I’m delighted to be hosting R R Gall in my hot seat today as part of his tour of Two Tides to Turn.
A family ripped asunder.
A terrible secret lurks in a thrilling novel of love, grief, and mystery.
Patrick thought his grandfather, John, died before he was born.
In later life, he finds out that it wasn’t true. For the first five years of Patrick’s life, they stayed in the same small village.
So why were they kept apart?
Patrick wishes to search the past to find the reason – but only if he can be united with his young daughter first.
And that means bringing her home to Scotland.
It means journeying to France to take her away from the care of her mother, Patrick’s ex-wife.
In 1915, with the war raging in Europe, John is a young man working on the family farm. Not yet old enough to enlist but aware of its looming threat, he meets Catherine. But his attempts at courtship end suddenly when an accident rips his life apart.
Told in alternate chapters, set, mainly, in South-West Scotland, this is the dramatic story of Patrick, interwoven with John’s traumatic life.
Two Tides to Turn by R R Gall is available to purchase in digital and paperback formats.
Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
Please summarise Two Tides To Turn in 20 words or less.
A psychological drama. Can love conquer guilt?
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
Not knowing, never meeting my grandfather, despite living near-by.
If you could choose to be one of your characters, who would you be?
I’d be Donald from Two Tides To Turn. He’s a bit of a rogue.
Please tell us about the characters in your book.
During WW1, John is a dairyman, not yet old enough to enlist. He is clever, sensitive, a dreamer, a romantic, perhaps not ideally suited to the hardship of farming. He wishes to venture to other lands, but not to fight. The threat of the war hangs over him.
John’s grandson, Patrick, is a troubled soul. I wouldn’t trust him. Not a lot has gone well for him. He knows most of that is his own fault. He has a desire to put things right.
Did you do any research for your book? What resources did you use?
I used the archives in Dumfries library, reading most of the local newspapers from the time of WW1, getting a feel for the area then, and the things that mattered to the people struggling to survive.
Did you travel to any places?
I visited all the locations mentioned in the book, taking notes or photos.
Do you have a theme for your book covers? Who designs them?
Usually, they are from paintings by my sister, Irene. This time she was busy, so I chose a cover with a threatening sea and a sense of foreboding.
Panster or plotter?
It varies from story to story. I have no rules. Sometimes I plot it out, other times not. I’ve never gone about it the same way – as yet. One story was written chronologically – started at the beginning, finished at the end. In the next one, I wrote the main scenes first, in the order they appear in the book, and then pieced it together. The next was done in any old order – taking the scenes I fancied writing on that day, thinking it would be beneficial, producing better writing. In Two Tides To Turn, there were only three key moments I had ready to include. The rest of the story arrived on the journey. I was quite far through with no endings coming to mind, and starting to get a bit concerned. (There are two main characters, each with their own ending). Luckily, I woke up one morning and both endings were there. And they were so obvious, I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t thought of them before.
Which authors have influenced your writing?
Graham Greene, George Orwell, Robert Wilson, Philip Pullman, to name a few.
Finally, can you share with us what you’re working on now?
I am returning to The Dumfries Detective trilogy to see how the boys are doing and what heinous crime is about to befall the town of Dumfries.
Thank you for being my guest. Wishing you success with all your writing projects.
RR Gall lives in Scotland and is the author of:
The Case of the Pig in the Evening Suit,
The Case of Colourful Clothes and Kilts,
The Case of the Hermit’s Guest Bedroom
Two Tides To Turn,
A Different Place to Die,
Only the Living Can Die.
Visit his website www.rrgall.com