Those of you who know my books know I usually like to set them around coastal towns.
But the sea isn't my only love. I adore forests too. For years, I've been staying in cabins in the middle of forests around the UK with my family including my dog. Watching tall pine trees swaying above me from a cabin's vast window can be just as therapeutic and inspiring as watching the sea ebb and flow before me.
One day, while sitting in one of those cabins looking out over the forest, an idea came to me. Not the plot, at first, but the idea of a community. A very tight-knit seemingly perfect community set around a forest. That community came to me fully formed, I even instantly knew its name: Forest Grove.
From there, characters started to spill out. A mother who adores her children and throws herself into the community that has been her sanctuary all her life. A successful businessman with aspirations of being a politician. Three children, each one different. A whole community of characters which felt so vivid to me, that I could almost see them walking through the trees ahead of me.
I honed in on the woman, Melissa. I thought about how fiercely she loves her children... like I love my little girl, Scarlett. And then the question popped into my head:
If she had a feeling one of her children had done something terrible, would she protect them?
What if that something involved hurting their own father, her husband?
And how far would she go to keep them safe from the police, from the community... and from themselves?
And so Wall of Silence was born!
I share more tit-bits like this and will also be doing a giveaway on my Facebook reading group, The Reading Snug. So if you haven't requested to join yet, please do!