My Mother’s Secret – Sheila O’Flanagan – 20th Anniversary Blog Tour

My Mother’s Secret by Sheila O’Flanagan

Published by Headline Review

Kindle & Hardback – 2 July 2015

Paperback – 25 February 2016

I’m delighted to be taking part in Sheila O’Flanagan’s 20th anniversary blog tour for the publication of her latest novel, ‘My Mother’s Secret‘.  I hope you enjoy Sheila’s post.  

Sheila O’Flanagan’s Top 3 memories of 20 novels

I wrote my first book, Dreaming of a Stranger, while I was still working in financial services. Unbelievably that’s over 20 years ago, and at the time laptops were a rarity. I bought myself a Mac laptop and used to bring it into the office with me. At my lunch break I’d find a deserted conference room and write the book while I was eating my sandwich. At night, I wrote in our garage which had been converted into a small office by the previous owners of the house. It was absolutely freezing and I had a pair of fingerless gloves to ward off the cold! I felt like a character from a book myself as I hunched over the computer in my fingerless gloves and nibbled on cheese and crackers to keep me going!

Eventually I decided that the time had come to upgrade the garage into a proper office and the builders arrived just as I started My Favourite Goodbye. I think that part of the reason I set some scenes in Sicily was to put my head in a different place because I couldn’t believe how much mess there was in my house. They tried very hard not to disturb me, but the soundtrack to My Favourite Goodbye was the sound of the walls being knocked down. Even now I can open a page a remember exactly which building crisis happened as I was writing it. The day they were due to finish I was writing the scene where Ash gets caught in the rain. I was working really hard on it when a drop of water appeared on the desk in front of me. For a moment I thought my book had come alive! What had actually happened was that one of the guys had accidentally hammered a nail into the water pipes….

I like the characters in my books to have jobs that are an interesting part of their lives. Of course not every character can have a glittering career but I hate giving them anonymous office jobs. Obviously that means doing some research so for Too Good to be True, where Carey works as an air traffic controller, I spent a couple of days at ATC in Dublin and Shannon airports. It was probably the most interesting research I’ve ever done although looking at the sheer number planes on the radar screen was a bit scary! While I was in the control tower one of the approaching aircraft had to do what’s known as a ‘go around’ where the landing is aborted and they have to do it again. The reason was that a dog had somehow made it onto the runway and airport staff had to catch it before we could land. A few months later I was in a plane which did a ‘go around’ and I wasn’t as terrified as I might have been otherwise – our go around was because a piece of debris had fallen off a departing aircraft!

My Mother’s Secret 

When Steffie helps her two siblings organize a surprise wedding anniversary party for their parents her only worry is whether they’ll be pleased. What she doesn’t know is this is the day that her whole world will be turned upside down.

Jenny wants to be able to celebrate her ruby anniversary with the man she loves, but for forty years she has kept a secret. A secret that she can’t bear to hide any longer. But is it ever the right time to hurt the people closest to you?

As the entire family gather to toast the happy couple, they’re expecting a day to remember. The trouble is, it’s not going to be for the reasons they imagined…


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