I’m delighted to be part of the launch celebrations of Leigh Russell’s novel Journey to Death which was published by Thomas & Mercer on 3rd March 2016. Journey to Death is available on Amazon UK and Amazon US in both e-book and paperback. Leigh has kindly told me all about the inspiration for Journey to Death.
Lucy Hall arrives in the Seychelles determined to leave her worries behind. The tropical paradise looks sun-soaked and picture-perfect—but as Lucy soon discovers, appearances can be very deceptive. A deadly secret lurks in the island’s history, buried deep but not forgotten. And it is about to come to light.
As black clouds begin to gather over what promised to be a relaxing family break, Lucy realises that her father stands in the eye of the coming storm. A shadow from his past is threatening to destroy all that he holds dear—including the lives of his loved ones.
A dark truth is about to explode into their lives, and that truth is going to hit them right between the eyes.
The Inspiration for Journey to Death
A Guest Post by Leigh Russell
The story of Journey to Death was inspired by a first hand account I was given of a political coup in the Seychelles in the late 1970s. Interested in the impact of politics on ordinary people, I invented the story of a love affair between two people from different cultures, torn apart by circumstances.
For a fiction writer, weaving a real historical incident into my narrative posed an interesting challenge. After the episode in the 1970s, the narrative shifts to the present day. In the idyllic holiday resort of Beau Vallon Bay, the disturbing fall out from affair in the 1970s gradually emerges.
The political unrest that casts a shadow over events in the beginning of the book is only one strand of Journey to Death. The main story focuses on the adventures of Lucy Hall, who arrives in the Seychelles in the present day. I wanted Lucy to be young at the start of the series, to allow her room to develop as a character.
In some ways a retrospective love story, in some ways a novel about life on a tropical island, Journey to Death is mainly a novel about a girl maturing into adulthood, learning to make decisions that impact on others, and taking responsibility for her own life.
Before the manuscript for Journey to Death was ready to go to my editor, I felt I owed it to my readers to check that my descriptions of the location were accurate. In asking readers to suspend their disbelief, authors have to do their best to create a world that seems authentic. So I packed my bags and flew off to the Seychelles.
Although the research trip was hard work, it was also wonderful; I was not prepared for the beauty of the islands. It would be hard not to feel inspired by the beauty of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean as ‘grey clouds suddenly flared with orange light, and the sea shimmered pink and golden beneath the setting sun.’
Many different things influenced my writing of Journey to Death: historical events, real and imaginary people, and places. All of these contributed to the novel and each, in their different way, add a different layer to the narrative.
About Leigh Russell
Internationally bestselling author Leigh Russell is published in English, and in translation throughout Europe. Her Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson titles have appeared on many bestseller lists, including #1 on kindle. Leigh’s work has been nominated for several major awards, including the CWA New Blood Dagger and CWA Dagger in the Library, and her Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson series are currently in development for television with Avalon Television Ltd.
Journey to Death is the first title in her Lucy Hall series published by Thomas and Mercer.
There’s lots more to find out about Leigh with these other bloggers too: