If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
This is what you were meant to do so stop trying to prove yourself by getting published—people won’t take you seriously as a writer, published or not, unless you make writing a priority and treat it like a job. Slow down, take risks and believe in yourself. And for the love of God, develop a better process or you’ll regret it later!
What research do you do when you are trying to brainstorm for writing a book?
Brainstorming a book isn’t something I do consciously. I usually become obsessed with a fascinating part of history and want to know all I can about it. I read everything I can get my hands on, and somewhere in this process, the idea for a book comes to me. I tend to read biographies and general texts in this phase, then delve deeper into original sources as I write the first draft.
Can you tell us a scene that didn’t make the cut while writing The Traitor’s Girl?
I wrote a gorgeous scene where the three friends, Vi, Steph and Annabel, go through the amazing couture gowns stored in Annabel’s grandmother’s attic. I had so much fun researching iconic dresses of the 1920s and 1930s for this scene, but in the end, it had to go because it didn’t do much to advance the story. I can never let anything go completely, though, and I find it easier to cut if I keep cut scenes in a separate file. My ‘snippets’ file for this book was 20,000 words long!
How many hours a day do you write?
This varies greatly. When not on deadline it might be two hours a day of actual writing. Three months out from deadline it is often much more than that. However, it is not at all good for the body to be sitting typing for so long at a time so I don’t recommend long stints at the computer if it can be avoided. RSI is a huge problem for writers.
What can readers expect next from your writing?
I hope readers can expect strong, memorable characters facing great challenges during a fascinating time in history. A bit of humour, a bit of mystery, a love story. All those good things!
About The Traitor’s Girl by Christine Wells
‘I think I’m in danger. It’s a matter of some urgency. You must please come at once.’
After receiving a mysterious summons from her long-lost grandmother, Australian teacher Annabel Logan agrees to visit her home in the Cotswolds. But when she arrives at the magnificent Beechwood Hall, it appears abandoned and the local villagers have no idea where the reclusive Caroline Banks might be.
The one person who might know something is enigmatic journalist Simon Culpepper. He reveals that Caroline Banks was once known as Carrie Granger. A socialite’s daughter, Carrie became a spy and agent provocateur for MI5 during the Second World War. But when British intelligence failed to investigate a dangerous traitor, she decided to take matters into her own hands …
Concerned that her grandmother’s secret past has caught up with her, Annabel stays on to investigate. But the more she uncovers, the more difficult it becomes to know who to trust. There are strange incidents occurring at Beechwood and Annabel must use all her ingenuity and daring to find Carrie before it’s too late.
From the streets of Seville, Paris and London in the thirties and forties, to the modern English countryside The Traitor’s Girl is a captivating story of passion, intrigue and betrayal.
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