In the May issue of Writers Forum, I have interviewed Emma Claire Sweeney about how the research for her novel Owl Song at Dawn led to a PhD in autism and learning disabilities.
Owl Song is published by Legend Press and is a tribute to Emma’s autistic sister Lou. As well as her extensive research into the history of learning disabilities, Emma talks about how the path of her character, Maeve Malone and the fictitious Sea View Lodge, follows a similar trajectory to the rise, fall and rise again of the Midland Hotel in Morcombe.
Maeve Maloney is a force to be reckoned with. Despite nearing eighty, she keeps Sea View Lodge just as her parents did during Morecambe’s 1950s heyday. But now only her employees and regular guests recognise the tenderness and heartbreak hidden beneath her spikiness. Until, that is, Vincent shows up.
Vincent is the last person Maeve wants to see. He is the only man alive to have known her twin sister, Edie. The nightingale to Maeve’s crow, the dawn to Maeve’s dusk, Edie would have set her sights on the stage – all things being equal. But, from birth, things never were.
If only Maeve could confront the secret past she shares with Vincent, she might finally see what it means to love and be loved: a lesson that her exuberant yet inexplicable twin may have been trying to teach her all along.
Owl Song at Dawn will be released on July 1st, 2016 and is available for pre-order now.