I am so pleased to be kicking off the blog tour for Clare Harvey’s newest novel, The Escape. I am only a few chapters in, but already completely compelled by this story.
About The Escape
One winter morning in Germany in early 1945, Detta passes a group of exhausted British prisoners of war who are being force-marched westwards. One man catches her eye and she cannot forget him. The following day she receives an urgent message to contact the local priest: he needs her help.
Miranda is a photography student in Berlin in 1989 as the Wall falls. Trapped in an abusive relationship, her one hope for escape is an old postcard of the village her grandmother, Detta, was born in. As Miranda flees through the rubble of the Berlin wall and into the East, she begins to suspect she’s being followed by the Stasi.
Two very different timelines; two women who share a history and a dark secret. Can they save each other now the time has come to reveal it?
Confessions – Guest Post by Clare HarveyC
My typical day consists of lying on my chaise longue in a silky negligee in front of a roaring log fire, dictating bon mots to my secretary, whilst drinking champers and eating chocolate truffles. Although occasionally I might get picked up in a chauffer driven Rolls and whisked off to a TV studio to chat to celebrities about my latest book…
Yes of course I just made that up (but you’d be surprised how many people actually think an author’s life is like this)!
What’s an author’s life really like? I’m going to spill a few secrets about mine, and you can judge for yourself:
Secret number one: I talk to myself. Yes, I know, first sign of madness and all that. Whilst I was writing my debut novel The Gunner Girl, I even found myself having conversations (‘D’you fancy a cuppa, Clare?’ ‘Oooh, yes, thank you, Clare, a cup of coffee would be lovely!’ etc.) Writing is a largely hermit-like existence, so I suppose talking to myself became inevitable. Eventually I got a dog for company, who I like to think of as my furry PA (although his shorthand and typing skills are pretty lamentable) and I now talk to him instead – which is not mad at all, ask any dog lover. Oh, and I talk to my characters, too, especially when I want to discover their back stories – I interview them and get them to tell me all about themselves (I’m not sure if other writers do this – it would be interesting to find out).
Secret number two: I work in bed. I used to tell people that this was because I get cold in winter (if it’s a freezing day and I have some research books to read, why not read in bed – it saves on heating bills?) But the truth is that even during last summer’s heat wave, I worked in bed. I find writing comes easier from the horizontal, perhaps because I have left my ‘internal editor’ behind with the laptop at the desk downstairs (I always write longhand in the first instance). But sometimes I like to prepare a scene and then take a little power nap before writing it, because I find that writing flows so much better if I have just woken up. I let my furry PA up on the bed, too (not that it improves his secretarial skills much). It’s just getting a tad embarrassing that the window cleaners always seem to come when I’m there. I’m almost embarrassed enough about it to change my bed-working habit.
Secret number three: I sleep in my clothes. I have only done this once. Oh, all right, twice. Here’s why: I was desperate to get the final draft of my work-in-progress finished by the school holidays, so I’d been up really late getting through it. By the time I’d cleaned my teeth, etc. it was already past one in the morning, and really cold. I remember thinking that I would have to take all my clothes off, get into my pyjamas and probably a jumper, too (my husband works away during the week, so I do tend to pile on the nightclothes without him next to me to keep me warm) and bed socks, and all the while the clock was ticking on, and I knew that I’d have to be up in a few hours to walk the kids to the tram stop in the freezing cold and…Yes, I went to bed fully clothed, and wore the same clothes the following morning. But it was only the once (well, twice, if I’m strictly honest).
Now you know a couple of secrets about me, you can be the judge. A glamorous life? Not really… But make sure you don’t breathe a word!
You can catch up with Clare, and find out more about her and her books here: