The Silence of the Stones by Rebecca Bryn

Available for kindle and in paperback

Alana, daughter of dysfunctional parents, is determined to live life her way, whatever the cost. Left a cottage in Pembrokeshire, by an estranged aunt, she sets out on a new life alone and causes ripples that spread to encompass the whole village. A thirty-year-old crime and a conspiracy of silence threaten everything Alana holds dear. The truth, when she discovers it, blows her world apart.

What makes us who we are has always fascinated me: parentage, relationships, upbringing, the small things that happen to us that set us on a new path, and the huge traumas that affect how we view the world. This fascination gave me my main character, Alana. I made her flawed: an artist and sculptor, as I know something about these subjects.

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann, and a television report about Ian Bradley and Myra Hindley, made me wonder how parents cope with such a loss and the suspicion it must throw on them, how it affects them and their relationships: living under such circumstances must be truly horrendous. It’s this tragedy of loss, suspicion and false accusation that inspire and underpin the plot.

My second character, eccentric Rhiannon, grew from the mystical nature of the moorlands where I live. The stone circles, the cromlechs, and the Celtic crosses carved with runes and Ogham writing intrigue me. I researched runes, and rune casting, and even began casting runes myself to see how Rhiannon would interpret them. The results were spooky and drove the plot to unexpected places. Is there really something in this rune casting, in divination? I shall keep an open mind. Certainly, I have found a lost wedding ring and water pipes by holding bent rods and thinking about the object for which I am looking. I think everyone has this ability: maybe it’s part of the ninety-percent of our brain we don’t use.

My research has given me insights and opened my mind to new ideas. Readers have said they can identify with Alana and her relationship with her parents, and have thanked me for sharing her with them. I think, perhaps, she is me had I been more courageous and had less conscience.

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