What inspired The Secrets She Keeps?
I have always been fascinated by secrets, particularly between couples and friends. Some people think that secrets are corrosive, while others believe they’re the key to any successful relationship. When does one become the other? And who decides?
Who is your favourite - Agatha or Meg?
I have a soft spot for Agatha because she’s so damaged and raw. Meg grew up in comfort, went to the best schools, got a job in the media before meeting a handsome successful man who has given her two beautiful children. Everything about her life seems perfect, but it’s not. Agatha, by comparison, has spent a lifetime desperate to be loved and to have everything that Meg takes for granted. It’s her turn for happiness.
Describe The Secrets She Keeps in a sentence.
Everybody dreams of a perfect life. For Agatha it belongs to Meghan Shaughnessy.
When I’m not writing I …
Walk along the beach, play golf or watch YouTube videos about what ridiculous things Donald Trump has said today.
The book that changed my life was …
The Suspect, my first novel, which triggered a bidding war at the London Book Fair in 2002 when still only a part-manuscript of 117 pages. Within the space of three hours that book had been sold into more than 20 translations and every dream that I had ever had of being a full time writer came true. It literally changed my life.
How Leigh Straw's goddaughter inspired her to search for a story.
Michael Mohammed Ahmad is the founder and director of Sweatshop, a literacy movement in Western Sydney devoted to empowering culturally and linguistically diverse artists through creative writing. You will want to spend more that 5 minutes with Michael.