Megan Mayfair’s debut, The Things We Leave Unsaid, releases on August 22. Welcome, Megan!
Author Name: Megan Mayfair
Book Title: The Things We Leave Unsaid
Book Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: August 22, 2018
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
How would you describe your book, Megan?
The Things We Leave Unsaid looks at the lives of two women, whose lives and dreams have been shaped by their families, and specifically, the things that weren’t said. But should have been.
What sparked the idea for The Things We Left Unsaid?
I’m always fascinated by family dynamics and how our upbringing may shape what we want out of life – perhaps to replicate what we experienced or to ‘break the mould’ and seek a new sort of life for ourselves. In The Things We Leave Unsaid, we see two women, Clare and Tessa, whose views on relationships, career and children are very much shaped by what they had, or didn’t have, growing up.
Family history has always fascinated me too – I completed a lot of my own family tree a few years back and found the process amazing. I didn’t find myself with a mystery as Clare finds herself in, but it was something I was interested to write about.
How long did it take for you to write the book? Did you do have to do any research?
I had a couple of ideas bouncing around for The Things We Leave Unsaid in 2016 – specifically Clare’s storyline of trying to find her mother’s birth certificate and the mystery of her mother’s family. Tessa was a full-formed character in my mind and I was desperate to start telling her story. Her and Clare are such different characters but I saw a friendship form between them in my mind very early on and I wanted to weave their lives together.
I really got stuck into writing more of the piece when I was on maternity leave in early 2017 and completed the manuscript around September 2017.
In terms of research, while I used some of my own experiences in trying to research family history, but needed to find out more information about the exact records Clare needs to find as she tracks her family.
Tessa runs a café and is a total coffee snob. Drinking coffee (and having a sneaky piece of cake) in some of my favourite haunts was good research but I also took a barista course – I wanted to get the processes right.
How did you celebrate when you learned The Things We Left Unsaid was going to be published?
There was definitely a bottle of champagne involved.
If you were speaking to someone who hasn’t read your writing before, why should they want to read your book?
Anyone who loves a good story, a giggle, a bit of a cry, a bit of romance and ultimately, a positive ending would enjoy The Things We Leave Unsaid. It’s effectively ‘life lit’ in that, I hope, readers run the gauntlet of emotions that we do in our lives – there are moments of joy, of sadness and hope for what the future will hold.
What’s one piece of advice you would offer your younger writer self?
I wrote as a child and as a teenager and loved it. By my 20s, I focused on other things – University, career, marriage, and creative writing was pushed into the background.
I’ve only come back to it in the past few years so I would definitely tell my 20-something writer self to keep it up.
Until a couple of years ago, I had also some bizarre thought that if I were to ever write a book, I would need to have it all planned out and perfect in my mind before I actually wrote it. I’d tell myself to just write – you can always edit it later.
Where can readers find you (website, blog, social media, etc.)?
Thank you, Megan! The Things We Left Unsaid is available for pre-order NOW.
Is it the things we don’t say that haunt us the most?
Clare is anxious to start a family with adoring husband, Pete. When she takes on the seemingly simple task of obtaining her late mother’s birth certificate, she finds herself in a family history search that will challenge everything she thought she knew about her life.
Scarred by her parents’ ill-fated marriage, Tessa lives by three rules – dating unavailable men, building her café into a food empire, and avoiding her father. However, when her carefully planned life is thrown into chaos, Tessa is forced to decide which of these rules she’s willing to break.
As Clare and Tessa’s paths cross and their friendship grows, can they both finally unlock their family secrets in order to realise their futures?
Megan Mayfair is an Australian writer who writes women’s fiction with a dash of family intrigue, a sprinkling of humour and a spoonful of romance. And a lot of heart.
Megan lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children, loves a good cup of coffee and believes you can never have too many scarves.
Her debut novel, The Things We Leave Unsaid, is published by Crooked Cat Books. Her second novel, Tangled Vines, and third novel, The Problem With Perfect, will also be published by Crooked Cat Books.