I have a lovely interview with Deborah Stone to share with you today…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
I read English Literature at Durham University and have had a lifelong love of books. I’ve always got at least one book on the go. I live in North London with my husband, two sons and my gorgeous golden retriever.
My book, What’s Left Unsaid, is about a family who are hiding secrets and who have suffered various traumas, which affect their relationships with each other. In brief:
Sasha is just about managing to hold her life together: raising her son, Zac, coping with an absent husband and a temperamental alcoholic mother, as well as managing her job. When Zac begins to suspect that he has a secret sibling, Sasha recognises that she will be forced to admit the truth about the baby, but that by doing so, she must relive the events of a devastating night, which she has done her best to forget for the past nineteen years.
Annie, Sasha’s mother, is old, and increasingly finds it difficult to distinguish between past and present and between truth and lies. As Annie sinks deeper into the past, she revisits the key events in her life, events which have shaped her emotionally. Through it all, Annie is convinced that her dead husband Joe is watching and waiting for her. But there’s one thing she has never told him, and, as painful as it is for her to admit the truth, Annie is determined to go to Joe with a guilt-free conscience.
As Zac continues to question his family about the mystery child, Sasha and Annie delve into the long buried secrets responsible for their fractious relationship. Yet it is only on Annie’s deathbed that she is able to confess to the real trauma she has suffered, the subsequent lies she has told and why she has struggled to love her daughter.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
I mull over ideas in my head for a long time and they evolve over time.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
Not really, but some of the situations are. For example, my mother was evacuated during WW2 at the age of five and was mistreated.
How do you pick your characters names?
I try to keep the names simple. I chose Sasha in What’s Left Unsaid, because if I had had a daughter, that’s what I would have called her.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
I write a draft, which contains the germs of the main ideas. Then I rewrite completely. For What’s left Unsaid, I moved to using 3 points of views, as it seemed to make it much clearer for the characters to put forward their own version of events
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
Kate Atkinson, Pat Barker, Anne, Tyler, Maggie O’Farrell, Sebastian Faulkes
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Probably Charles Dickens, as he was so prolific and he created some of the most memorable characters in English Literature.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Enormous. I was never without a book.
When did you start to write?
I’ve always written bits and pieces, but I’ve only written seriously for the last few years.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
I wouldn’t ever attempt to do this, as the writers obviously had their own reasons for writing the endings as they did, even if sometimes, two alternatives do exists, such as Great Expectations.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
I’d take Elizabeth Bennett for afternoon tea at Sally Lunn’s in Bath
Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I’m a chocoholic
What are you working on right now?
I’ve got various ideas floating about, but nothing on paper yet
Tell us about your last release?
What’s Left Unsaid is my debut novel
Do you have a new release due?
Yes, I’ve written a non-fiction book, which is a family carers’ guide to looking after older relatives. It is being published by Bloomsbury in January 2020.
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
How can readers keep in touch with you?
They can contact me through my website, www.whatsleftunsaid.co.uk
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
I would like to say a huge thank you to anyone who buys and reads my book. I really appreciate it.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Deborah 🙂
Sasha is just about managing to hold her life together. She is raising her teenage son Zac, coping with an absent husband and caring for her ageing, temperamental and alcoholic mother, as well as holding down her own job. But when Zac begins to suspect that he has a secret sibling, Sasha realises that she must relive the events of a devastating night which she has done her best to forget for the past nineteen years.
Sasha’s mother, Annie, is old and finds it difficult to distinguish between past and present and between truth and lies. As Annie sinks deeper back into her past, she revisits the key events in her life which have shaped her emotionally. Through it all, she remains convinced that her dead husband Joe is watching and waiting for her. But there’s one thing she never told him, and as painful as it is for her to admit the truth, Annie is determined to go to Joe with a guilt-free conscience.
As the plot unfurls, traumas are revealed and lies uncovered, revealing long-buried secrets which are at the root of Annie and Sasha’s fractious relationship.
Happy reading 🙂