Thursday Themes – Katharine Johnson

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I’m delighted to be able to welcome Katharine Johnson to my blog today to start off the Thursday Themes series.

‘Secrets’ by Katharine Johnson

Tomorrow is publication Day for my novel The Secret.

It will come as no surprise that the key theme of this book is secrets!

How well do you really know anyone? How far can you trust the person you live with? Is it ever possible to keep a secret if someone else knows about it? Can you really say you love someone if you’re keeping them in the dark and accepting their love on false pretences?

These are all questions raised by the book.

Because everyone’s hiding something in the tiny Tuscan village of Santa Zita.

In my book The Silence which was published last year, some deaths at Villa Leonida had been covered up for 25 years because the people who knew about them had their own reasons for staying silent.

In The Secret Villa Leonida is for sale and talk has started up again about the bodies that were found there last year. Will this be the time that one discovery leads to another and Sonia’s secret which she’s kept since the night of the murders claws its way to the surface?

If only people would forget about it and move on. But someone else is determined to poke his nose into the past. Carlo, a retired journalist who’s returned to Santa Zita to re-open the village restaurant and breathe new life into the village, has one last story he’s determined to investigate – one that he never dared ask about as a child: why did Sonia’s mother betray the village during the war, bringing about the atrocity that ripped the heart out of the little community? And why did his own mother, who in all these years has never admitted to having been Martina’s best friend, do nothing to stop her?

Santa Zita’s an entirely fictional place but has elements of lots of little Tuscan mountain villages I know and some of the events there are inspired by real events in the area.

I love house-of-secrets stories and I felt that Tuscany would be the perfect location for this. I had the idea of creating a series of stories with the house being the connecting factor, harbouring secrets from different generations who pass through it.

I love the multi-layered history of these little mountain villages that are hidden by cloud for much of the year and trees at other times. In the winter they’re cut off by snow and even in summer the twisting roads and sheer precipices make them hazardous to reach.

Some of them have been abandoned and are being reclaimed by nature.

Their remoteness and the fast-growing vegetation would make it easy to conceal a crime from the outside world and for the residents to guard a secret for many years within the walls.

But things change.

A new generation of house buyers is looking for places to buy and restore that don’t come with the Chiantishire price tag – which is how old secrets could be unearthed.

Launch party invite

To find out more drop into my Online Launch Party tomorrow! There will be awesome visiting authors and prizes including this one but I can’t tell you any more – it’s a secret!

To come to the party just click here and select Going.


You can find out more about The Secret or buy the book here http://mybook.to/thesecretjohnson


Website/blog https://katyjohnsonblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Katharinejohnsonauthor/

Twitter https://twitter.com/@kjohnsonwrites

5 thoughts on “Thursday Themes – Katharine Johnson”

  1. Thanks so much Jo for letting me take part in this series – can’t wait to see what themes other writers have chosen and find out more about them x

  2. Reblogged this on Katy's Writing Coffee Shop and commented:
    With Publication Day for The Secret coming up tomorrow, I’m so thrilled to be able to share my thoughts on secrets in the first of Jo Fenton’s brilliant new blog series where authors talk about the main theme in their books

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