Today on Love Books Group we have an author feature with Jennifer Wells. The Murderess is out now on eBook and Physical copy. It’s published by Aria Fiction.
The Murderess is a heart-stopping story of family, love, passion and betrayal set against the backdrop of war-ravaged Britain. Perfect for fans of Lesley Pearse and Dilly Court.
1931: Fifteen-year-old Kate witnesses her mother Millicent push a stranger from a station platform into the path of an oncoming train. There was no warning, seemingly no reason, and absolutely no remorse.
1940: Exactly nine years later, Kate returns to the station and notices a tramp laying flowers on the exact spot that the murder was committed; the identity of the victim, still remains unknown.
With a country torn apart by war and her family estate and name in tatters, Kate has nothing to lose as she attempts to uncover family secrets that date back to the Great War and solve a mystery that blights her family name.
Inspiration By Jennifer Wells
Inspiration is just the start of the journey
It is dawn on a Monday morning and I wait on the station platform for the next train to the city. I am the only one on the platform and the station is eerily quiet but for the rhythmic snap of rainwater dripping on to a live wire. Without a train or passengers, the greys of concrete, steel and stone seem to fade into one another in the autumn mist.
For most of us, a station platform is a place that we have to endure to get us where we would rather be. As I stand in the cold, I forget that stations are places that have seen many stories – the departure of soldiers for war, the transport of evacuees, families torn apart and reunited, illicit rendezvous, excitement and trepidation. But I do not consider any of this. Instead, I think about the tedium of the day at the office that lies in wait, the pressure to pick the kids up from school and I have a sinking feeling that there is not enough milk left in the fridge.
I worry about ever getting an idea for my next book – A deadline has been set but not a word has been written. You can’t set a deadline for inspiration, can you? And even if you could, I think that I could never find it here, on the cold station platform.
Authors are often asked about inspiration, but I think that inspiration comes to everyone in different ways. For me, inspiration always comes in the form of a single pivotal scene, a snatched moment, and after that, the rest of the story weaves its way around it.
In my new novel, THE MURDERESS, the pivotal moment is when the narrator, a 15-year-old girl called Kate, witnesses her mother push a stranger from the edge of a station platform into the path of an oncoming train.
So how did I get the inspiration for this scene? Did I stand on a grey station platform on a cold autumn morning and wonder what it would be like to commit a murder?… Well not exactly.
I am a day dreamer. As I stand on the platform I am not wearing headphones nor scrolling through a touchscreen. All I have is a vacant and probably stupid expression on my face. My inspiration is very much in my subconscious. The platform is grey and boring but it might not always have been this way. There are echoes of the past all around in the old water tower and the Victorian waiting room, the concrete worn down by thousands of footsteps and the soot-stained brickwork. Once I start to forget about my humdrum life, the soldiers, evacuees and lovers start to fade in and out of my subconscious like ghosts. Somewhere among them all is a story compelling enough to write.
I am a backwards storyteller. The murder that Kate’s mother commits is not the end of the story. In fact it happens right on the first page. The rest of the story is concerned with the fallout from the murder and what had gone before. Most mystery writers are telling their stories backwards in one way or another. The reader learns more of the mystery as they turn the pages and at some point the mystery is solved – maybe the reader will beat you to it and guess the ending right at the start of the book or they might be shocked by a revelation on the final page. Either way if the author has done their job well, the reader will feel as if they have been on a journey and maybe one that they did not expect. So if you are going on a journey, what better place to start it than a station.
It is almost two years since I stood on the cold station platform hoping for inspiration, yet now the story is written. So I invite you, the reader, to come on a journey with me. It starts on a grey station platform, but I would urge you to stand well back from the edge.
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