historical novels and thrillers
|Rebecca Bryn lives near St Davids in West
Wales with her husband and rescue dog. She is a multi-genre author but
her first love is historical thrillers with a twist: tales of courage,
hope and unbreakable love. A self-taught artist, she also paints the
stunning Pembrokeshire coast in watercolour and has work in private
She has contributed to three charity anthologies and is presently writing the third book in her historical series, For Their Country’s Good, a story inspired by family members transported to Van Diemen’s Land in 1841. She hopes to publish these in 2017.
The Silence of the Stones: A mystery thriller set in West Wales – missing children, wrongful imprisonment and revenge.
Touching the Wire: The women and children of Auschwitz and a man who tried to save them from a fate worse than death.
Where Hope Dares: a dystopian tale set in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. A 1000-mile journey to rescue the woman he loves. Kidnap, religious upheaval and slaughter. A new order rises and the old order fights back.
For Their Country’s Good Series:
On Different Shores, Beneath Strange Stars, On Common Ground: A tale of a young poacher transported to Van Diemen’s Land in 1841, and the girl determined not to be left behind whatever the cost.
1. Are you working on another book?Website
I’m presently working on an historical romantic thriller inspired by a family story that has intrigued me since childhood. Was a relative of mine transported for murdering a gamekeeper?
Researching this has been a joy and a revelation, and has taken me from the lot of women in Victorian England to the lot of the diggers of the Australian gold rush, via English prisons, convicts ships and the penal stations of Van Diemen’s Land.
My great-great-great-uncle, James Underwood, was a poacher who was transported to Van Diemen’s Land in 1841 for ‘the very aggravated manslaughter’ of John Dunkley, one of Lord Northampton’s gamekeepers, in Yardley Chase.
‘For Their Country’s Good’ is inspired by his tale, and is a story of men and women born into poverty who were sent across the world, often for a small a crime such as stealing ribbon, to found an empire on convict labour. It’s also the story of those they left behind.
I hope to have all three books in the series published in time for the Narberth Book Fair.
2. What is your preferred genre?
I tend to write about subjects that capture my imagination, rather than stick to one genre, but I like the challenge of working within the constraints of historical fiction, and weaving fact and fiction together. The facts, which I adhere to wherever possible, can take the story in unexpected and fascinating directions.
3. What do you love most about writing in your genre?
Research. I have discovered so much about where I’ve come from, and places I shall never visit. I find researching an historical novel particularly fascinating.
4. What is your writing style?
Not sure how to answer that. Thought-provoking? I like to get inside my characters’ heads, I write from multiple points of view, which can make for interesting insights into differences in how people process joy, grief, guilt, hope and love. If I can’t make a reader reach for a tissue at least once in a book I would feel I’d failed.
5. What gives you inspiration for your books?
A TV report about Nazi war criminals, a cheese sandwich, elm boxes, a family story, the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, social inequality, climate change, the release from prison of Angela Canning, mankind’s irrepressible capacity for hope. The indestructability of true love.
6. Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite?
I don’t think I can answer that. I love all my characters. They become like my children and who could choose between their children?
7. What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?
Robin in Touching the Wire. I tried to give him reasons for being who he was, but he never really became a person with whom I would want to spend too much time.
8. What is the biggest surprise that you experienced by becoming a writer?
To begin with, I would have said the difficulty of getting your book under the noses of readers, and the huge amount of time it takes to promote them. Now that I’m further on in my writing career, I’d say it’s the writing community I am so lucky to have stumbled upon. It is their generosity of spirit, their eagerness to help, and their infectious enthusiasm for writing that spurs me on.
9. What has been the best compliment?
I’ve been fortunate to have had some amazing reviews. One person, in particular, sticks in my mind. I had a message from a Hungarian Jew who lost most her family in the Holocaust. She read Touching the Wire, a story of the women and children of Auschwitz, (the heroine was a Hungarian), and she said that for the first time in her life she thought she might be able to begin the process of forgiveness. The thought that my story had opened her heart and allowed that, after seventy years of anger and grief, still brings me to tears.
10. Tell us a little about your plans for the future?
I’m not sure what I shall write next. I have vague ideas about a psychological thriller and a mystery thriller. And I’m wondering about a collection of short stories which would be a mixture of genres and a complete change for me. Or, maybe, it’ll be the cheese sandwich inspiration that takes off.
Read an interview with Rebecca on Judith Barrow's Blog
The Independent Author Network