Q: The Path Keeper, the first book in the series, is a multi-layered tale of fate and past lives told from many different characters’ point of view. How did you come up with the concept?
A: I began thinking about The Path Keeper story back in 2012. At the time I was living in Spain and had my hands full with two very young children. Neither of them let me sleep much, so I used to be up all night daydreaming about Zac and Ella and the concept of love that could last for centuries.
I love the idea that before we are born we have already chosen ‘The One’, the person that makes sense for our specific life…but that we may also have a Soulmate. Can you be in love with two people at once?It’s also been fun adding controversial twists to predictable and traditional tropes. I wanted to challenge pre-conceptions about religion, angels, history and family dynamics. But I do play around with reader emotions a lot. Sorry. The characters I love the hardest suffer the most. It’s how I get my readers to love them too. It will be fine in the end. Promise!
Q: Who will enjoy reading The Indigo Chronicles series?
A: The books are a mix of esoteric fantasy and historical romance – some have described them as mindful fiction. I’ve received great reviews from readers of all ages that have enjoyed being swept away by the romance and page-turning thrills of the story (although there are swear words and sex scenes, so it’s not a book for kids!). If you believe in miracles and the power of love, and want to lose yourself in the gritty streets of London or the wild mountains of Spain, then The Path Keeper is for you. The sequel, Son of Secrets, is a lot darker and feminist – and the final book in the trilogy, Children of Shadows, brings everything full circle. Expect fast pace, multiple story lines, some confronting themes and a big twist on traditional tropes. If you enjoy books like Outlander, The Time Travelers Wife and The Da Vinci Code then you’ll probably enjoy this series.
Q: What do you think people will learn from this series?
A: I’m not out to teach anyone a moral lesson or preach, in fact what I find fascinating about being a writer is how every person takes something different away from my stories.
It was the same when writing the book, I had one idea in mind and then the characters ran off and started doing their own thing. It was important to me that I had a strong female protagonist, but one that was also vulnerable and had flaws and imperfections. I wanted to write a story that stayed with the readers a long time after putting down the book, a story that made them question themselves and what they thought they already knew. So if my readers learn anything, it’s that nothing is black and white.
I’ve had many readers complain of having a ‘book hangover’ with this series. It’s definitely very confronting and unsettling in places. I don’t tie things up neatly and I leave you with more questions than answers. At least no one gets bored!
Q: You touch upon a lot of taboo subjects in your books. How do you deal with the fact that some people may get upset?
A: It’s part of being a writer, you can’t please everyone. But I do urge everyone to remember every single thing in the book is made up. Of course I did a lot of research when referring back to historical dates or places, but everything I mention in terms of religion was added to encourage people to view deep-rooted beliefs in a different way. I like to get people thinking, and surprise them. So don’t take these books too seriously!
Q: Who has been the most interesting character to write?
A: I adored writing Luci in Son of Secrets. She’s a really damaged and complicated woman, yet difficult not to root for. I began writing the sequel in 2016 when the horrors of the US election were in the news, along with the build up to the Me Too and Times Up movement. I’d just moved to the Netherlands, my family had suffered a huge loss, and we were living in a creepy 16th century Dutch canal house (that became the inspiration for The House of Fire and Water in the book). So Luci was a character born from pain and anger – the personification of female suffering, the grieving mother, the woman scorned, the powerless victim that finally finds her voice.
Initially I was worried about the reaction she would get as she does a lot of bad things for a good reason. So I was shocked when I received message after message from readers saying how inspiring the feminist sequel was. This pleased me greatly, because no woman was put on this earth to make people comfortable. Including me.
Q: What was the hardest part of writing this series?
A: On a practical level it was difficult ensuring that all questions were answered by the end and the story ran seamlessly throughout. All three books read like one story spanning twenty years with historical flashbacks going back 2,000 years AND with multiple points of views. I didn’t make it easy for myself! So that was tough. But emotionally it was really hard to say goodbye to some characters and to finish the series knowing I may never get to write about these people again. Although I might. I don’t know, I could always do a spin-off or a novella if the opportunity arose. But from the beginning I set out for this to be a trilogy and it was definitely time to finish the story…as sad as I was to say goodbye.
Q: What did you discover about yourself after writing this series?
A: That’s a really good question!
Sometimes you don’t realise what your book or series is about until it’s complete. I finished the last book, Children of Shadows, mid-2019 (it’s out May 2021) and I realised that although the series is about fate and love – it’s also about family.
There are so many themes on motherhood, on the complication of family dynamics and how our pasts shape our future. I knew before I started this series that I wanted to challenge readers, make them question themselves. Love, hate, family and our pasts are never straight forward.
But I had no idea how bitter sweet the entire experience would be. From inception to the last book appearing in bookstores, the journey has nine years and I’ve grown immeasurably in that time. As a writer and a person I really can’t wait to see all three books together on my bookshelves!
Q: And what can we expect in the final book Children of Shadows?
A: I’m so pleased with how I wrapped up this epic series. If The Path Keeper is about love in all its guises, and Son of Secrets is about the female experience, then Children of Shadows is about family. Is the bond of blood strong enough to get you through the hardest of times?
We jump seventeen years into the future and meet a new array of characters, along with seeing a glimpse of Zac’s childhood and Luci’s past. You also get to understand their son and mother bond better, and see Ella and how her past has brought her to where she is today. PBut will Zac and Ella get their happy ending? Will Luci finally gets her revenge on Mikhael? Expect a grand finale and even 17th century pirates!
In 2022, Children of Shadows was shortlisted for the RNA Fantasy Award.