IT'S SAGA SATURDAY!! Please welcome Piatkus saga author Linda Gillard...

Readers often ask where authors get their ideas from, or how a book came to be written. The origin of my ninth novel, HIDDEN proves the old adage about “necessity being the mother of invention”.

HIDDEN started life as contemporary ghost story with an Elizabethan back story. The country house setting, Myddleton Mote, was Tudor. In my 16thC storyline there was a pair of socially ill-matched lovers - an actor and an aristocrat. My working title was TIME’S PRISONER. This referred partly to the woman who was kept imprisoned by her family in an attempt to thwart an elopement.

While I was drafting this book I was approached by Lake Union, one of Amazon’s fiction imprints. They wanted to re-publish my indie book, THE TRYSTING TREE (eventually re-titled THE MEMORY TREE) and sign me up for two new novels, one of which had to be similar to THE TRYSTING TREE, a dual-time story set in 1915 and 2015.

This was wonderful news, but they wanted a book in six months. It takes me at least a year to produce a book, so the obvious solution was to adapt my work-in-progress. I kept the moated Tudor house and dual timeline. I cut the ghost and set the back story during WWI. I retained the idea of a woman being kept prisoner in her own home, but this time it was as a consequence of an unorthodox and disastrous marriage.

When I read Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir, TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, I was moved and intrigued by an advert she quoted that appeared in The Times in 1915: “Lady, fiancĂ© killed, will gladly marry officer totally blinded or otherwise incapacitated by the war.” In HIDDEN I tried to imagine why a woman might have placed that advert and how such a marriage might have turned out if the man she chose suffered from shell shock as well as disability and disfigurement.

I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to say things don’t turn out well!



A birth.
A death.
Hidden for a hundred years…

“Lady, fiancĂ© killed, will gladly marry officer totally blinded or otherwise incapacitated by the war.”

In 1917 a sense of duty and a desire for a child lead celebrated artist Esme Howard to share her life and home – 16th-century Myddleton Mote – with Captain Guy Carlyle, an officer whose face and body have been ravaged by war. But Esme knows nothing of the ugliness that lurks within Guy’s tortured mind, as he re-lives the horrors of the trenches. As a child grows within her, Esme fears Guy’s wrath will be turned on them both. A prisoner in her own home, she paints like one possessed, trusting that one day someone will hear her silent cries for help.

A century later, Miranda Norton inherits Myddleton Mote and its art collection from a father she never knew and decides to move on after the end of an unhappy marriage. Inviting her extended family to join her, Miranda sets about restoring the house and turning it into a thriving business. When the moat is drained for repairs, a skeleton emerges. Then someone from Miranda’s past returns to torment her and an appalling act of vandalism reveals the Mote’s dark secrets, hidden for a hundred years.



Linda Gillard lives in North Lanarkshire, Scotland. She’s the author of nine novels, including STAR GAZING (Piatkus), shortlisted in 2009 for Romantic Novel of the Year and The Robin Jenkins Literary Award for writing that promotes the Scottish landscape.
Linda's fourth novel, HOUSE OF SILENCE became a Kindle bestseller. It was selected by Amazon as one of their Top Ten Best of 2011 in the Indie Author category.
In 2019 Amazon’s Lake Union imprint re-published THE TRYSTING TREE as THE MEMORY TREE and it became a #1 Kindle bestseller.
Universal buying link to HIDDEN -

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