We all have secrets, but some of our secrets are darker than others…
When Julia’s husband leaves her, and their small son Matty, to live with another woman, her friends – especially Caroline and Vick – rally round to help. But when Julia starts a new relationship after a chance meeting, her friends are not quite as supportive.
Julia sees Brendan, the quietly spoken IT guy who comes round to fix her computer, as a loving and protective man and – as time passes – a potential father figure for Matty. Caroline and Vick, on the other hand, see him as jealous, controlling and potentially dangerous. He appears to be a man with a secret past.
What her friends don’t know is that Julia has secrets of her own and, if they get out, they will almost certainly shatter her fragile domestic bliss.
When and where do you prefer to write?
Mornings work best for me, when my mind’s relatively uncluttered. My preferred writing spot is at the table in my sitting room which has a high ceiling and big arched windows. Occasionally I’ll look out at the view but as I’m easily distracted I try not to do that very often!
Do you have a certain ritual?
I make myself a (decaf) coffee in my cafetiere to mark the start of a writing session. Radio 2 might be on in the background, though silence probably works best.
Is there a drink/food that keeps you company while you write?
Every now and then I’ll have a biscuit break as an excuse to get up from the table, stretch my legs and enjoy a burst of sugar!
What is your favourite book?
Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald has stayed with me since I first read it at the age of 20 – and I still love it. He’s such a powerful writer in how he depicts lives going off the rails.
Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
Not really. I know what I’m good at.
Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Definitely – all my characters are a blend of my friends, colleagues and occasionally my family. I borrow their quirks, mannerisms and sometimes even their names!
Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
Nearly always – and if I forget, I’ve been known to jot down ideas on receipts, newspapers or once even on a map which happened to be in the car.
Which genre do you not like at all?
I very rarely read fantasy or sci-fi.
If you had to co-write a book, whom would it be with?
Probably Deborah Moggach or Kate Atkinson as they’re my favourite contemporary authors.
If you travelled to a foreign country to do research, where would you choose and why?
South west Ireland – it’s beautiful, not far to go (so I could pop back easily if I needed to) and they speak English so I could chat to the locals about the culture or history of the area. I went there around 20 years ago and have always wanted an excuse to go back.
Thank you, and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Originally from Manchester, Mandy Jameson spent ten years living in southwest France where Landsliding, her first novel, was written with the encouragement of a prolific writing group.
Now settled in Sussex with her daughter, her passions include football, chocolate and walking on the Downs.
She is working on her second novel.