with that is I have to move everything when the grandchildren come to tea. I have some piano music CDs which I find very soothing and when I put them on to play, my brain knows it’s time to work!
Where do you get the ideas for your novels?
All sorts of places….something I’ve read, something I discover when researching something else, an item of news, a story someone has told me.
What are you working on next?
You’ll have to wait and see!
Thank you, Diney, for those interesting insights into your work.
About the Author
Diney Costeloe is the bestselling author of The Throwaway Children, The Runaway Family, The Lost Soldier, The Sisters of St Croix and The Girl With No Name. She divides her time between Somerset and West Cork.
Diney says: ‘
Follow the Tour…