Join me in Conversation with Historical Romance author, Kathleen Harryman
Please give a warm Coffee Pot welcome to Historical Romance author, Kathleen Harryman.
Mary Anne: Hi Kathleen, it is so wonderful that you could join us today. How did the author collaboration for The Promise come about?
Kathleen Harryman: I’ve known Lucy for years, she’s a superb actress and friend. We first worked together on my thriller When Darkness Falls; Lucy played The Yorkshire Slasher in my promotional film.
When she mentioned she had an idea for a book on World War II, I was on board. The Promise would be my first historical novel, and it was important for it be a true and accurate representation of what life was like back then. Not only the feelings of uncertainty which war inevitably brings, but for many it served as a reminder of the devastation that war carries with it. Most people back then would have lived through the first world war. On the brink of a new war, stories of the Great War became more prolific. I wanted to capture this element in The Promise, and so did Lucy.
|Kathleen Harryman and Lucy Marshall.|
Mary Anne: What were your main influences when writing The Promise?
Kathleen Harryman: I’d always thought about writing a story based on my grandfather, who died in France, as part of the second phase of the D-Day Landings. My dad was only a small boy when his dad died. The stories he’d tell me, and those of my great uncles, filled my mind with such pride and awe. Lucy gave me the shove I needed to write this story, and together we merged Lucy’s idea for a World War II love story with my grandfather’s bravery. We also incorporated the stories of my other family members. In Arthur Shearsmith’s chapter, this really happened. Arthur Shearsmith was my mum’s dad (my grandfather). Having undergone his training ready to fight, his appendix burst as they were about to leave for France. He never made it to France or the frontline. Instead, the military utilised his skills as a sheet metalworker in Hull. These personal stories helped to shape mine and Lucy’s vision for The Promise.
Mary Anne: Tell me about the characters in The Promise?
Kathleen Harryman: When Lucy suggested getting some of her acting friends to come around to my house to talk about the characters I’d outlined for The Promise, I was so excited. As we sat munching on crisps and biscuits, and drinking copious amounts of coffee, discussing The Promise. I got such a buzz that many of the characters are based on the actors sat around my kitchen table that night.
It not only helped to shape the characters, but the story as well. Character relationships were forged that night, and Tom’s character took on a darker theme. There was a definite shift in the story, and it started to come to life.
For a writer to see and talk with your characters, in your head is how a story normally comes together. But to have them right there physically with you, talking and laughing… wow, it blew my mind.
Lucy is a source of inspiration and her enthusiasm is encapsulating. I’d definitely write another book with her. We got on so well, bouncing ideas off each other until the words flowed.
Mary Anne: When co-writing how did you decide who did what?
Co-writing The Promise with Lucy was a dream. Lucy and I have a healthy friendship. We both understand the day-to-day pressures each of us are under. This made our co-author collaboration for The Promise work seamlessly, allowing each other time and space to form ideas and to get it down on paper.
Lucy’s dyslexic, so it made it easier for me to do the writing and research. Personally, I feel that’s why our co-author collaboration worked so well, with just one of us doing the writing. It also allowed for the book to have one distinctive writing style and voice.
I’m lucky because Lucy had already scoped out her plans for the story when we talked about writing The Promise. I just added the meat to the bones, undertaking the writing and research. We went on location together, with Lucy showing me the house which she wanted to use as the convalescence home, which would become The Turnstones.
We also spent a lot of time going over ideas, on how we wanted the story to flow. Lucy’s great because she had some clear and clever ideas. I just made them work in the story. I think our partnership worked because we are friends and we both respect each other. I’ve seen Lucy on stage, and she’s captivating. It was that magnetism that instantly made me sign onto the project.
The key things that worked for me when writing The Promise with Lucy, was the amount of planning and discussion we had at key stages of the book. As character relationships changed and developed, we’d talk about how this impacted on the story and where we wanted to go with it. Because Lucy had some really clear ideas and an incredible outline, I understood what she wanted. We also allowed each other time and room for ideas to grow. Never adding deadlines onto each other.
What might surprise people, (given that both Lucy and I are the creative type), is that we have never argued. We get along really well, and admire and respect each other, we’re open and honest, and I feel that The Promise in part reflects our own relationship.
Mary Anne: Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to chat with us about your wonderful book!
If you would like to find out more about The Promise, then you know what to do — SCROLL DOWN!!
A World War II Historical Romance
By Kathleen Harryman and Lucy Marshall
How far would you go to keep a promise?
In the heat of battle, one man's promise to another will be tested.
As Britain is gripped by the fear and uncertainty of war, Tom Armitage stands to gain the one thing that he never thought possible - his freedom.
Rosie Elliot sees her future crumbling to dust as Will Aarons leaves Whitby with Jimmy Chappell to fight in the war. As she begins work at The Turnstone Convalescent Home, Rosie finds something she thought she had lost. Friendship. But friendship soon turns to love. Can this new love replace Will?
This is not an ordinary love story.
It's a story of love, loss, courage, and honour.
Of promises that must be kept or risk losing everything you've ever held dear.
Pick up your copy of
Kathleen Harryman is a storyteller and poet in the historically rich city of York, North Yorkshire, England, with her husband, children and pet dog and cat.
Kathleen was first published in 2015, a romantic suspense entitled The Other Side of the Looking Glass. Since then, Kathleen has developed a unique writing style which readers have enjoyed, and she became a multi-genre author of suspense, psychological thrillers, poetry and historical romance.
Publication date: 28th February 2019
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Kathleen Harryman and Lucy Marshall
Print Length: 328 pages (paperback) 330 pages (kindle)