Catrin survives by denying her past. Her marriage is in crisis. She has devoted herself for eighteen years to bringing up her adopted Deaf daughter, Bethan. She is unaware that her life is about to be shattered by the appearance of the woman she has been told is dead, Bethan’s birth mother, Elizabeth. Catrin is devastated. How will Bethan react? Why has Elizabeth hidden away all these years?
Slowly and painfully, Catrin is forced to examine the web of lies and secrets from her past, the unexplained death of her ‘golden brother’, the truths about her alcoholic mother and the relationships she has now with her father and husband.
Hidden Chapters is an optimistic novel about the hope and the courage each of us can find within ourselves to own our past and take control of the next chapter of our lives.
Buy your copy here ~ Amazon UK at the time of print ~ currently only £1.99 eBook.
Mary was born in Cardiff and have retained a deep love for her Welsh roots. Mary worked as a nursery teacher in London and later taught Deaf children in Croydon and Hastings.
Mary now lives on the beautiful Isle of Wight with her husband, where she walks her cocker spaniel Pepper and writes. Mary has two grown up children.
‘Free to Be Tegan’ was my debut novel. The second ‘Hidden Chapters’ is set on the spectacular Gower Peninsula. Mary has also published two short books of short stories ‘Catching the Light’ and ‘Making Changes’.
Do send feedback to me at email@example.com
Or visit my website https://marygrand.net/ or facebook page https://www.facebook.com/authormarygrand/
Describe yourself using three words?
Chatty Welsh Dog-walker
What inspired you to write your first novel?
My inspiration came from a desire to write about the rarely discussed topic of the effects on children of being raised in a psychological abusive religious cult or sect. I was raised in a sect but the story I wrote is based on a lot of research on the experiences of a wide range of people, many of whom had been through far more traumatic experiences than me. The story is not an attack on religion but on those who use fear to control their followers. I created a fictitious cult. The setting for Tegan’s healing is the stunning Cambrian Mountains in Wales.
What time of day do you like to write?
I know I am very lucky to be, at least in theory, a full-time writer. Life though has a way of taking over. I try to write when I am freshest in the mornings but I do get lots of ideas in the early hours. Sometimes these can really transform my writing, sometimes when I revisit the ideas in the light of day they are less impressive!
What is your favourite book and why?
My favourite book I think is “The Rector’s Wife” by Joanna Trollope. I love the central character, Anna. Her relationship with her husband the rector is heartbreaking but very honest.
How did you pick the title of your book?
I kept reading quotes on social media about leaving the past behind and starting again. It seemed to me rather simplistic because we are all the product of our past. If there are things in our past we haven’t processed or acknowledged I don’t believe they just disappear. I wanted to write about a woman forced to come to terms with her past, the hidden chapters in her life, hence the title!
Are the characters in your book based on real people?
I think I am bound to be influenced by people I know and meet but I would not use one person as a model for a character in a story. One of the exciting things as a writer is creating new characters, using bits and pieces from real life and from that creating a whole new person.
What’s your favourite word?
My favourite word is cwtch, the welsh word for cuddle; it always makes me feel warm (and a bit homesick)
Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?
Both. I have to plot to know where I am going, but then that gets modified a lot of times as I write.
Who is your favourite Author?
That’s hard. Certainly, a writer I hugely admire is Daphne Du Maurier. Her development of character, plot and incredible skill in the description to my mind make her one of the most talented writers I have read.
If you could give any literary villain a happy ending that would you chose?
The character I would choose would be Bertha Mason, Edward Rochester’s first wife in Jane Eyre. She is a very disturbed woman who has been hidden away. She is described as a ‘some strange animal’ ‘a demon’, and given ‘an evil laugh’. Thus, while she may not be seen as a typical villain, her character is certainly villainized.
I always felt incredibly sorry for her and uneasy at her portrayal. Although Jane once tries to defend her, Edward Rochester speaks about and treats her with very little care. The fact she dies such a violent death is shocking. I don’t think I have ever been able to fully like the character of Edward Rochester because of his treatment and attitude to her. I wish Bertha Mason’s ending had been one where she was cared for, loved and understood.
Are you working on a new project?
The novel I am writing at the moment is set it on the Isle of Wight in an area where I walk with my dog. The setting is always important to me and there is, up on the downs, a long stone with all kinds of myths attached to it. These I shall use in a very modern story of the friendship between two very different women both at a crisis point in their lives.
Thank you, Mary, for being on my blog this week.