Friday Reads – Her Last Betrayal by Pam Lecky

It’s time for a Friday Reads post again and this week historical fiction author Pam Lecky has dropped by to tell us about her latest book, Her Last Betrayal, which will be out on April 14th.

Spying on the enemy is a dangerous game…

London, 1941

After losing her family to a Nazi bomb attack back home in Ireland, Sarah Gillespie joins the British Secret Services to bring them justice.

Partnered with American undercover agent Lieutenant Tony Anderson, Sarah embarks on a dangerous mission that takes her from war-torn London into the black mountains of Wales. But when one of her team is revealed to be a German mole, and enemies begin to close in, what price will Sarah have to pay to save her country – and herself?

Her Last Betrayal will be published by Avon Books UK/Harper Collins on 14th April 2022.

Pre-Order Buy Link: smarturl.it/HerLastBetrayal

Welcome, Pam. Your book looks great! Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Funnily enough, not really. I wrote a lot of poetry as a teenager and even won a poetry competition, but it was only after my third child was born, that I considered writing something more substantial. The first manuscript was purely an exercise in completing an entire novel. But what started out as a challenge resulted in an addiction to writing. Thankfully, I was brave enough to show my next attempt to a friend who gave me encouraging feedback. That novel turned out to be my debut, The Bowes Inheritance, which went on to be very successful, being longlisted by the Historical Novel Society and shortlisted for the Carousel Aware Prize. I have continued to write and now have two very successful series: The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries (late Victorian) and The Sarah Gillespie Series (Irish WW2). Since signing with Avon Books UK/Harper Collins, in late 2020, I am a fulltime author.

Has any author inspired you?

Two authors stand out for me. I devoured Georgette Heyer novels as a teenager and still love her books to this day. She was a wonderful writer, creating intriguing characters and plots and all told with a great deal of humour. It is probably down to Heyer that I now write historical fiction. My father introduced me to Dorothy L Sayers and her Lord Peter Wimsey books. Again, superb writing and twisty plots. So, you can probably see from these influences why I write historical mystery and crime. There are many other great writers I love, including Austen, Gaskell, PD James, to name a few.

What do you like writing most?

I probably cross a couple of genres as, although I set my books in the past, there are usually multiple plot threads, either mystery or crime, and it is all mixed up with a bit of romance. Both my series feature strong female protagonists who are flawed for sure, but that is what makes them interesting for me to write. Readers say they are entertained by them, which for me is what it is all about.

Do you have a special place for writing?

I’m lucky to have my own office at home, where I have all my research books close at hand. I also have 3 PAs! Two cats and a dog (they are, of course, completely useless!).

Are you a pantster or a plotter?

I’m somewhere in between. I usually have a detailed synopsis (also a requirement for my publisher who isn’t brave enough to just let me loose!) but as I write and research, I can add plot twists or characters as they pop into my head. Those research rabbit holes generally provide a wealth of ideas.

Is your writing ever inspired by your family or real life incidents?

Betty Horan – Pam’s mum

My Sarah Gillespie novels, Her Secret War and Her Last Betrayal, were inspired by both my family and local history. My mother and her sisters left rural Ireland to work in Britain during WW2. One aunt worked in a munitions factory, the other trained as a nurse and my mother worked on the Birmingham buses as a clippie. My uncle joined the RAF, serving as a mechanic. The books are not their stories, but there are snippets of their live is hidden amongst the fiction. The first book opens with the bombing of Dublin by the Luftwaffe in 1941, probably the most famous incident of the war in neutral Ireland. The location of the bombing was a few miles away from where I grew up and I have always been fascinated by the incident.

What are you writing at the moment?

I am currently working on the first draft of the third Sarah Gillespie book for Avon. During the summer, I am going to Italy and will be researching the fourth Lucy Lawrence book (any excuse to go to Italy!) All going well, I hope to start on a fourth book for Avon at the end of the year, which is a stand-alone murder mystery set during the Blitz in London.

What inspired you to write this book?

There aren’t many WW2 books written from an Irish perspective, and for me, it was important that our side of the story and our enormous contribution to the war effort was recognised. My heroine, Sarah Gillespie, is Irish, and the story begins with the infamous bombing of neutral Dublin by the Luftwaffe in May 1941. Subsequently, Sarah moves to England to find work and, she hopes, to seek revenge for the loss of her family. Without giving away the plot, Sarah’s nationality leads to a lot of complications, and she is forced to decide where her loyalties lie. I have always been fascinated by the complex relationship between the Irish and their ex colonial masters, and I explore this to some extent in the novel.

But Her Secret War was only the start of Sarah Gillespie’s journey. I was keen to show how she matures when she becomes involved in high risk and extremely dangerous situations. In Her Last Betrayal, Sarah is now working for MI5 on the trail of rogue IRA operatives who are helping the Germans. She must work with an American agent, who tests her to her limit, and when someone on her team commits the ultimate betrayal, she does not know who to trust. But somehow Sarah must find the strength and courage to complete her mission.

Her Last Betrayal will be published by Avon Books UK/Harper Collins on 14th April 2022.

Pre-Order Buy Link: smarturl.it/HerLastBetrayal

What time of the day do you write best?

There’s no particular time, but since becoming a fulltime author, I try to write in the mornings or afternoons and to keep my weekends free for other things.

What are your hobbies?

Besides reading and photography, I love my garden and find I can switch off completely when I’m out in nature. I studied horticulture and have always had an interest in garden design but unfortunately never got to work in the area. I did, however, design and build a show garden for Bloom, which is the Irish equivalent of the Chelsea Flower Show. I also love making mosaics and I am currently creating one for a newly updated patio area of my garden.

What advice would you give to other writers?

I wish I had known more about the industry before I started, so my advice would be to do your research. Writing a novel is only the beginning of a very long and costly (if you go the indie route) process. But if it’s what you love doing, and those pesky characters need to get out of your head; go for it!

Fab advice, Pam, and a really interesting interview. Lots of luck with yor new book. I hope it flies!

Meet Pam

Author Bio:

Pam is an Irish historical fiction author with Avon Books UK/Harper Collins. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, The Crime Writers’ Association, and the Society of Authors. She is represented by Thérèse Coen, at the Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency, London. Pam has a particular love of the late Victorian era/early 20th Century. In November 2020, Pam signed with Avon Books UK/Harper Collins in a two-book deal. The first book in the historical thriller series, Her Secret War, was published in October 2021; the sequel, Her Last Betrayal, will be published in April 2022. Pam is currently working on the third book in the series.

Her debut novel, The Bowes Inheritance, was awarded the B.R.A.G Medallion; shortlisted for the Carousel Aware Prize 2016; and longlisted for the Historical Novel Society 2016 Indie Award. Pam’s popular Lucy Lawrence Mysteries are fast paced mystery/crime novels set in the late Victorian era in various locations, including Egypt. The fourth book in the series will be published in 2023.

Author Links:

Amazon

Facebook

Twitter

www.pamlecky.com­­

LinkedIn

Instagram


Karen King – Writing about the light and dark of relationships.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-King/e/B0034P6W7I
Website: https://karenkingauthor.com/

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