I’m so pleased to be part of the paperback launch celebrations for Consequence of Love by Sandra Howard.
Published by Simon and Schuster, Consequence of Love is available for purchase in e-book, hardback and now paperback through the links here.
The Consequence of Love
Perfect reading for fans of Joanna Trollope and Elizabeth Buchan, this is a novel of lost loves, deceits and second chances.
Nattie is now happily married to Hugo and they have two beautiful children, but no one knows that her heart has never truly been hers to give.
The love of her life was lost to her years ago, or so she thought. Now Ahmed is back, and although he knows Nattie is married, he just can’t stop himself from making contact.
Torn between Ahmed and her family, Nattie ends up meeting him in secret. But will her lies cause more trouble than the truth?
An Interview with Sandra Howard
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Sandra. Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions on my blog about your writing and The Consequence of Love in particular. Firstly, please could you tell me a little about yourself?
Thanks for having me, Linda! I’m a bit shy to say much about myself… hardly in my first flush as in my seventies now with five grandchildren. Two of the youngest were actually the inspiration for the children in The Consequence of Love. I was a photographic fashion model back in the 60’s which was an amazing time and my last book, Tell the Girl, set largely in that decade, is the only one of my books to be based personal experiences. Politics came into my life when my husband became an MP, though we don’t always share the same views!
(I bet that makes for a lively household!)
You’ve had a very varied life, being a model, journalist and married to a politician. How far do your own experiences influence your writing?
I think any writer draws on their experiences to some degree. I was told that it is good to have as your backdrop something you know a little more about than many others The characters are often a sort of kaleidoscope of people who have influenced you or you’ve loved, disliked or admired.
Why do you write?
It’s a passion. I enjoy every minute, the characters become part of the family and lead me just where they want to go.
Which aspects of your writing do you find easiest and most difficult?
It’s impossibly hard to start a new chapter quickly and move on. I like to get the first page just right, but it’s a mistake – much better to get on and alter it as necessary when the chapter is complete. I actually find the conversation between people in love the best and easiest bit of writing! You sort of know what they’re thinking and feeling.
What are your writing routines and where do you do most of your writing?
I write anywhere, whenever I can but my head is clearest in the mornings and sometimes late evening too – I keep pencil and paper by my bedside in case an idea comes to me in the night (though it’s a struggle to wake up enough to turn on the light and write it down!)
Without spoiling the plot, please could you tell us a bit about The Consequence of Love?
The story really revolves around the dilemmas of the heart that people face and the sacrifices that sometimes have to be made. Nattie, the girl in the story, is deeply fond of her husband whom she has helped through an earlier drug addiction; she has two small children, a good job, but she secretly pines for the man to whom her heart truly belongs. Even seven years on, not knowing where he is or whether he’s even still alive, she cannot get him out of her mind. And then one day he makes contact…
Ahmed is a character from a previous book. How did he come to feature in The Consequence of Love?
The book was A Matter of Loyalty (you can read the first chapter at the end of the paperback of The Consequence of Love) After a bomb went off in a London cinema foyer Ahmed, a reporter on a national newspaper then and who had fallen in love with Nattie, went undercover trying to foil threats of a further ‘dirty’ bomb. He saved the day, became a hero, but had to leave the country for his own safety. I really wanted to know what had happened to him – as did a number of readers – so The Consequence of Love is the story of his return to find Nattie, the girl he still loves…
Many of your novels have deception in various forms as a theme and in The Consequence of Love Nattie has a seemingly normal life but soon becomes embroiled in a web of lies. How far do you think we all have the potential to behave in similar ways?
I’m afraid that falling passionately in love is all consuming and however good and kind a person you are it is all too easy to become embroiled while trying to avoid the hurt your actions would cause. Many people have said they have been there…
The Consequence of Love has a cover that suggests a woman looking for something out of reach. How did that image come about and what were you hoping to convey (without spoiling the plot please!)?
The publishers chose it and I bow to their imagery…
If you could choose to be a character from The Consequence of Love, who would you be and why?
Possibly Nattie’s mother and I’d try to do things a little differently!
If The Consequence of Love became a film, who would you like to play Nattie and why would you choose them?
Natalie Portman or Keira Knightly perhaps, I see Nattie as delicate-looking and both those could play the role sensitively I believe.
When you’re not writing, what do you like to read?
Literary fiction, biographies sometimes, book clubs are great for widening the scope.
So, if you had 15 words to persuade a reader that The Consequences of Love should be their next read, what would you say?
It is a story of the dilemmas of the heart and pulls of loyalty.
Thank you so much, Sandra, for your time in answering my questions.
About Sandra Howard
in the l960s, Sandra Howard was one of the UK’s leading fashion models. Sandra has quickly established herself as a highly successful commercial novelist. Married to the former leader of the Conservative Party, Michael Howard, Sandra lives in London and in Kent.
Sandra is actively involved with two national charities, Addaction, a charity helping people to fight drug and alcohol addiction, and as a vice president of Youth Epilepsy. Sandra also supports First Story, a charity that provides funds to enable well-known writers to hold creative writing classes in inner city schools.
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