In a desire to impress the people who visit his workshop, renowned artist The Painter, employs a gardener to create an inspirational landscape which includes a labyrinth, an orange grove and Moorish-inspired fountains. They develop an intimate relationship and the Painter, whose life and talent had become increasingly dissipated, finds himself slowly recovering his original innocence and talent. However, the relationship is tainted by the Painter’s jealousy when visitors express more interest in the magical garden and mysterious labyrinth than in the Painter’s art. That jealously blossoms into deadly rage when The Painter catches the gardener changing one of his paintings….
Deirdre Quiery’s compelling new thriller explores themes of love, life and deceit, and examines the lengths we will go to pursue and protect our passions. Perfect for fans of Jane Corry and Amanda Brooke.
What inspired you to write The Painter as your third novel?
For many years before writing my first novel Eden Burning, I kept journals in which I recorded my thoughts, emotions, insights into who and what had inspired me that week.
I drew on those journal reflections to explore violence, forgiveness and love in my first novel Eden Burning which grew out of my personal experiences of growing up in Northern Ireland, being evicted at gunpoint from home, living on the Peace Line with two Uncles murdered, three bombs placed outside the house and the family twice being taken hostage by the IRA.
My second novel The Secret Wound explores the same themes of violence, forgiveness and love – this time set mostly in Mallorca. My husband and I moved to Mallorca sixteen years ago. I tapped into the ex-pat community, jealousy, hidden secrets to create a psychological thriller where past secrets break into the present like bolts of lightning.
The Painter – my third novel – cut the umbilical cord to Northern Ireland. It is set in Mallorca. I continued to write a novel with the themes of violence, forgiveness and love and this time in a totally different context. I am in real life a painter, a leadership consultant and a writer. I have been taught how to paint by two excellent Argentinian artists. I also have entered the world of the rich and famous in Mallorca – as a guest and observer – I hasten to add – not as one of the rich and famous! I was inspired to write a novel about talent, dissipation, transformation that could only come through a painful process of self-knowledge.
Where is The Painter exactly set – you mention Mallorca?
Yes. It is set in the beautiful tranquil town of Soller in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains and valleys of Mallorca. Who would believe what murder and intrigue to fill the minds of anyone living there?
Who was your favourite character to write?
Definitely that of the Painter – Augustin Silvero. For the first time I wrote in the first person. The honesty of writing 15 years of personal Journals, I hope paid off. I enjoyed entering Augustin’s soul with all his desires, guilt, envy and desire for love. I went to Hell in a Dantesque fashion with him and back.
When and where do you prefer to write?
I begin writing in the early morning before the sun has risen and the birds sing. I sit at table after feeding the five cats and looking at the mountains and stars and praying for inspiration! I write for at least four hours with two hour intervals for coffee. If I am inspired I can write until twilight when the sun has set.
Do you have a certain ritual?
Yes. As I described above – although sometimes I sit on the sofa before writing and meditate and think about what it means to be alive and what on earth am I doing writing.
Is there a drink or food that keeps you company while you write?
I like Nespresso coffee, Rooibos tea and sparkling water. I don’t really like food – although you would never think that to look at me. I think that is because I know that I need to eat something. When on my own, I settle for pasta with tomato sauce with a hint of cayenne pepper of course to spice the novel up. When I have my pasta I drink red wine.
What is your favourite book?
Maybe Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road”. I appreciate how leading edge he was in attempting to be alone on a spiritual path, challenged by the weaknesses of being human and attempting to tread a path between the Divine and Human.
Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I love that question. I have a dream of writing a myth that has never been told. I wonder what that would be. I love to go beyond what is literal in my writing to what is symbolic and universal and where the reader can connect at a universal level of being. I ask myself – what’s new about our world now – that could allow a new myth to emerge?
Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Yes – especially the nasty ones.
Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
Absolutely. I am a notebook addict. I cannot go anywhere without one.
Which genre do you not like at all?
100 Shades of Grey comes to mind. Sorry – is it 40 or 50. I’m definitely not into erotic writing.
If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Someone with a super human sense of humour. That might be my husband!
If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I have travelled to 32 different countries. Perhaps my favourite has been South Africa. I could stay longer there to do research. I already have an idea for a novel based there. Or maybe it could be Alaska where I could research the possible life of a hermit living in an igloo. I have read a lot about the Desert Fathers living in Egypt during the 4th century – an icy hermitage could be interesting to research.
Thank you, Deirdre Quiery and Love Books Group Tours.
About the author
Belfast born Deirdre Quiery is based in Mallorca where she runs Seven Rocks Consulting. Not just a writer, Deirdre has not only painted with Argentinian artist Carlos Gonzalez in Palma and Natalia Spitale in Soller, she is also a winner of the Alexander Imich Prize in the US for writing about exceptional human experiences, and the Birmingham Trophy Prize in the UK. The Painter is her third novel for Urbane following the Irish thriller Eden Burning and murder mystery The Secret Wound.