I Will Keep Her by Georgina Maynard is out now with The Conrad Press. Thriller meets romance, it tells the story of a frantic search for a kidnapped teenager. Georgina worked on the novel with BPA editor Oliver James, and we’re delighted that it is now out in the world.
Where did you find the initial inspiration for the novel?
On a flight from the UK to Florence when I was going to work with a sculpture studio together with my granddaughter and her friend. The responsibility of looking after two teenagers in a big city – what could possibly go wrong?!
How did receiving editorial feedback before submissions affect your approach to the manuscript?
It made all the difference. Ollie James was a brilliant critic and support and very long suffering. He wanted me to be the best that I could be and very nicely bullied me into to it.
The lockdowns seemed to make things easier and harder for writers at the same time. What was your experience?
I spent the majority of my lockdown in my house in France on my own. It was an excellent time to concentrate on both writing and painting. It was very cathartic.
I Will Keep Her is described as a ‘thrilling, action-packed and romantic adventure’. Did you have a clear idea of genre when you started writing and were there challenges in pitching a novel that has elements of a thriller and a romance?
Yes, there are and were challenges. I see the novel more as an adventure suitable for a wide range of readers. The romance is quite understated but the slant of younger man and older woman, both of whom have lost something important in their lives, gives it more depth and meaning, I hope.
What has surprised you about the experience of publishing your debut novel?
In a funny way it is a bit of an anti-climax – after working on something for about six years it is, perhaps, somewhat a loss of ownership, from the novel just being yours to belonging to anyone who chooses to buy it.
Working on anything new?
Yes, this time a novel involving a lost painting which features in dispute with a family inheritance. The book has the same principal characters as the first.
Georgina Maynard was brought up in Leicestershire
where her love of art and antiques developed at an early
age. She became an art correspondent and columnist
for various national and international magazines and
ran a successful antiques business for many years. More
recently she has become a professional portrait and