Friday, 7 December 2012

The Next Big Thing - Pam Hartshorne

I also tagged Pam Hartshorne (AKA M&B author Jessica Hart) in my Next Big Thing blog, and today I'm hosting her replies. Help me give a big welcome to Pam as she talks about her amazing timeslip novel, Time's Echo!

What is the title of your book?

Time’s Echo
How did you come by the idea?
I’m fascinated by the links between the past and the present, and have always admired Barbara Erskine’s books.  Time’s Echo falls firmly into that ‘time slip’ category, but I wanted to base my story on my research into the ordinary people of Elizabethan York.
What genre does your book fall under?

Tricky.  It’s part historical novel, part ghost story with a dash of psychological thriller and a seasoning of romance.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters if it were a movie?

Also tricky!  Maybe Cate Blanchett and Harrison Ford (in his prime!)
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Arriving in York to sort out her dead godmother’s affairs, tsunami survivor Grace Trewe finds herself increasingly drawn into the life of Hawise, whose unthinking smile in the market place over four hundred years earlier sets in train a story of obsession that ends in tragedy and a desperate search for a child that even death cannot stop.
Will your book be self-published or traditional?

Time’s Echo
is published by Pan Macmillan in the UK and available as a paperback or an e-book.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

This was the first time slip I’d written, so it took me a long time to get to grips with a dual narrative and a much more complicated plot than I’m used to.  I messed around for over a year, but when I finally settled to writing a proper draft, I’d say it took me about six months.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Barbara Erskine, Susanna Kearsley
Who or What inspired you to write this book?

The ordinary people of Elizabethan York.  I feel like I know them now after so many years spent researching their day-to-day lives.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Time’s Echo
is really two books in one: Hawise’s story in the past and Grace’s in the present.  Hawise has to deal with what we think of as a contemporary issue of stalking and obsession, while Grace struggles to come to terms with her experience of being swept up in the Boxing Day tsunami.  I was interested to learn about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how something as apparently insignificant as a sound or a smell can trigger a reaction in sufferers that means they feel as if they are re-experiencing a past trauma. I wanted to play with the idea that if you can re-experience a moment in the past in that way, it might be possible to re-experience a more distant past.

This one is already on my To Be Read list! Thanks for dropping by, Pam!