He Loved and Hated that Man

L.M.   Brown
L.M. Brown Author Interview

Hinterland follows Nicholas who must care for his daughter and wife amid dramatic events. What was the inspiration for the idea behind this novel?

Hinterland took eight years to write. It went through a lot of stages of development, but the story was always about the incident that occurred when Kate was a child and the consequences that had on her relationship with Nicholas. The inspiration came with Kathleen. I remember the first time she appeared on the page and she was such a strong character there was no ignoring her. It took many drafts to get her back into a corner, and to let Kate have a bigger part.
With Hinterland, it was little snippets that inspired me. The scene where Kathleen’s dresses are spaced apart in the wardrobe and Nicholas and Kate stand before them, feeling the reality of her absence has stayed throughout, and I believe when I wrote that one scene the story started to unfold.

Nicholas is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?

The question, can a person change, was a driving force behind this novel- Also there is the notion of the cycle of abuse and our ability and need to change it. From the start, Nicholas’ childhood was marred by his father’s drinking and violence. He loved and hated that man. Nicholas would have wanted acknowledgement from his father, but he was also afraid of becoming a man just like him. This duality is what drives Nicholas. This aggression that simmers under the surface and his gentle love for his daughter are two very separate parts of him, though both scare him.

The former because an act of violence years ago cost him the love his life. While his love for his daughter makes him feel small and helpless. There were a few times over the years where I questioned if I liked Nicholas. Ultimately, I believe the mistakes he makes are done for the right reasons but is very much up to the reader to agree or disagree.

One reviewer wrote that she felt an air of evil around Nicholas, another wrote that he was a caring and loving father, and neither interpretation surprises me since Nicholas’s actions are open to interpretation.

The novel explores many different kinds of family issues. What were some themes you wanted to focus on?

From the very first draft of Hinterland, I wanted to examine how childhood trauma can affect the adult. At first, Kate was a young woman trapped in a bad marriage, and to gain the strength to escape her controlling husband, she needed to understand what happened with her mother, but it didn’t take long before I realized I had to start with Kathleen and Nicholas and move on from there.

The novel also examines the harmful consequences of keeping secrets in a family, especially regarding mental illness and how quickly we can judge those who suffer from mental illness. Nicholas felt that Kate would be better off without her mother, but he was not the first person to suggest this. How can we make these assumptions? Are we correct? Would Kate have been better growing up with her moods and unpredictable behavior or shadowed by her absence? Can we assume what is best for the children in these circumstances? These themes as well as the question of whether or not a person can change pushed the story forward.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I recently finished “Our Wandering’ which is examines memory and how we choose to remember details.

It’s set in Ireland. Mona’s younger sister Stace ran away for the first time when she was thirteen, but it wasn’t the last time. The family were constantly afraid Stace might take off. When Stace runs away again at twenty-two, Mona searches for her, while questioning what happened when they were children. Through memory and searching, Mona begins to unravel the truth and paint a picture of her sister that is completely different to what she once believed.

My agent has the book. Hopefully, we’ll be hearing something soon, but there is no date set now.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Nicholas Giovanni’s life revolves around his five-year old daughter Kate. When he isn’t driving his taxi, he is taking care of her and her mother Kathleen, whose last involuntary admission to hospital was while pregnant. Tension start to rise with the return of Ina, Nicholas’ childhood best friend, to the house next door. Kathleen doesn’t trust her or Nicholas. Already unstable, Kathleen’s suspicions culminate in a day of violence, and Kathleen’s disappearance.Kate’s life is shattered by her mother’s desertion. No-one will tell her where Kathleen is. Although Ina is like a mother to her, Nicholas keeps her at arm’s length. He cannot bring himself to tell Kate or Ina the truth about Kathleen’s last day, until Kate runs away, and he realizes his silence has torn everyone apart. To find Kate and to keep Ina in his life, there are truths he must face, if it’s not too late.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on October 11, 2020, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thoughtful interview, enlightening and concrete answers

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