Saturday, 5 September 2015

The Secret is out!

The list at the end of this post is constantly updated, offering links to other varied and interesting articles. 

Secrets in Appley Green – A 1960s village novel takes me back to my own teenage years but the writing of it also led me to reading around that decade, fiction, non-fiction books and magazines. Whilst it was hugely enjoyable to both research and write, getting the detail accurate and credible was challenging. 1960, for example, was very different from, say, 1965.  

I guess it may mean different things to various age-groups - you, your Mum, your Granny, your daughter!

Some of the icons of that revolutionary era, such as The Beatles, may not be mentioned, unless they crept in without me noticing. I did not want to ram endless clichés of the Sixties down the reader’s throat but rather to offer something fresh and yet quite everyday that evokes a time gone by. It is an emotional love story with a twist. 

Like Gypsies Stop tHere and No Gypsies Served, Secrets in Appley Green and Shades of Appley Green are connected but can equally well standalone. You do not need to read one before the other, but if you do read both you will recognise people at very different times in their lives and know more about them. One or two of the characters occur in all four books!

Without giving away spoilers for either book, there is a big question hovering over the end of Shades of Appley Green. One (lovely) Amazon reviewer said, ‘Miriam creates a perfect atmosphere in this book and keeps an electric suspense throughout. I never expected such a strong cliffhanger in the end – I am definitely left wanting more!’  Well, Heidi, this dangling hook is quite thoroughly answered by Secrets in Appley Green. Many of the same older characters appear as they were fifty years earlier – so yes, there is a link between the two novels. 

It has been a long time coming but anyone who has been following the plot will know that a few problems last year held things up somewhat. Cancer!

Three naïve, but very different, Appley Green schoolgirls pledge to stick together for ever, but when one of them gets pregnant, this pushes their promise to the edge.
A young girl in need of love is vulnerable to the charms of an older man with heart-breaking consequences.
This is Great Britain’s Sixties, an exciting era, gathering pace then in full swing as social change sweeps aside past attitudes, laws, fashion and culture. Youth is finding a voice as parents struggle to adjust.  Its characters span the full social spectrum and take us beyond Appley Green to Brighton, Margate, London, Vienna and Paris.

Miriam Wakerly’s  Appley Green village stories all standalone and can be read in any order, but they are connected. This one can serve as a prequel to all three, especially Shades of Appley Green.

Available on Kindle now and in paperback: 
All my books on
and on 

I do hope you will enjoy reading it!  Look out for more articles and reviews :

Talking about the nature of secrets on Bonnie Trachtenberg's blog:

Looking at the challenges of writing a novel with Anneli Purchase:

Reactions to a 1960s novel.  Linn B Halton's blog

An interview (brilliant questions!) with Zara Stoneley

Reinventing the plot with Sheryl Browne

An interview with Shaz Goodwin where I revealed a few things!

Kicking off a holiday reading list with funny books, courtesy of 

Guest on Brook Cottage Books thanks to Debbie Johnston, aka @jontybabe, where I turn myself about face!

Review by Luke Marlowe  born in the eighties but transported to the sixties! 

Review by Adele @Kraftireader 'zipping through the chapters to find out what happened next.'

Interview with Bookgatherer  Thank you @Emalie2702

LLm Bookshop window - see a tempting extract! (Remember it's in paperback as well as KIndle)

Surrey Life Review January's Book Corner, full-page review by broadcaster and writer Juliette Foster  See page 72 !

Books and Authors  Guest author on Why I Wrote a Novel Set in the 1960s

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