“A baby is snatched from her pram in the garden. She’s never found. Thirty years later her sister, now a mother herself, is brutally killed.“
Prepare to find yourself immersed in Silent Night, a new crime thriller written by Geraldine Hogan. We had the pleasure of talking to Geraldine about her upcoming novel, which releases on August 23rd 2019, to find out more about it and how it came to be. Plus she gives aspiring writers a few tips and gives us some book recommendations!
Tell us a little about yourself!
Hi! I’m Geraldine Hogan, I’m a writer, reader, wife and mother – not necessarily always in that order, but I’m from the west of Ireland and I’m mad about dogs, cats and thankfully, walking in the rain!
Was there a specific moment where you knew you wanted to be a writer?
For as long as I can remember I’ve been a scribbler and reader. I’ve been jotting down poems, short stories and thoughts for years. I suppose, the first time I made a commitment to do something properly was when I sat down to write a novel and from there, things just sort of snowballed!
How did becoming a published author all start for you? What has your journey been like?
My overnight success took about ten years! In saying that, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve been very lucky, I’ve had time to grow as a writer, to learn about the world that I was stepping into and when it did happen, my feet have been firmly planted on the ground.
In saying that, I do wake up some mornings and feel as if I’m living the dream. To be afforded the opportunity to write stories and share them with so many people has been just such a wonderful gift.
The actual nuts and bolts involved getting an agent first – one that I liked and admired – from there, we’ve worked together. I’ve been lucky to have worked with great publishers, first for a series of four contemporary fiction novels and now, on the start of a new adventure with Silent Night, my first crime novel.
Your new novel, Silent Night, sounds like it’s going to keep readers on their toes! Could you tell us a little more about it?
I’m really excited to share this book, it’s based in Limerick, Ireland and features two somewhat mismatched detectives Iris Locke and Ben Slattery. They find themselves in the middle of a case that drags them to a place far more personal than they could have imagined, with devastating consequences and unexpected outcomes.
What was your inspiration for Silent Night?
The first glimmer of the story came when I was watching a TV programme about an old Irish murder case where a woman and her children died in a house fire. They lived in a remote spot and it transpired that far from the tragic accident at first reported, their deaths had been the result of actions far more sinister…
Did you struggle with writing any part of the book, such as a character or scene?
I love writing characters and scenes, in fact I could lose a day creating a character that really makes me smile, but it’s getting that first hook that is the magic part of starting a book. Often that hook comes from the real world, situations around you and sometimes what you read in the papers or see on the news.
You’ve previously published four novels as Faith Hogan. Did you find writing in the mystery and thriller genre challenged you as a writer?
Although my readers will know me primarily as Faith Hogan, the writer of uplifting tales of secrets and lies, I’ve always been a huge crime fan! My first attempt at a novel was in the crime genre and I suppose, it would have been the natural place for me to write, but it’s all about getting that one character that really resonates with you.
For me, that character to take a crime book off the page was Slattery – his dead pan humour and unquenchable moroseness is the perfect salve to my own positivity – when Iris arrives in Corbally station they are at perfect odds and so I knew that in this pair, I had the foundation for a crime series I would like to read and by extension that I knew I had to write.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Write, write and write some more… the thing is that everyone wants to write a book, the magic is in actually doing it! There is no feeling to beat getting to those last six letters – THE END.
Except, of course, it’s not the end – when you’ve reached that point it is only the beginning of the next part of the road – whether you decide to bury your story in a drawer, seek a traditional publisher of become an indie published writer – the adventure is yours to make!
And of course, the very, very best of luck with it, because aside from being able to write, having a story to tell, creating something others would like to read – I do think there is a degree of luck involved too.
What’s next for you?
At the moment I’m in the middle of edits – for both Silent Night and the book that will eventually become Iris & Slattery 2. And when those are both dusted and put to bed, I’m off to look at a new idea with my Faith Hogan hat firmly on my head – busy times!
Lastly, do you have any book recommendations for us?
Always! I’ve just finished reading Sally Hepworth’s The Mother-in-Law and loved this story with wonderfully drawn characters – a real twisty read! Also on my bedside table is The Long Flight Home by Alan Hlad – I’m really looking forward to losing myself in this next!
Author Bio: Geraldine Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree in Training and Management from University College, Galway. She is an award-winning and bestselling author of four contemporary fiction novels under the pen name Faith Hogan.
Silent Night is her first crime novel, and her second is due out in December 2019. She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a very busy Labrador named Penny. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!