Monday 28 March 2022

Trading Secrets

Reviews and feedback are 'gold' for authors, so I was thrilled to receive this email from one of my non-fiction readers.

To test out my fictional skills, she'd ordered a paperback version of my book 'Trading Secrets'. 

None of this juggling with ipad screens, phones, push buttons and the impact of 'blue light' on her ability to get to sleep - she likes to read a 'real' book when tucked up in bed at night:
"Well, I have finished reading 'Trading Secrets' which is a page turner.😊

I was very keen to get to the end to see how you were going to tie Nicola and Tom's stories together, especially as there was a hint, when Tom was taken with how much Thea's eyes were like his own.

I enjoyed the book very much and have to admit I learned a lot about banking culture and finance gurus! I had images of you breaking through the glass ceiling yourself working amongst macho men! I certainly hope you came across some goodies like Tom. 😍

For people who aren't familiar with early colonial history I am sure they will have learned something too. I can see why you had Nicola recounting this history as part of her character development though.

Having a wonderfully strong, successful female (albeit somewhat vulnerable) central to the story was so refreshingly current and yet some of the language was quite oldy-worldly, such as 'old boiler' and reading a 'rag'... but immediately recognisable to an older reader like me.

Thank you! Having discovered the joy and pleasure of reading romance, I will look forward to purchasing your next book."
Her thanks are returned twice over. Page turner is what every author wants to hear! I’m glad she enjoyed spending a few of her precious hours in this specialised area of banking – a world I once inhabited. The actual story has little to do with banking technicalities but its credibility was boosted, I hope, by my own personal experience - such as an evening spent at a gala dinner at Circular Quay in Sydney for an international conference of foreign exchange dealers. 

View of Sydney from McMahons Point
The English traders at the dinner were inclined to be scornful of Australia's convict origins - while the Europeans and Americans were curious - but once it was pointed out that every single structure they could see had been built in the last 200 years - the city high-rise buildings, the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and the harbourside mansions -  they looked suitably impressed. Recalling this occasion as I wrestled with plot development for my novel, I couldn’t resist incorporating a colonial history element into 'Trading Secrets'. Then I wove these iconic Sydney landmarks into the view from McMahons Point, where Tom lives and dreams of Nicola.

'Collaroy' approaches Circular Quay from Manly
Nor could I resist including a scene featuring Sydney's famous Manly ferries. I've been riding on those ferries since my childhood.

This fictional form of writing is such a welcome release from the burden of ‘proving’ everything I write in my non-fiction books.

The language employed in 'Trading Secrets' also suits my ‘target market’ for readers of fiction – I guess I am aiming for Babyboomers and Gen Xers. Despite enjoying lovely times with my four teenage grandchildren, I don’t feel confident that I could convey the language and attitudes of the up-and-coming generations well enough in any book I’m trying to write. Call me old-fashioned, even if I’ve had three husbands!

Speaking of which - yes, some 'goodies' like Tom did exist and probably still do exist in the macho world of international finance. 

And, on another matter - yes, I do have personal family experience of a mistake made by an infertility clinic, but not the one described in this book.

So remember, 'Trading Secrets' is not a true story. 

If you've read it, I'd love your feedback on Amazon or Kobo or wherever you bought your copy, or on the book lovers' website Goodreads.

My blog posts don't follow a regular schedule but I say 'hello' more frequently on my Louisa Valentine page on Facebook. Why not follow me there?

My next book, Still Waters Run Deep, features two young couples struggling with lives not going according to plan. It taps into that powerful sense of longing for something - or someone - we might want badly, but can't have. It can be ordered here.

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