Secrets of the Tides
Every family has its secrets. Some are small, like telling a white lie or snooping through a private drawer. Others are more serious, like infidelity and betrayal. And some secrets are so terrible they must be hidden away in a deep, dark place, for if they ever came to light, they would surely tear a family apart
The Tides are a family full of secrets. Returning to Clifftops, the rambling family house perched high on the Dorset coastline, youngest daughter Dora hopes for a fresh start, for herself and the new life she carries. But can long-held secrets ever really be forgiven? And even if you can forgive, can you ever really learn to love again?
Secrets of the Tides is the spellbinding debut from Hannah Richell, a rich and compelling family drama with a dark thread of suspense at its heart.
Hannah Richell lives in Sydney, Australia. Secrets of the Tides is her beautiful and haunting debut novel.
Secrets of the Tides
Author: Hannah Richell
Interview with Hannah Richell
Question: Can you explain how Love My Way inspired the idea for Secrets of the Tides?
Hannah Richell: I had the idea for the novel, in my head but I was struggling a bit with how to piece it all together in an intriguing way and it was after I watched Love My Way that I realised I could be a bit more bold with the structure of the novel and I didn't have to reveal everything about the family at the start. The first series of Love My Way inspired me with a dramatic and very emotional moment that occurs half way through the season; it's very unexpected for the viewer. I was thinking about Love My Way and wondering if it would be possible to have a moment in the Secrets of the Tides which could be revealed in a way that was very unexpected for the reader and it came out of left field and left them breathless. Love My Way inspired me with the structure of the novel as I already had the plot clear in my head but it was how I mapped out the story and wrote it in a compelling way, where Love My Way really helped me.
Question: How does it feel to have your book translated and available all over the world?
Hannah Richell: It's amazing! It's currently being translated at the moment and is available in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. The success is unbelievable and I'm still pinching myself because it was not what I expected would happen when I sat down and gave writing a go. I was writing at home, on my own and it was a very private and the last thing I expected was to have a big auction where publishing houses would get excited about my novel and to also find out there are publishing houses, in other countries, that want to publish and translate my book. I am thrilled because it is a story I am passionate about and to know that people in other countries may be able to relate to it, as well, is really amazing to me.
Question: You've set the book in Dorset; what happy childhood memories do you have of the location and how did that help you write Secrets of the Tides?
Hannah Richell: It was interesting because I sat down to write and it felt really natural to write the family in Dorset and I think that was because my grandparents used to have a house there. I have happy childhood memories of visiting the Dorset coast as a child and they suddenly came flooding back as I was writing the story. I ended up drawing on those memories and weaving echoes of family times that we've had into the writing as I went. Secrets of the Tides is a completely fictional story and whilst there are echoes of happy times, it's a new completely made up story that I've written.
I think childhood is a very inspiring thing; when you reflect on your own childhood and look back on it, it is a very emotional and inspiring thing to do and I have been driven by those moments.
I have childhood memories of Easter holidays with my grandparents where they'd hide Easter eggs in their overgrown garden and we'd rush out in the morning to find them. I also remember being on the beach on a picnic rug with my family even though it was absolutely freezing we'd be gritting our teeth and saying 'this is great'! I also enjoyed going for walks with my brother and sister through the fields in Dorset. You look back on your childhood and it's idyllic like rose-tinted glasses; it was a very special time for me and it's helped to inspire my writing and my novel.
Question: Who or what originally inspired you to begin writing?
Hannah Richell: Writing was something that I had secretly wanted to do for a long time but never had the guts to try it. I had been working in the publishing industry and working with books and authors had made me a bit scared to try as I was surrounded by so many great writers which is why I didn't consider writing until I stepped away from the industry to work at Universal Pictures. I missed working with books and writing and when I left Universal Pictures on maternity leave I knew that was my moment to try writing. I don't know what the kick that got me started was but looking back it may have been my journey to motherhood. As a mother with kids my life was really busy but with a newborn there are moments where the baby is sleeping and you can carve out a little bit of space for yourself and I used those moments to sit down and write my story. The housework, shopping and the dishes suffered but I felt the need to get writing, I wasn't writing to get published but for me as a private project.
Question: Can you share with us your experiences of being a guest at the London Book Fair?
Hannah Richell: I was invited to attend the London Book Fair by my agent in London as she thought it'd be a good idea for me to come along and meet the other publishing agencies that had purchased the book from around the world. It was a very cold, rainy day in London and when I arrived at the huge building where publishers from all over the world are exhibiting, I felt an amazing sense of how buzzing and vibrant the publishing industry is. I was whisked upstairs to meet with my agent and she introduced me to editors from all around the world (France, Germany, Holland and Sweden) who had purchased my book. It was really great as it made it all suddenly feel very real, it was extraordinary!
Interview by Fiona Tew