Can you tell us something about your latest novel, ‘Necessary Lies’?
Necessary Lies is the story of Jane, a young, inexperienced social worker and her fifteen-year-old client Ivy, who lives in poverty on a tobacco farm. When Jane learns she's required to refer Ivy for an involuntary sterilization procedure, she has to find a way to buck the system.
Where did you find the inspiration for the plotline of ‘Necessary Lies’?
The sterilization program really existed in North Carolina from the '20s to the '70s. Many states in America had such a program, designed to prevent mentally ill, mentally retarded and epileptic people from reproducing, but North Carolina was the only state that allowed social workers to refer their clients for the procedure.
In your books you like to focus on complex relationships between people. Which relationship between two characters in this novel did you most enjoy writing about and why?
Oh, I loved writing about the blossoming relationship between Jane and Ivy. Although they come from very different backgrounds--Jane had a comfortable life in the city, while Ivy is dirt poor--they connect as young women who've both suffered tragedy in their lives. I was very touched by their relationship.
Is there a specific reason why you decided to set this novel in the 1960’s?
I chose 1960 because the sterilization program was still active then and I wanted to illustrate how relatively recently "we" allowed such unethical policies to exist.
You’ve written 22 novels up to this day which have been translated into numerous languages. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
I have a few tips, based on the mistakes I see aspiring authors make. First, learn to write. If you don't know how to string two sentences together in a way that engages, take a class. Find a group of writers with whom you can share your work and give and get feedback. And finally, write even if you don't feel like it. You can make it pretty tomorrow, but you must get it down on paper today.
Last but not least: if you had to describe ‘Necessary Lies’ in just three words, which words would you pick?
Heartfelt. Shocking. Hopeful.
** GIVEAWAY of Diane Chamberlain's 'Necessary Lies' ***
I am very pleased to let you all know PanMacmillan has kindly provided me with 3 copies of 'Necessary Lies' to give away to some lucky readers! Unfortunately, this giveaway is only open to UK & Ireland residents, but I promise an international giveaway will be coming your way soon!
Check out the synopsis of 'Necessary Lies' below:
After losing her parents, fifteen-year-old Ivy Hart is left to care for her grandmother, older sister and nephew as tenants on a small tobacco farm. As she struggles with her grandmother’s aging, her sister’s mental illness and her own epilepsy, she realizes they might need more than she can give.
When Jane Forrester takes a position as Grace County’s newest social worker, she doesn’t realize just how much her help is needed. She quickly becomes emotionally invested in her clients' lives, causing tension with her boss and her new husband. But as Jane is drawn in by the Hart women, she begins to discover the secrets of the small farm—secrets much darker than she would have guessed. Soon, she must decide whether to take drastic action to help them, or risk losing the battle against everything she believes is wrong.
In order to be in with a chance, please comment on this post explaining why you would love a copy of 'Necessary Lies', leaving your name and e-mail address.
This giveaway ends on the 9th of August 2013 at midnight (UK time). Winners will be chosen at random and will be notified the day after. Good luck! :)