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Faith Hogan is an award-winning and best-selling Irish author of nine contemporary novels, the latest of which is The Gin Sisters Promise.
Her books are for grownups, feel good woman’s fiction which is unashamedly uplifting, and inspiring, but doesn’t dodge the hard questions,
Hi there. I’m your host, Jenny Wheeler and today on Binge Reading Faith talks not only about The Gin Sisters Promise, her latest heartfelt family story, but also because her new Christmas book, On The First Day Of Christmas.
Booksweeps Draw, Sales and Free Book Offers
We’ve got our usual book giveaways this week, a special book offer of 40 Sweet and Mild romances in our latest Booksweeps Draw, many of them Christmas or holiday themed. Plus, you get with it a free reader, total value, $450. (Includes my Three Holiday Novellas Book Bundle)
Three Holiday Novellas – Kobo Romance Pick
Three Holiday Novellas free on Kobo until December 25…
Do you love sweet romance and twisty family secrets? Looking For An Enjoyable Holiday Escape?
From Elanora’s New York Christmas, to Josefa’s dilemma on a California ranch and Leilani’s Hawaiian adventure; three heart-warming novellas for escapist holiday reading.
Three previously published novellas in one delicious bundle.
Susannah’s Secret – Launch Special
And we’ve got a special launch offer on my latest book. Susanna’s Secret, which was published just last week. Check it out now.
Susannah’s Secret is on launch special – Normal Price $5.99 On sale until Christmas Day at $2.99 buy direct from website.
And if you enjoy the show, please leave us a comment online, so others can find us too, but that’s it for the housekeeping he has faith.
Links mentioned in this episode
Geraldine Hogan: https://www.geraldine-hogan.com/
Trish Ashley: https://www.trishaworld.com/
Penelope Ftizgerald: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penelope_Fitzgerald
The Reader On the 6:27: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25267912-the-reader-on-the-6-27
Jean-Paul Didierlaurent: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Paul_Didierlaurent
Joanna Cannon: https://www.joannacannon.co.uk/
A Tidy Ending: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59366243-a-tidy-ending
Robert Galbraith. The Ink Black Heart: https://www.amazon.com/Black-Heart-Cormoran-Strike-Novel-ebook/dp/B09QKTCYVB
Maeve Binchy: maevebinchy.com
Deirdre Purcell: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deirdre_Purcell
Where to find Faith Hogan online
Introducing inspirational women’s fiction author Faith Hogan
Jenny Wheeler: Hello there. Faith and welcome to the show. It’s great to have you with us.
Faith Hogan: Oh, Jenny, it’s lovely to be here. Thank you for having me.
Jenny Wheeler: You’ve been described as writing women’s fiction, which is unashamedly uplifting and feel good, and you are an award-winning, best-selling Irish author of nine contemporary fiction books.
The ones that we are focusing are the last most recent ones you’ve done, particularly, there’s a Christmas one that you’re going to talk about, but also The Gin Sisters Promise, which was published earlier this year. You’ve said you particularly enjoyed writing this book. Now why was that?
Faith Hogan: It’s like all of my books. They’re all based around where I live, so very much with the women’s fiction, it’s about sitting in the chair and losing yourself in the characters. Characters tend to bring me into a story. I also have written crime and it’s a very different process.
I hate to say, but it’s a joy to write them. And I think that comes across in the books, that people find them quite uplifting to read. I set out to bring people up, rather than bringing them down, with the books.
I just think we all need something to escape into at the moment we’re living in.
Promises, promises, but then life gets in the way
Jenny Wheeler: Certainly, yes. Now this story revolves around three sisters, as you might guess from the title.
They promise that they will always be together and support each other during a particularly traumatic family event. And then life upsets their best intentions. What drew you to this particular conflict and subject?
Faith Hogan: Honestly, it’s the relationship between sisters. I have a sister and we’re very close, but we have seen in Ireland a lot of other experiences…. I don’t know if your listeners listen or follow Irish history, but very often there’s been cases in Irish history where families have fallen out, they’ve been very close, and then somebody dies.
There’s a will, there’s an inheritance, and a family can just be split in parts. My story, I wanted to turn that on the head, and so what I’ve done is I’ve turned it on it’s head by bringing three sisters who were very close as children.
Life has come between them somewhat, a man, a marriage, a career, have all come between them and then they have to return to Ireland to bury their father.
And when they do that, there’s a will and instead of the will separating them, it actually tries to bring them back together.
How family labels can define our futures
Jenny Wheeler: Yes. It’s a lovely story and it’s a perfect picture too, of how families sometimes do get divided because of the labels that we put on one another, as we’re growing up.
One will be regarded as the achiever and the other will be the dreamer and that kind of thing. And then sometimes we tend to fit the labels that have been put on us.
And to a certain extent that happens with some of your sisters. Was that part of what you were aware of as you were writing?
Faith Hogan: It was, I wanted them to be not opposite each other, but definitely, I didn’t want them to be characters that would run in parallel.
I wanted them to each to be in a safe place where they could envy the others, but they were so different that it was very hard for them to see behind that façade, that life was not exactly what they thought it was for the other.
And by having them quite different, I felt it was easier to achieve that.
So we have the girl who’s very career driven. We have the sister who really just wanted love, and then we have the sister who wanted to be an actress and was for a short while, an actress, and then, I think she dug a bit of a hole for herself and ended up maybe not being successful anymore as an actress.
She becomes successful in other ways.
Dealing with deep and painful emotions
Jenny Wheeler: Yes. The uplifting label is a great one to have, particularly in these times. But I do think that it may also undersell the depth of your books a little bit, because you deal with deep and painful emotions as well, don’t you?
Faith Hogan: Yes. There’s no doubt about the fact that, with a number of my books, you will require a good big box of tissues beside you as you’re reading them.
But ultimately, I think the uplifting thing is about the spirit of the characters I write about.
It’s about the fact that while life may be coming against them for a while, that they by themselves or with the help of other people, maybe people that they least expected to help them, eventually triumph.
And I think that is where the uplifting part comes in. And I think that, when we look around us, and we look at maybe adversity that’s currently going on in our world, it’s that ability of the human spirit to triumph.
And I think that’s where we find encouragement and that’s where we find our uplifting things that can put smiles on our face, you know?
Irish landscape an important part of the story
Jenny Wheeler: Yes. You mentioned at the beginning that it’s situated close to where you live.
Tell us a bit about that landscape, because it does very much feature in the book. There’s a real sense of the place there, and it’s a long way from London and the bright lights, but it’s got its own power and beauty.
Faith Hogan: I live in the west of Ireland. I live in a small town. There’s about 8,000 people in my town, and within a 10 mile radius of that north, south, east, and west, I have the Atlantic Ocean on one side. To the north, there’s the North Sea. We have a beautiful forest nearby.
It’s the second largest forest in Europe just down the road from us. We have the richest Salmon River in Europe, running through our town.
And it’s just one of those places where you’re endlessly inspired by the landscape. And I suppose for me, the landscape is almost like another character.
It’s like a distinct character in the book, it’s a character that can bring out emotion in other people. It’s almost like a device I can use to mirror people’s emotions and mood and events that are happening or about to happen within the book.
How the pandemic has affected books and people
And I think it’s very powerful and it’s certainly an inspiration. Reader’s feedback is a lot just about the actual place, it resonates particularly with people who were Irish and have left Ireland. I think it makes them a little bit homesick, though that’s not my intention.
Jenny Wheeler: You mentioned about, us being in some tough places, particularly in this last couple of years, and you have had a number of commentators who say that you’re very much in touch with the times.
There are even people who say things like you are the right person to read. You’ve got a feeling for what’s been going on in the pandemic.
Can you comment a little bit on that? How has the pandemic affected you personally or has your town been affected much?
Faith Hogan: I think in Ireland, we were very blessed. There’s no doubt about the fact that in the Southern Hemisphere you seem to be very well prepared and you reacted very well to it, you really closed everything off and that worked very well for you.
But for us, it’s not quite as simple. We’re linked to Europe. We have trade going over and back with people coming in and out. But I think people, the vast majority of the population, took it all very seriously and there was a great outpouring of understanding towards people who were less fortunate, particularly people who were compromised.
The changes Faith Hogan has observed in her world
And I don’t know that we ever expected to see that. Do you know what I mean? I had teenagers who we think really don’t care about anything. And my teenagers took it very seriously.
When I look back to being maybe 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, we would’ve been in an awful sulk if we couldn’t get out for a weekend.
And our children, they just didn’t leave the house for six months, you know? And, and very other child was the same. Mine weren’t and more especially brilliant than any other child.
I just think it gave us all pause for thought, and I think we developed an empathy for people who actually couldn’t get out, you know, elderly people, people with lower immune systems and stuff like that.
People that we wouldn’t have been aware of before. I think it made us stop and think. It maybe was a terrible thing. There were terrible things happened, but I also think it, it did make us reflect and I never think that’s a bad thing.
Given us all reason to reflect on life
Jenny Wheeler: And how did you convey that in your books?
Faith Hogan: I’m not so sure how I conveyed it in the books, but I do know that I watched other writers and some writers really struggled with silence.
For me I suppose it’s that thing of having time to think now. It meant that my house was full of people… people weren’t at school. They went to college last year, but at that time we probably should have had a more empty house.
But I suppose it makes you more aware. It meant that I got more writing done somehow or another. And I wrote things. I didn’t write things about the pandemic, but I did write about the times we were living in.
And I put a note in the book, just around the fact that… I didn’t mention masks or hand sanitizers or the fact that we nearly washed our hands away, you know?
But at the same time, I think we’ve all been usually affected by it.
And I think every single book that was written in the last two years, what happened usually was affected by whether or not we want to recognize that it is quite another thing.
I think that level of thoughtfulness that became part of our lives, that maybe we didn’t expect the fact that suddenly we could hear ourselves think and that was a good thing.
In Dublin – a fox walked down the main street
Jenny Wheeler: Interesting that you could hear yourself think in a house that was fuller than usual, isn’t it?
Faith Hogan: Yeah, it’s because we live on a road where there’s traffic constantly coming in and out of town and suddenly there was no traffic.
And sometimes we can walk out our door and I will walk on a five-minute walk from town and. I can walk into town quicker than it’ll take to drive it because the traffic is just backed up. And all of a sudden there were no cars.
In our main city here in Dublin, there was a fox pictured walking down our main street, in Grafton Street and they were unreal times for everybody.
You know, we were all just thrown everything that we thought we knew was thrown up in the air. And I think for a writer that’s very rich, that’s full of possibilities for us.
Do, you know what I mean? Because it screws your perception a little bit and I think that’s a very rich place for us,
Jenny Wheeler: Your other recent release is The Ladies Midnight Ladies’ Swimming Club.
Now this book has been quite a breakthrough book for you on Amazon. I believe it’s still selling as a very popular title on Amazon, and as the title indicates, it’s about a group of ladies who have this slightly eccentric habit of going swimming at night time, in the dark.
Tell us about this one and the genesis for it.
The Ladies Midnight Swimming Club
Faith Hogan: The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club is one of those books that I was writing for about a year before I told anybody about it.
I suppose in New Zealand and in Australia, places where it’s actually warm, you can swim all year round, but there’s been a phenomenon here for the last maybe 20 years, but it’s become really prevalent in the last three or four years for women to have taken to swimming all year round.
Now here, that means here, the weather can be anything between zero degrees, five degrees, which, I’m not really great at conversions, but it’s very, very cold.
And yet you’ll see women and men, particularly retired people, at that stage where we’re all much healthier and we’re much more active now than we were maybe 20, 30 years ago.
And people have more time on their hands. They’re retiring younger. and it’s a phenomenon. Dry robes, the dogs going in.
I looked and I thought, it’s rich pickings, basically. I had in mind a character. Elizabeth is retired, she’s a doctor’s wife, and she has spent her life, basically tied up in her pearls and her twin set.
And she’s never really had the chance to breathe. And all of a sudden, she walks down the beach. She sees her friend who has always been quite free. Jo burned her bra before she actually needed one.
A book about community, love, and friendship
She’s just a breath of fresh air. And one night Elizabeth walks down the beach and she decides to herself, I’m no longer tied by this man who wasn’t a very nice man.
And she takes off all her clothes. She jumps in and suddenly she really is free. And the book goes from there and with it, there’s a lot of good done for the community as well.
And I think that’s very important because it ties, in because while Jo is a wonderful character, her story is not a happy one.
But it does resonate and it’s really central to the book. I did cry writing sections of it, and I know people have cried reading it.
But I would still say it’s an uplifting book at the end because it’s about community, it’s about friendship, it’s about love, and ultimately it’s about women having the opportunity to express themselves in a way that they maybe wouldn’t have been able to previously.
So, yeah, it’s been great fun.
Jenny Wheeler: Yes, it’s been likened to that movie, The Calendar Girls, which is about the middle-aged ladies who made a nude calendar for charity, the one that made it into a movie that Helen Mirren starred in.
And you can see this book having a similar pathway. Really, it could easily become a movie.
Everyone deserves a second chance in life
Faith Hogan: I’ll see. Time will tell.
Jenny Wheeler: Yes, that’s right. It’s also really about having second chances at life, isn’t it? All of your characters? Well, nearly all of them – in one way or another – are overcoming something from their past and, and creating a new life out of the ashes.
Faith Hogan: I do believe that you’re never too old or too young to have a second chance.
I do believe that most of us going through life, that everybody deserves a second chance, but I also think that most of us actually need a second chance because we’re living longer.
We’re much better educated. We’re no longer settling for one job for life. We’re no longer settling for one husband for life, and I just think there’s so much opportunity because women are, aging much better than we did in the past.
And there’s a whole second life opening up in front of people and I don’t know why we wouldn’t take that second chance.
Do, you know what I mean? And I think it’s important to write about it and I think it’s important to talk about it, and I think it’s important to read about it.
I think that it gives us the permission if we don’t already realize we have it to go out and take it, you know? I think that’s really important.
Freezing water was a ‘freeing factor’ for Elizabeth
Jenny Wheeler: Yes. Just following up on a remark that you made a few minutes ago, you mentioned dry robes. I presume that’s what we call wetsuits. Is it the same thing?
Faith Hogan: Well, in Ireland, it’s been a bit colder in Ireland. When you come out, it’s like a quilted coat. It absorbs the wet, but also, it’s actually warm.
Jenny Wheeler: Oh, I see.
Faith Hogan: It can be really cold here. The water is cold and then you get out and it’s still cold. You don’t stay in for very long.
In wintertime, if you’ve read the book, there’s a lot about the cold in itself is actually a factor in that whole freeing thing for Elizabeth.
It’s so cold that the thoughts that held her back before are actually stopped in their tracks, And so it’s an opportunity to wipe the page fresh and start again, and she can see things differently all of a sudden.
Jenny Wheeler: Now tell me, did you experiment with this yourself in researching the book?
On The First Day of Christmas
Faith Hogan: I am not a great swimmer Jenny. I’m a scaredy-cat of heights and depths.
But I did actually go down and sit in the sink for a while with my daughter sitting beside me thinking, this is wonderful.
And the dog jumping in and out, wondering if she should rescue me. And I really enjoyed it.
And it’s funny cuz even this summer now we’ve gone down again. But I’m not going to go out every day the week with my dry robe. That is just never going to happen.
But, yeah, I did and I really, really enjoyed it and I can see why it’s so popular.
Jenny Wheeler: Now you’ve also got a Christmas book coming out. Is this your first Christmas book?
Faith Hogan: It is really, I suppose. I did have another book set in wintertime. It happened around Christmas, but it wasn’t specifically a Christmas book.
But the publishers are really marketing this as a Christmas book. It’s called On the First Day of Christmas and it plays out over the 12 days of Christmas.
Twelve days became fourteen – but who doesn’t want more Christmas?
Well, I play a little bit fast and loose with the days, so there’s about 14 days in my Christmas, and who wouldn’t want a longer Christmas?
And it’s basically the publishers are they’re billing it as a kind of Sliding Doors. Are you y familiar with the movie Sliding Doors.
Jenny Wheeler: Oh yes. I think I do know. Where people swap lives?
Faith Hogan: It is a story about a girl who comes out of work on Christmas Eve and she’s a nurse and she witnesses an accident, and in that moment, she has to make a choice whether she’ll actually go with the person who’s in the accident back into the hospital or just say she can’t and go home.
And part of her really wants to go home because she’s about to get engaged she thinks, to maybe not the love of her life, but the love of her life that she settled for.
Or, just maybe not. Go home and do the right thing or stay there and help out and do what she’s always done. She’s always been there to help.
And so, in that moment, she can’t decide and her life splits into two, and so the reader gets to follow her own home.
So we followed that path to the very end where it, yeah. . I won’t say anymore. (Laughs)
A bit of blue, and pink and perhaps set in a big house…..
Jenny Wheeler: No, that’s great. Christmas books are becoming quite a phenomenon, aren’t they? What do you think people look for, particularly in Christmas books?
Faith Hogan: I don’t know. I’ve been out talking to book sellers in the last week or so, and for me, I always read the Christmas book on Christmas Eve. So I would go out and buy a big Maeve Binchy or Deirdre Purcell or just a big book with tinsel on the cover.
Possibly blue, maybe a bit of pink, sometimes set in a big house, like a Trisha Ashley story…
And I always had in the back of my mind, I thought, I would love to write a book that somebody would sit down with on Christmas Eve and really get lost in.
Yeah. I just, because I’ve enjoyed it so much myself and I think, I don’t know if people are writing big Christmas books anymore, but I thought I’m going to give it a shot and see how it turns out.
And I had time over lockdown. I did, this was an extra book. I wrote it over. Over the various lockdown periods that we had here, and I really enjoyed it. I just escaped into it. I just got lost in it. I didn’t know if the publishers would want it because it’s quite different to my other books. Its characters are slightly younger.
Geraldine Hogan crime author an alter ego
There isn’t, an older, younger dynamic in it, very much 30 something characters in it. I think it’ll appeal to old readers, but it’s a different kind of book. There’s a little bit of magic in it. And, yeah, that’s why I wrote it. I don’t know if people do the Christmas books anymore, but I know for me, but as a reader I love them,
For Christmas, St. Stephen’s Day here, or Boxing Day in the UK. I love to sit down with the nice Christmas book.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s lovely. And before we move away from the books to just talk a little wider about your career. Tell us about your crime trilogies that I think you may have started your writing career with under the name of Geraldine Hogan, so people can look for those crime trilogies set in Limerick Island. Tell us about those.
Faith Hogan: So I suppose, like most writers, I was writing for a long time before it got published, I had always wanted to write a novel, but I had never been brave enough to take one on, cause I just thought, gosh, it’s a lot of words. It’s a big commitment and like that every writer I think starting off is afraid that they’re going to fail.
Crime crime crime was all Faith read for years…
And then, for years, I read crime. I read crime, crime, crime all the way through except for at Christmas when I read my Christmas books.
I started by writing a crime book, and my first crime book wasn’t very good, but I was on maternity leave. I had time.
I ended up just pouring myself into this book before the babies arrived. I had twins and before the baby arrived, I had quite a bit of time off as I was quite sick with them.
And, I wrote it, put it away, didn’t think about it again. And eventually, I did take it out again and I sent it to an agent and she at the time was looking for an Irish crime writer, and she really invested her time in me.
I wrote two crime books and they didn’t go anywhere immediately and we left them to sit.
And then she had said to me, look, would you try something like women’s fiction?
I nearly fell off the chair because I had never thought I could write women’s fiction. and the crime books sat there for a little while, but then eventually a publisher called Bookouture bought two crime books, so there’ re still on sale on Amazon.
A Limerick detective with a complicated past
There’re two parts of a series. They’re set in Corbally, .around a young detective called Iris Locke and her psychic Delaney, who I love.
Limerick in Ireland would be renowned as a city with quite a high crime rate, It’s a beautiful city. It’s a very historic city.
It’s quite a distance away from me, but I just thought it would be the perfect place there. There was no crime series there at the time in Limerick and I did quite a few trips down to Limerick and I’m really proud of them. , I enjoyed writing them.
They were a very different process to writing the women’s fiction. There was a lot more planning where the women’s fiction, just the courage is, can nearly take off and they bring you where you’re going to go. The crime fiction, there was a lot more planning, but I really. I’ll write another one. I just have to get around to it.
Jenny Wheeler: So moving away from the books to your wider career, tell us a little about how you manage your writing day. Your, children are probably a little older now, but how do you manage to combine a very busy family life with writing?
Fitting her writing around work and family
Faith Hogan: It’s different. It’s funny, when you start out. In the beginning, , I wrote and I worked and I had small children. And so in the beginning I would get up at maybe five o’clock in the morning and write before the children got out of bed. And it was lovely because it was quiet and it was like a little bit of heaven at the beginning of the day.
And then I would go into work. I worked, locally and I would go into work every day. I think, gosh, I’ve already got my days worked on through. This is great. And then, as time went on and the. Started to get a bit bigger. I had a little bit more success. I ended up job sharing and taking time out, doing different things.
And now , I write full-time. When I say I write full-time, it’s funny, but instead of writing first thing in the morning, I block parts of the year off to write. Or the idea is that I would block parts of the year off to write and parts of the year to edit. It doesn’t always work like that cuz edits come in between.
But I walk the dog in the mornings and then I’ll sit down and I’ll start writing and that’s my day on until I go and collect children from school. And I love it. It’s a great privilege to be able to do that.
Jenny Wheeler: Do you have a particular place you write in.
What Faith Hogan is reading now
Faith Hogan: You’re looking at I’m sitting at my desk at the moment. , my daughter rearranged my bookshelves recently by color, so I have no idea where anything is at the moment. Yeah, so it’s basically it’s a desk and I have a view of the back garden and I’m at the very end of the house, so I don’t really hear anything from the rest of the house.
The house is, very quiet down here. I’m quite, a bit away from everybody else, so, it’s perfect. I just love this room. I have some my pictures on the wall that I like, that nobody else will want. Let me hang anywhere else probably in the house and
I tend to write here. Sometimes I’ll just sit in the chair and sometimes I’ll sit at the desk,
Jenny Wheeler: this is the joys of binge reading. We do like to ask our authors what they have read in the past if they’re a binge reader, and what they’re reading now that they’d like to recommend. You sound like you’ve obviously mentioned you’ve read a lot of crime. Have you got wider tastes as well?
Faith Hogan: I do, I am rereading Penelope Fitzgerald. Did you like Penelope Fitzgerald? Yeah. Oh, Penelope Fitzgerald love them. They brought out new additions and they’re all different colors on the spine. And now that my daughter has rearranged the bookshelf I cover, I don’t know where anything.
JK Rowling’s latest thriller a winner
So they put them all together, but not. So I’m rereading that, that’s lovely. I just finished, The Ink Blackheart, it’s the new one by, JK Rowling. She writes as a crime writer.
Jenny Wheeler: Robert Galbraith, is it?
Faith Hogan: Yes. Yes. And that kept me busy for about two weeks. That was a big fat book, but it was very, very good.
And then I love Rachel Joyce. Do you like Rachel Joyce? She wrote The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry?
Faith Hogan: And I love Joanna Cannon. I got an early copy of that as well. That was a really lovely book. She wrote, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep. And she wrote this new one, A Tidy Ending, which was really good. And then, I recently reread The Reader on the 6 27. I’ve read that several times and I really like that it’s French, it’s translated from French.
The reader on the 6 27. Jean-Paul Didierlaurent. I’m very eclectic in what I read. You probably read very widely as well.
The benefits of hardbacks – and digital
Jenny Wheeler: I do. Yes. It’s interesting to me because we do, for the listeners, we have the video going and you’ve held up every one of those books has a paperback book. You don’t read digitally?
Faith Hogan: I do, my Kindle is actually up in the room because what happens is sometimes, I buy the book as a hard back to read and then I will then buy it on Kindle because sometimes I will wake up at maybe one o’clock, two o’clock in the morning and I don’t really want to disturb anybody putting on their light.
So, I will not admit this to my husband, but I bought the JK Rowling book in hardback and on Kindle. I don’t want to think about the price of it but it was so good. So very many of those books I would read on Kindle as well,
Jenny Wheeler: that’s lovely. Looking back down the tunnel of time, if there was one thing you could change about your writing career, what would it be?
Faith Hogan: If there was one thing I could change? I think there would be two things. I would’ve started probably earlier. if I had the confidence to submit some of the pieces that I wrote earlier.
I think that would’ve been very helpful because I would’ve learned a lot more. I’ve learned more, from the opinions of others, than you do when you’re writing in your own echo chamber,
Faith Hogan on finding your author’s voice
When you become a published writer and you write a few books, you begin to know your own work. You start off knowing what you want to write, and sometimes you can work with people and they can feel that they want to start you into something else.
I suppose I’m nine books in, it’s possibly time for me to be able to say this, but I’m beginning to find my own voice and I know what I want to write now.
And I look back and see things that I’ve changed in my books because I thought I should change them.
And I think if I had known myself better, I wouldn’t have changed them. And I regret changing r things up at the end where I would’ve rather leave them a little less.
Jenny Wheeler: mm
Faith Hogan: I think age and time, and experience teaches you those things, doesn’t it?
Jenny Wheeler: Tell me what is next for Faith, the author. What have you got on your desk, looking ahead for the next 12 months?
Next summer book – The Guest House By The Sea
Faith Hogan: Okay. I’m in the middle of editing a summer book for next year. It’s called The Guest House by the Sea.
And I have started a book. It’s still under contract, to come out in 2024, and that will be a summer book. It’ll be very much along the same lines as The Gin Sisters Promise.
And then after that I have a free desk and I’m really excited about that because that means I will have finished my contract with my current publisher and it means that I have free reign.
And I have a very exciting idea that it’s been playing around in my mind for a long time and I’m really looking forward to sitting down and getting started on that.
Jenny Wheeler: You can’t give us any hint of what that one is like or what is it? Is it a different genre?
Faith Hogan: It’ll be slightly historical, very much based here locally. It’ll be partly based on real events, that happened at the end of World War II, and also possibly based a little bit in the present.
It’ll be half and half, I think. And I have a little bit of research. I’ve got quite a bit of research to do, but I’ve already started some of the research on it.
A new direction with a dual timeline story
It’ll be a bigger book than I think what I’ve written before. It’ll probably take me a bit of time and I don’t know exactly how it’s going to work, but every so often I sit down and I think, oh yeah, okay.
That’s another piece. Sometimes books are like jigsaw puzzles.
I don’t think I’ve ever experienced one quite like this though. It’s just I get pieces and I write, and I have a board in the corner there, and I just stick pieces on it and it’s just poster notes now. But yeah, I’m very excited about it.
Jenny Wheeler: Well, that sounds lovely. It’s a dual timeline story?
Faith Hogan: I think it’ll be, yeah.
Jenny Wheeler: Do you enjoy interacting with your readers, and where can they find you online?
Faith Hogan: I think the biggest thrill. I think when my first book came out. I remember I got up one morning very early and there was a message.
I’d never really done social media before I became published, and the biggest thrill for me, this woman had contacted me from Hong Kong to say she she’d read the first book.
And she really wanted to talk about where it was, set, the location, because it was so different to where she was.
Where to find Faith Hogan online
And I think, you know, the way that there are some things that just remain with you. And that morning I was on my own and I just wanted to do a dance from the kitchen and I knew if I did, I would wake everybody up and then my moment would be gone.
It’s those moments you remember. So yes, I love hearing from readers. I love to talk readers because readers talk about books all the time.
That’s really all I want to talk about is books. I have to pretend to wanna talk about other things, so I’m on Twitter at as Gerhogan – so it’s at G E r Ho. I’m on Facebook as Faith Hogan, f a i t h h o g n, author, a u t h o.
And I’m on Instagram as faithhoganauthor
Jenny Wheeler: We’re going to put all of those in the show notes for this episode so people will be able to find you if they are interested in following through with that.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s wonderful. Thank you so much for your time, Faith. It’s been very interesting for us. Thank you so much.
Faith Hogan: Thank you so much for having me, Jenny. It’s been an absolute pleasure.
If you enjoyed Faith you might also enjoy…
Santa Montefiore’s fifth book in the Deverill family series set in Ireland….. An Irish family saga…
Next Week on Binge Reading
Next week on Binge Reading: We’ve got our Encore #7 episode, that’s the series where an author, who’s already been on the show returns with their latest book Next week it’s Karen Swan, the specialist Christmas book writer.
She was on at this time with last year’s Christmas book. This year, it’s The Christmas Postcards. Set in a snow-covered Cotswolds village, The Christmas Postcards is a cozy escapist festive delight.
From UK Sunday Times best seller Karen Swan. And you’re going to love it.
That’s it for today. Hope you enjoyed the show. Happy reading.