Somewhere, hiding among the pages of every book, there is a backstory, a story that happened to the characters before the book you read actually begins on the page. It’s the characters’ personal histories, if you like: things that happened to them, memories they have, people they’ve met, events that shaped them into the person you see on the page.
I want to share with you a small piece of the backstory for The Secrets That Haunt Us. It occurs right at the beginning of the book, and takes the shape of five letters, sent to two different members of the same family – mother, Emmeline, and daughter, Julia. These letters, sent months before the book ‘proper’ begins, gives the reader an inkling that all is not only not well at home as the book gets started, but that clearly there have been events in the past which have led to the letter-writing of Alex, a man who is a most unpleasant man indeed. Vengeance has been plotted with malice and a great deal of forethought, and he intends to execute his plans for betrayals and secrets long since past.
But is he the only villain of the piece? The Secrets That Haunt Us blurs the lines between what we would automatically consider ‘good’ and ‘bad, or ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. When I wrote it, I often wondered what courses of action I would have taken, had I been in the various characters’ shoes. And the question will probably haunt me for a very long time.
I hope these five letters intrigue you into wanting to know what could have prompted Alex to plot and plan his own very particular type of vengeance – and what happens once his plans have been set in motion![Read more…] about Backstory: plotting and planning vengeance