Today it's my pleasure to be shining the spotlight on author H.R. Kemp and her debut novel Deadly Secrets which is published today.
A little about me
I live in a beachside suburb of Adelaide, South Australia and enjoy walks along the beach in a range of different weather. I grew up in the country area just outside of Melbourne, Australia. When I was young, my family moved a lot, hence I lived on a horse farm, a dairy farm, a sheep farm and in a small country town, before we finally settled on a small holding growing fruit trees (my favourite was cherries). Holidays were spent picking (and sometimes eating more than picking) cherries for pocket money.
I’ve always scribbled snippets of short stories, poems and random scenes from an early age. I started by writing mysteries for my younger brother’s entertainment. My first degree was a Bachelor of Science majoring in Chemistry which I followed a few years later with a Graduate Diploma of Education. However, making a living and raising a family preoccupied me for many years and the only writing I did was business documents which cramped any creative style.
My working life had the usual casual jobs when younger then I built a long and successful career in the public service which spanned roles as diverse as Management trainer, Team Facilitator, Statistician and Laboratory assistant. Finally, when the family was grown and mostly independent, and my retirement was in sight, I returned to creative writing. I devoured short courses and the ‘how-tos’ started to supplement the ‘what-ifs’ in my head. A plot idea, focused on the politics of the time, grew, and a six-month Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide propelled me forward.
To my delight, I’ve had 3 short stories recently published. ‘A Present of Presence’ in the auspicious anthology ‘When Stars Will Shine’ (Dec 2019) which raises money for the help4heroes charity (UK), and ‘Reunited’ (Jan 2020) and ‘Unforgivable’ (Oct 2019) appeared in the Writers’ and Readers’ Magazine.
The inspiration for Deadly Secrets
The plot for Deadly Secrets arose from the Australian political climate leading up to 2011. Newspaper articles, featuring corporate and political issues, often makes my mind ponder ‘what-if’. Once I had the outline of a plot and the context, the characters took shape. The heroes in this novel are not government agents, spies or professional advocates nor are they gun-toting police officers. They’re everyday people, in ordinary jobs, who become embroiled in a powerful conspiracy. What they choose to do, matters. It’s a story of fighting the odds to do what’s right.
About the Novel
Deadly Secrets – What unspeakable truths lurk beneath the lies?
Can ordinary people thwart a powerful conspiracy?
Shelley Ormond’s life is about to change forever. Her friend, a young refugee, dies suddenly and the federal police have shrouded her case in secrecy. Shelley has never been bold, but she will have to break the rules and jeopardise her safe, public service career to learn the truth.
Her new friend Adrian, a medical researcher, is studying a mystery illness in outback communities. Young children are falling fatally ill. There’s no obvious cause although suspicious mining activity in the area is worth investigating.
Shelley delves deeper and is drawn into a sinister world of police cover-ups, organised crime and corporate greed. If she obeys the law, the powerful can go on breaking it.
The stakes are high, and the treacherous schemers will do anything to keep their deadly secrets. Lives don’t matter, not even hers.
Can she and Adrian expose the plot before more lives are lost?
Will the formidable and ruthless forces behind the conspiracy stop them?
(I’m proud to say early readers gave Deadly Secrets 23, 5-star, and 6, 4-star reviews.)
Amazon USA https://www.amazon.com/s?k=9780648766322
Amazon UK (eBook & paperback) https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=9780648766322
Australia (eBook & Paperback) https://www.amazon.com.au/s?k=9780648766308
Nook, Apple Books and Tolino eBooks: https://books2read.com/u/bzoZVZ
Kobo eBook: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/deadly-secrets-66
My own reading
I grew up in a lonely, isolated, country area and reading provided solace. My primary school teacher introduced me to Enid Blyton and from then on, I devoured the school’s tiny library. My parents would have been horrified to know that I found some discarded Raymond Chandler detective books – totally unsuitable for an 8-9 year old – but I read anything I could get my hands on. I still enjoy reading although my to-be-read pile is now an entire full-length bookcase and I suspect I’m never going to read them all. I am trying though.
My favourite authors at the moment are John Le Carré, Peter Temple, Elliot Perlman, Joanne Harris and Anna Funder.
Once Deadly Secrets is safely out in the world, I’m looking forward to working on my second thriller novel which is at the first draft stage. The beginnings of a third are waiting patiently in the bottom drawer for my attention.
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