Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!

#Interview with Eliza Graham, author of ‘You Let Me Go’ #Giveaway #BlogTour

I’m very happy to welcome Eliza Graham, author of You Let Me Go, here today and thank her for answering my questions! Read on to discover her responses and to find out more about her and her book as well as the opportunity to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway with the chance for entrants for the UK and US to win one of three paperback copies of this book. Good luck, everyone!

Where did you get the inspiration for the book?

In 2019 we had a holiday in the south of Cornwall. I had planned it with writing a book in mind, but as the holiday progressed the original idea was overtaken. It was very wet on a few days and we went to Falmouth, in the hope of sheltering from the rain. While my husband and the dog found refuge in some cafes and bars, I went into the Maritime Museum archive. I overheard an archivist talking about a new manuscript that had just arrived, about fishing boats sailing between Brittany and Cornwall during the war, taking both refugees and special agents across the Channel. With YOU LET ME GO I already knew I wanted to write about an elderly lady’s will driving a wedge between her granddaughters. The accounts of the fishing boats gave me an idea as to who she was and why she did what she did.

What is your writing process?

I try to write in the morning, before life takes over (more people are at home these days – when I first started, I had guaranteed solitude most of the day). But sometimes, hunkering up as the afternoon grows dark can be good. I try to have an objective for the day: resolving a plot issue, pushing through on a word count, researching some historical fact. When I was writing YOU LET ME GO, I needed to know a lot about French rationing during the Second World War and about the restrictions the Germans placed on civilians in the different zones of the country. There can be a lot of stopping and starting when you write historical fiction.

Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?

Usually I write directly onto my laptop. But I do find having a notebook and pen can be very liberating. Sometimes if I’m stuck on a character’s motivation, I will just start writing a stream of consciousness from them: what’s on their mind, what they want, what’s stopping them, etc. 

Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?

I have a sneaking admiration for a character in my fourth novel, THE HISTORY ROOM. Emily’s a young woman who doesn’t give a whatever about other people think. I left her taking a job as an au pair for a young family and I often wonder what she’s up to. 

Otherwise, I have to say that Maud, my main protagonist in THE LINES YOU LEAVE BEHIND, is a favourite. She endures decades of being shut up as a result of being wrongly diagnosed with a severe and dangerous mental health disorder, which she doesn’t actually have. She’s actually a very brave war hero who lost everything as a result of a decision she made to serve the Allied cause in the Balkans. She manages to retain her dignity and ability to trust people and engage with life.

If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?

Definitely not Maud, given what I’ve just written. Probably none of them. Characters in books only really come alive if you throw big challenges at them. I’m much too cowardly to want to be a war hero or a refugee. Though perhaps taking on the persona of Emily, the scary au pair, would be helpful in situations where I feel I’m not assertive enough. What would Emily do here? might be a useful mantra.

How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?

For YOU LET ME GO I wanted names that were Breton in origin and had great fun researching them. I haven’t come across any Rozenns or Moranes in real life in the UK yet! 

In others of my books. characters sometimes have separate names for the different roles they play. Maud in THE LINES WE LEAVE BEHIND is known as Amber for her wartime intelligence work. It was fascinating to see how her personality became split between these two identities: tragically for her, as she found it hard to become Maud again when returned to peacetime, domestic duties.  

Anna, in THE TRUTH IN OUR LIES, is called Hall by the boss she loves and loathes. He rarely uses her first name and it is significant if and when he does.

Thank you again for answering my questions – I enjoyed reading your responses and more information about you and your book. I used to read Jean Plaidy’s books, too. Thank you for the reminder – I need to look them out and read them again!

You Let Me Go

After her beloved grandmother Rozenn’s death, Morane is heartbroken to learn that her sister is the sole inheritor of the family home in Cornwall—while she herself has been written out of the will. With both her business and her relationship with her sister on the rocks, Morane becomes consumed by one question: what made Rozenn turn her back on her?

When she finds an old letter linking her grandmother to Brittany under German occupation, Morane escapes on the trail of her family’s past. In the coastal village where Rozenn lived in 1941, she uncovers a web of shameful secrets that haunted Rozenn to the end of her days. Was it to protect those she loved that a desperate Rozenn made a heartbreaking decision and changed the course of all their lives forever?

Morane goes in search of the truth but the truth can be painful. Can she make her peace with the past and repair her relationship with her sister?

Purchase Links 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/You-Let-Me-Eliza-Graham-ebook/dp/B08HN92DLQ/ 

US – https://www.amazon.com/You-Let-Me-Eliza-Graham/dp/1542017106  

Author Bio – 

Eliza Graham’s novels have been long-listed for the UK’s Richard & Judy Summer Book Club in the UK, and short-listed for World Book Day’s ‘Hidden Gem’ competition. She has also been nominated for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.

Her books have been bestsellers both in Europe and the US.

She is fascinated by the world of the 1930s and 1940s: the Second World War and its immediate aftermath and the trickle-down effect on future generations. Consequently she’s made trips to visit bunkers in Brittany, decoy harbours in Cornwall, wartime radio studios in Bedfordshire and cemeteries in Szczecin, Poland. And those are the less obscure research trips.

She is fascinated by the world of the 1930s and 1940s: the Second World War and its immediate aftermath and the trickle-down effect on future generations. Consequently she’s made trips to visit bunkers in Brittany, decoy harbours in Cornwall, wartime radio studios in Bedfordshire and cemeteries in Szczecin, Poland. And those are the less obscure research trips.

It was probably inevitable that Eliza would pursue a life of writing. She spent biology lessons reading Jean Plaidy novels behind the textbooks, sitting at the back of the classroom. In English and history lessons she sat right at the front, hanging on to every word. At home she read books while getting dressed and cleaning her teeth. During school holidays she visited the public library multiple times a day.

Eliza lives in an ancient village in the Oxfordshire countryside with her family. Not far from her house there is a large perforated sarsen stone that can apparently summon King Alfred if you blow into it correctly. Eliza has never managed to summon him. Her interests still mainly revolve around reading, but she also enjoys walking in the downland country around her home and travelling around the world to research her novels

Social Media Links – 

Website www.elizagrahamauthor.com

Facebook ElizaGrahamUK

Giveaway to Win 3 x Paperback copies of You Let Me Go by Eliza Graham (Open to UK / USA only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK and USA entries welcome.  Please enter using the link to the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


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