Introducing… Hannah Fielding
Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: writing full time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean.
To date, Hannah has published four passionate, evocative novels: Burning Embers, a ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’, set in Kenya; the award-winning Echoes of Love, ‘an epic love story that is beautifully told’, set in Italy; and books 1 and 2 of the Andalusian Nights trilogy, set in sultry Spain, entitled Indiscretion and Masquerade. She is currently working on her fifth book, Legacy, which will publish this spring.
A touch of destiny
‘Thus does Fate cast her thunderbolts into our lives, letting them fall with a feather-like touch, dulling our senses to the storm they would cause should we realise their devastating powers.’
This line is from the beginning of my novel The Echoes of Love, and it conveys a common thread in my writing: the foreshadowing of future events, of the characters’ destiny.
In my first novel, Burning Embers, an old African lady embodies this spirit, giving superstitious warnings to the heroine Coral based on native voodoo practices. In The Echoes of Love, the heroine Venetia meets a wise Chineseman, Ping Lü, who tells her fortune. He says, ‘If he is the one for you, if your souls have recognised and chosen each other, then there is no limit to the works of Fate to bring you together.’ Venetia is a sceptic, but Paolo, the man with whom she is falling in love, is not. He tells her of maktoub, which means ‘written’, an old Arab belief that from the day you are born, the name of your sweetheart is invisibly engraved on your forehead. ‘Maybe that explains the flicker of recognition I felt the day we met,’ he says.
In my subsequent books, Indiscretion and Masquerade of the Andalusian Nights trilogy, it is the old, cunning gypsy Paquita who tells fortunes, in the following manner:
‘Two paths … I see two paths,’ she went on in her deep, threatening voice. ‘The first is difficult and tortuous, strewn with thorns and tears, but at the end of it you will find the paradise which all young women dream of. … The second is straight and easy, strewn with rose petals and pearls. A cruel deception … a castle built of sand. … Careful, my beauty,’ she rasped as she drew closer to Alexandra, waving a withered finger at her, ‘do not delude yourself, do not be deceived, the devil is cunning!’
Turning to Salvador, her face clouded. ‘As for you, my fine Señor with the sad face, wearing the tragic mask of death,’ she hissed, clutching at his arm and digging her claws tightly into him, ‘go, go in peace, and may God help you. Alas, each one of us has a destiny to follow, and Paquita can do nothing for you today: the die has been cast already!’
Like Venetia, the heroines of Indiscretion (Alexandra) and Masquerade (Luz) are not easily persuaded that ‘the die has been cast’. They are strong, intelligent woman who want to feel in control of their lives and futures. And yet, as the stories unfold, each comes to see the wisdom in surrendering just a little control to something greater than themselves. For Venetia, that belief in fate opens her heart that has been closed from heartbreak: ‘She had converted to its power; the only thing she needed to do now was to believe in her lucky star.’ There is something quite beautiful in that surrender, I think; something honest – and that is why each of my books incorporates just a touch of destiny. As Nietzsche said, ‘Amor Fati – “Love Your Fate”, which is in fact your life.’
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***Images and text were provided by the author. Moonlightreader is not responsible for this giveaway.***