Welcome to Day 19 of #MysteryNovember
Today our guest is Alison Layland and her book Someone Else’s Conflict
‘The boy looks up and sees the foreigner’s rifle aimed at him. Why is this man here? This is not his conflict, it is not the boy’s… it is hell.’
Jay has been home for a long time, but the ghosts of Yugoslavia are still with him as he busks his way round the country. Marilyn is fresh out of a controlling relationship and desperate to reassert her independence. The last thing she needs is to fall for an itinerant storyteller who has a strange relationship with the truth. And then the police call on her. When the past catches up with the present and stories become reality, Jay and Marilyn must decide who to believe and who to betray.
Where is your home town?
The easy answer is Bradford, West Yorkshire. I lived in and around the city from age 5 until my early 20s and still think of it as my home town, although my family are actually from Nottinghamshire and I was born in Newark. I have lived most of my married life elsewhere in the UK – for the last 18 years in rural Wales – but I returned to Yorkshire for the setting of my debut novel.
What do you like about writing in the mystery genre?
I love the fact that it gives me the opportunity to explore my characters, their backstories and their motivations in depth while involving them in a story that keep readers turning the pages. In Someone Else’s Conflict I particularly enjoyed exploring the conflict in Croatia in the early 1990s following the break-up of Yugoslavia, and the way war can have lasting, devastating effects through to the present.
What sub-genre of mystery does your book fit?
I’d say it’s mainly crime/thriller involving a strong love story and past mistakes committed during war time coming back to haunt the present.
Where is your book set?
The present-day action moves from the Yorkshire Dales to the streets of Bradford and Keighley, with flashbacks to the war in 1990s Dalmatia, southern Croatia.
Can you introduce us to the main characters?
Jay Spinney is a busker and storyteller who uses rootlessness, outward cheerfulness and stories to hide the guilt of his past in the 1990s post-Yugoslavian conflict. Marilyn is an artist and potter trying to assert her independence after the break-up of a relationship with a controlling man. When they meet and are attracted to one another, Jay realises he has to try and come to terms with his past in order to be honest with her. When Vinko – a troubled teenage economic migrant and himself an indirect victim of the conflict – enters their lives, stories become reality and the past is forcefully brought into contact with the present, with drastic consequences on their lives.
Where can readers find out more about you and your writing?
My website is at www.alayland.uk
and I am on Twitter: @AlisonLayland,
and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AlisonLaylandAuthor).
You can also find me among the Prime Writers www.theprimewriters.com .
Where can readers find your book?
international via http://authl.it/B00K9W416I;
in the UK, direct from the publisher’s website http://www.honno.co.uk/dangos.php?ISBN=9781909983120