Captivating Minds and Emotions: Q&A with Kate Furnivall about The Guardian of Lies

Captivating Minds and Emotions: Q&A with Kate Furnivall about The Guardian of Lies

About the Author

Kate Furnivall is the author of eight novels, including the international bestseller The Russian Concubine. She lives in Devon. You can read more about Kate and her books on her website.

Buy a copy of The Guardian of Lies here // Read our review of The Guardian of Lies here

Your latest book, The Guardian of Lies, is described as a story of love, danger, courage and betrayal, set in the South of France in 1953. Can you tell us a bit more about the book?

It is the story of a young French woman, Eloïse Caussade, who tries to track down the Soviet agent who attempted to murder her brother in a car crash in Paris. But nothing is as it seems, so she leaves Paris to return to her father’s bull farm where her brother is recuperating from his injuries.

There she finds herself trapped between two worlds that are on a collision course. One is the quiet rural life that is the world she believes she has outgrown and to which her childhood friend Léon still belongs. The other is the tense and dangerous existence of those caught up in the Cold War between America and Soviet Russia, a world in which lies, spies and murder entwine to drag Eloïse into their dark web. She cannot ignore the blood in the barn or the fire in her father’s stables. Her family is being targeted and she has to find the killer. But how do you catch hold of a shadow that has no name?

What inspired the idea behind this novel?

There were a number of triggers for the ideas that drive this book, but at its heart lies the bond between a brother and sister. My own older brother passed away several years ago but I still think of him daily, and it is this brother-sister relationship that kept intruding into my mind each time I picked up my pen to write. Sadly my relationship with him became somewhat fraught towards the end and I could feel the pain of that emotional wound bleed into my words on the page as I was writing this novel. The apparent withdrawal of affection by André caused his sister Eloïse’s intense distress, though in my story their sibling love for each other was ultimately too bone-deep to deny.

But the other major inspiration for The Guardian of Lies was my terror at what I see happening in the world today. We are in the grip of another Cold War between world powers. The fingers of seeming psychopaths hover dangerously close to nuclear buttons. The threat is ever present. Right in front of us. So I wanted to take a look back to a time in 1953 when the world was on the brink of a nuclear war between Soviet Russia and America, when both countries were frantically trying to amass information on each other’s military secrets and nuclear developments. Spies and counter-spies lurked in every walk of life, in government, industry, laboratories and education. They were everywhere.

This atmosphere of suspicion, lies and fear only intensified when the USA decided to construct a series of nuclear air bases in France to create a formidable line of defence/attack. This decision divided the people of France. Some were in support of it while others condemned it as a suicidal move. This struck me as a fascinating and revealing moment of brinkmanship that we should be looking back at and learning from today. It is into this tense situation that André and Eloïse Caussade step in The Guardian of Lies. Watch out for explosions in every sense.

What do you hope the reader will take away from this book?

I always hope my readers will take away a sense of having lived another life. One that has captivated both their minds and their emotions, and that during their time there they learned something new that has made them think differently about certain subjects. One that makes them feel it was time well spent. At the end of reading The Guardian of Lies I hope readers will sit back, ponder on what they’ve read and recognise that it is time to look closer at those into whose hands we place immense power. To think again. And to demand a safer world for us all to live in.

What’s your daily writing routine like and what are you working on at the moment?

I am an early bird. My mind pays no heed to my desire to sleep late and kick-starts into action between 5am and 6am. I do some of my most prolific work in those first few hours of the day while my brain is sharp. It grows blunter as each hour passes until by lunch time I abandon all hope and take to tramping the beach which is a few minutes walk away.

In the afternoons I’m not good. My mind is a blank sheet. So I edit what I’ve written in the morning, scurry around doing chores and dip in and out of various research books, preparing for the next day’s scenes. At about 5pm I get in another intense burst of writing – I write by hand with a pen – before collapsing with a glass of wine in hand. It is then that I discover I have a husband in the house and a box-set to watch or music to relax to. Overnight all kinds of magic goes on inside my head and the ideas and words return at 5am the next morning. But the fear is always there – what if the words don’t turn up? It is a writer’s eternal nightmare.

What next? I am very excited about the new book that is still in the process of taking shape in my mind. But I’ll whisper that it is set in Berlin in 1948-9 and I see it as a powerful love story set against the heroic background of the Berlin Airlift. A story about making a life and death choice. About its consequences. About the devastation and the hope burning like a flame in a darkened city. I can’t wait to pick up my pen.

Related Articles

I'm Fascinated by Family History: Q&A with The Girl in the Painting Author, Tea Cooper

News | Author Related

17 December 2019

I'm Fascinated by Family History: Q&A with The Girl in the Painting Author, Tea Cooper

    Reading is my Absolute Favourite Thing: Q&A with The Lost Summers of Driftwood Author, Vanessa McCausland

    News | Author Related

    16 December 2019

    Reading is my Absolute Favourite Thing: Q&A with The Lost Summers of Driftwood Author, Vanessa McCausland

      Every Writer has their Own Way of Approaching Things: Q&A with The Strangers We Know Author, Pip Drysdale

      News | Author Related

      16 December 2019

      Every Writer has their Own Way of Approaching Things: Q&A with The Strangers We Know Author, Pip Drysdale

        I Only Work About 10 Hours a Week: Q&A With Shining Year Workbooks Creator, Leonie Dawson

        News | Author Related

        16 December 2019

        I Only Work About 10 Hours a Week: Q&A With Shining Year Workbooks Creator, Leonie Dawson

          Music and Writing are Entwined: Q&A with Darkness for Light Author, Emma Viskic

          News | Author Related

          12 December 2019

          Music and Writing are Entwined: Q&A with Darkness for Light Author, Emma Viskic

            I Don't Wait For Inspiration: Q&A with Garry Disher, Author of Peace

            News | Author Related

            5 December 2019

            I Don't Wait For Inspiration: Q&A with Garry Disher, Author of Peace

              Readers will Love the Remote Tasmanian Setting: Q&A with The Great Divide Author, L.J.M. Owen

              News | Author Related

              5 December 2019

              Readers will Love the Remote Tasmanian Setting: Q&A with The Great Divide Author, L.J.M. Owen

                My Dog Listens to me Plotting: Q&A with The Poppy Wife Author, Caroline Scott

                News | Author Related

                3 December 2019

                My Dog Listens to me Plotting: Q&A with The Poppy Wife Author, Caroline Scott

                  It Would be my Worst Nightmare: Q&A with Dani Atkins, Author of A Million Dreams

                  News | Author Related

                  28 November 2019

                  It Would be my Worst Nightmare: Q&A with Dani Atkins, Author of A Million Dreams

                    A Celebration of Resilience and Empowerment: Q&A With The Changing Room Author Christine Sykes

                    News | Author Related

                    28 November 2019

                    A Celebration of Resilience and Empowerment: Q&A With The Changing Room Author Christine Sykes

                      Synopsis

                      Discover a brilliant story of love, danger, courage and betrayal, from the internationally bestselling author of The Survivors.1953, the South of France. The fragile peace between the West and Soviet Russia hangs on a knife edge. And one family has been torn apart by secrets and conflicting allegiances.Eloïse Caussade is a courageous young Frenchwoman, raised on a bull farm near Arles in the Camargue. She idolises her older brother, André, and when he leaves to become an Intelligence Officer working for the CIA in Paris to help protect France, she soon follows him. Having exchanged the strict confines of her father's farm for a life of freedom in Paris, her world comes alive.But everything changes when André is injured - a direct result of Eloise's actions. Unable to work, André returns to his father’s farm, but Eloïse’s sense of guilt and responsibility for his injuries sets her on the trail of the person who attempted to kill him.Eloïse finds her hometown in a state of unrest and conflict. Those who are angry at the construction of the American airbase nearby, with its lethal nuclear armaments, confront those who support it, and anger flares into violence, stirred up by Soviet agents. Throughout all this unrest, Eloïse is still relentlessly hunting down the man who betrayed her brother and his country, and she is learning to look at those she loves and at herself with different eyes. She no longer knows who she can trust. Who is working for Soviet Intelligence and who is not? And what side do her own family lie on?  
                      Kate Furnivall
                      About the author

                      Kate Furnivall

                      Kate Furnivall is the author of eight novels, including the international bestseller The Russian Concubine. She has travelled widely, giving her an insight into how different cultures function which has proved invaluable when writing her novels.

                      Books by Kate Furnivall

                      COMMENTS

                      Leave a Reply

                      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *