May 2017


Following on from the news that my book, Social Anxiety Revealed will be published by Crooked Cat later this year, hence giving a big boost to my passion: raising awareness of social anxiety, I looked up quotes about passion and found these:

Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.

~Oprah Winfrey

If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.

~Benjamin Franklin

We must act out passion before we can feel it.

~Jean-Paul Sartre

It is obvious that we can no more explain a passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind.

~T. S. Eliot

Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.

~Jon Bon Jovi

I started posting one a day on Facebook. In fact I was ready to post the last one when tragedy struck in Manchester, UK, making me think again. Whatever you want to do, be passionate? I think the perpetrator of that horrendous crime was passionate, but he was passionate about the wrong thing. Considering the beliefs he held, I think it would have been better if he hadn’t been passionate about them.

So instead of posting that last quote, I wrote one of my own:

Your passion should stimulate you to help fellow humans – not harm them.

I added: “Over the last few days, I’ve been posting quotes about passion. This one is mine, inspired by Manchester and similar atrocities, perpetrated by people with the wrong sort of passion.”

Promote Positive Passion

I’m delighted to be visited today by Katharine Johnson, author of Lies, Mistakes and Misunderstandings, and now of The Silence. She’s going to talk about her fascination with secrets, so, over to her.

KatyJohnsonI know publishers and bookshops like books that have clearly defined genres. It makes them easier to market and display which in turn makes them easier to sell. The trouble is not all readers are as easy to categorise. I’m sure there are people who only buy romance or historical novels or detective stories but I’m not one of these. I like books from lots of different genres. You’re as likely to find me reading a family saga as a thriller and some of my favourite books don’t fall into any genre that I can identify. But I suppose if I had to find a common thread to the novels I love it would be secrets. I’m drawn to stories where things are not as they first appear, and where a long-held secret is threatened with exposure and the effect it has on people when it is revealed. 

 

SecretsI hadn’t really noticed that this was the case until someone recently pointed it out. My favourite book about a long-held secret is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. To me secrets are what make people interesting. We all have them to some extent but I’m curious about how people deal with having a big secret in their life, how they feel about it and to what lengths they will go to hide it. Perhaps it’s because I’m so bad at keeping secrets myself – I’ve come to the sad conclusion that I’d make a terrible spy – that I’m fascinated by people who can do so successfully for years.

 

I suppose the first person you need to convince is yourself. George Orwell said in 1984 “If you want to keep a secret you must also hide it from yourself.”

 

SunflowersInTuscany

In my novel The Silence which is being published on 8th June the main character Abby has a secret that goes back 25 years to a summer she spent in Tuscany as a teenager. Now in her thirties, she loves her job and is happily married with two lovely little girls – but she knows that if her secret gets out her perfect life will implode.

 

TuscanVilla

Villa in Tuscany

She has driven the details of what happened during her last day at the villa to the very back of her mind and has done this so successfully that she has almost convinced herself it never happened. How else could she have got on with her life, got a degree, got a job, married – all the things normal people do? But when human remains are discovered at the villa she realises her secret is no longer safe.

 

The other thing about having a secret is that you can only be sure of keeping it if you are the only person to know about it. But Abby wasn’t the only person at the villa that day and now someone else wants the truth to be told.

 

Special Offer

TheSilenceThe Silence will be published on June 8th in eBook and paperback versions and is available on this link  Amazon – The Silence

Grab the eBook at the special pre-order price of 99p (after publication it goes up to £1.99). 

Message me (or email katy@espressomedia.net) with proof of order and you will be entered into a goodybag prize draw which includes prosecco and chocolates, an Amazon gift card and a signed paperback of my first novel Lies, Mistakes and Misunderstandings

 

Come to the Party

I’m having an online book launch for The Silence on 8th-9th June. There will be fun and games, information about the book, visiting authors and prizes to be won. Please come along! Click on this link for more details: The Silence launch Party.

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About the Author

Katharine Johnson is a journalist with a passion for old houses and all things Italian (except tiramisu). She grew up in Bristol and has lived in Italy. She currently lives in Berkshire with her husband, three children and madcap spaniel. 

 

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know what I’m most passionate about:

RAISING AWARENESS OF SOCIAL ANXIETY

I’ve explained why it’s not better known, despite being very common, and why it should… must be better known.

Now I’m one big step further towards furthering that aim.

Crooked Cat is going to publish my book: Social Anxiety Revealed.

Announcement

I say my book, and it is mine, but it also contains a lot of quotes by a lot of other people who know SA all too well. Without them, I couldn’t have written it.

Social Anxiety Revealed will be published later this year.

The excitement is only just beginning.

I think this was the first riddle I ever heard of the type I’m thinking of:

Brothers and sisters have I none, but that man’s father is my father’s son.

Something David (other half) said recently reminded me of that. We were walking through the village of Aldbury at the start of a circular walk in the Chilterns. He said:

I know this place, but I’ve never been here.

Aldbury1The riddle was soon solved. The village was the setting for an episode of The Avengers, a weird crime series from the 1960s. The stories in this series couldn’t possibly have happened in real life, and that’s the charm of it. I’m not totally hooked, but I think I get it.

Aldbury4We looked up Aldbury, of course, and immediately discovered the episode in question: Murdersville, in which all the village residents are involved in regular murders. For this episode, the village was renamed Little Storping in the Swuff and The Greyhound Inn became The Happy Ploughman. This might make me think differently about ploughman’s lunches!

Aldbury2We watched the episode after returning home. As I said: weird. But well done, David, for recognising the village!

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The latest meeting of my writing group involved homemade Sachertorte. Obviously, I had to take photos. Sachertorte… Vienna… The Women Friends: Selina.

HenrysSachertorte1HenrysSachertorte2

Hello, lovely readers. I hope you’ve been happily occupied while I was away.

Yes, I’m back from a delightful nine-day trip to the UK, my almost-home. We visited friends and family, attended the book launch of The May Queen by fellow Crooked Cat author, Helen Irene Young, at Waterstones in Richmond, and did lots of walking.

TheMayQueenLaunch

The May Queen is a great story. I know – I edited it.

I also attended a meeting of Crooked Cat authors. Although we’re all in regular contact online, it’s always good to meet up for an informal chat.

I returned yesterday morning to two special annual days and something that, I believe, is unique to Israel. Today is Remembrance Day: ‘Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism’. Yesterday evening and this morning, the nation stood still to mourn, and ceremonies are being held throughout the day. And tomorrow, starting this evening, is Independence Day and a day for rejoicing. Tonight, we’ll stand on our balcony and watch the fireworks that mark the beginning of Independence Day.

IsabellaPlantation1

At Isabella Plantation with notebook and pen, naturally.

UPDATE (2 May): Here’s a photo from last night’s fireworks.

Fireworks1