I am delighted to introduce
Sharing her thoughts about her debut novel
Does everything in life happen purely by chance ?
Or are we guided towards people who can help us in our hour of need?
Following the sudden death of her beloved mother, Jessica Gibson's world falls apart. But after meeting a man who seems heaven-sent, she starts to feel she has something to live for again, and soon discovers that their connection holds far more significance than she could ever have imagined. And when Jessica strikes an unlikely bond with Alexandra Green, the two new friends are taken on an emotional journey into the world of the supernatural, where psychic mediums pass on messages from beyond the grave. What -- or who -- is causing the strange goings-on in Alex's home? What secret is she keeping from Jessica? And who is the young woman who so badly needs their help? In a series of surprising twists and turns, the pieces of the puzzle finally fall into place and a mystery is unwittingly solved -- with life-changing consequences for all involved.
'Out of the Darkness' is an uplifting tale of friendship and redemption; of love and loss. And life...after death.
Tell us a little about Katy Hogan, author
I'm 51 years old, married and live in St Albans, Herts, with my husband and teenage children. I'm an animal-lover, and currently have three cocker spaniels, Toby, Smudge and Alfie, who I love to walk in the surrounding countryside. Out of the Darkness is a self-published novel, and so I am currently spending a lot of time marketing the book myself, approaching bloggers for reviews, Tweeting and writing posts on my Facebook page. I love interacting with readers -- many of whom have recently been sharing their own experiences of grief and loss (a major theme in my novel), which I feel very privileged to have been told.
How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I have been writing since I was a teenager, when I started submitting short articles to teen magazines. I went on to become a journalist for women's magazines, such as Woman's Own, and worked on everything from beauty features to celebrity interviews. That was in the heady days of the Eighties, and it was a very exciting and unpredictable time -- one day I would be writing a fly-on-the-wall reportage piece; the next I would be sent to interview an up and coming band, such as Spandau Ballet! When I became a mother, I embarked upon a more family-friendly career in teaching, and I found this incredibly rewarding. Most recently, I have gone back to writing again, having done some freelance journalism, before concentrating on my novel.
Where did you get the first flash of inspiration for Out of the Darkness?
When I was growing up, my mother often used to see misty 'spirit shapes' and read the tarot cards, so it's probably no surprise to hear that I've always been pretty open-minded when it comes to the subject of life after death. But it was after my world was turned upside down following the death of a loved one that I felt I needed to find out more, and so I started to visit clairvoyants and spiritual mediums where I live in Hertfordshire and also in London. It was after going to an evening of clairvoyance locally with two new female friends that the idea for Out of the Darkness struck me. Not only because of the fascinating messages I'd seen passed on from the medium to people gathered in the audience, but also because of the power of the support and friendship between we three women. We had each experienced our own heartache and deep loss, and yet were there for one another no matter what. And we were all in this slightly bizarre situation, hoping beyond hope to get a message from a totally ordinary-looking person who was apparently speaking with the dead! Moreover, it was almost as if we'd been somehow meant to meet one another, at the time in our lives when we most needed that friendship and support...It was as we walked arm in arm away from the pub later that night, looking up into the clear winter sky, that I felt there was a story in there that I wanted to write and share. And that's how Out of the Darkness was born!
Without revealing too much, what you tell us about the story?
Set in Brighton, Out of the Darkness is about three young women, who each have their own secrets, fears and emotional baggage. They are complete strangers, but when fate pulls them together, they find they have one remarkable connection, which brings life-changing consequences for them all.
Where did you get your inspiration for the story from – were you inspired by people, places or or specific events?
The story is about love, loss, friendship, redemption, and the idea that maybe everything in life happens for a reason.
The book touches on the supernatural, whilst researching the novel, did you discover anything which surprised you?
My research for Out of the Darkness was filled with surprising discoveries. From the sheer number, and mix, of people I saw attend demonstrations of clairvoyance, to some remarkable messages from 'the other side'. I, personally, was given some very accurate and precise messages from mediums, containing information which nobody else could have known. I was left gobsmacked on several occasions.
What do you hope readers will take away from Out of the Darkness?
My hope is that Out of the Darkness will encourage readers to consider that there might be more to this life than meets the eye. I have received many messages from readers who have lost loved ones, telling me that the book has given them great comfort and hope, and I could not wish for a greater accolade.
What's next? Well, the reaction to Out of the Darkness has been overwhelmingly positive, so I would love to work with a mainstream publisher, to give the book greater exposure. I do have plans for my second novel, but in the meantime, many people have said that they think Out of the Darkness would make a great movie, so who knows...?!
About the Author
Visit her website
Find her on Facebook
Follow on Twitter @KatyHogan
Huge thanks to Katy for sharing her thoughts about Out of the Darkness with us.
Jaffa and I wish you continued success with your future writing and look forward to seeing 'what's coming next ...'