Here we interview Eva Holland, author of the novel ‘The Daughters Secret’
Eva Holland has just had her debut novel ‘The Daughters Secret‘ published by Orion books.
How much research did you do before writing The Daughters Secret?
I didn’t do any research before I started to write. I started with the character, Rosalind, and the situation she found herself in when she discovered that the man who had ripped her family apart was about to be released from prison. Once I had the first couple of chapters down and I knew where the story was heading I did a lot of reading about the aftermath of relationships between pupils and teachers. I also spent time visiting St Albans (where The Daughter’s Secret is set) and brushing up on my knowledge of police procedure.
Do you ever use a pen or do you do everything on computer?
I do most of my writing on the computer but I carry a notebook and pen all the time and scribble things down as they occur to me. I also have a bad habit of writing things on my hands!
What is your writing routine? Do you ever write out and about in cafes etc?
I fit writing fiction in around working as a freelance PR consultant so I’ve had to learn to get on with it wherever and whenever I can. I’m at my most creative first thing in the morning so I like to get up early and do a couple of hours before the rest of the world wakes up. Changes of scenery help to keep the ideas flowing so I often head out for a walk or take my laptop to a coffee shop or the library.
If you want a great day then what 5 things do you find yourself doing?
Any day containing all of these would be a very good day indeed:
Reading in the bath
Visiting a donkey sanctuary
Going to the cinema
Sharing tapas with my husband and friends
Where has been your favourite place to live so far Gloucestershire, Leeds of London?
London. I moved here as soon as I graduated from university and I don’t have any plans to leave. But I do miss beautiful Gloucestershire and I’m currently writing a novel set in the odd little Cotswolds market town where I grew up.
How did you feel when you read the reviews of your debut novel?
Incredibly nervous! I was lucky enough to have some great reviews to read. The Sunday Express described The Daughter’s Secret as ‘tense and emotionally charged’ and that’s exactly what I was aiming for with the book.
What advice would you give to a school pupil that wants to write?
My top three pieces of advice are:
Join a library and read as much and as widely as you can
Get into the habit of writing every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time
Write what you want to write
Eva, I hope you read this because your novel is one of my three favorite novels. Can’t remember what the other two are because your book was so incredibly stunning that it has pushed them right out of my mind. I loved that you got right into the minds of the characters and I loved that we got to know them gradually bit by bit and that they grew and developed. You have a skill with story telling and creating characters that are so believable. I couldn’t put the book down and wanted to read it all over again once I had finished. I am an author so I am really picky about the quality of novels, but yours is one of the best I have ever read. As I am 71 of course I have read a lot of novels! I can’t wait until your next novel, set in your place of birth, is published. I will read it immediately.