Daily contact with parents and their newborns was the backbone of my professional career and I was in Spain during 2011 when the media started to report stories of thousands of stolen babies spanning a period of many years of the 1900s. My curiosity was piqued. How could so many babies disappear, and why? What happened to the mothers afterwards? Why didn’t the communities react and why did no one speak of this before? How did the parents cope?
I explored the theme of baby trafficking in my first development of the novel when I took part in the NaNo Challenge of 2011 – read more about this here http://nanowrimo.org. These early ideas were refined during the first Faber Academy Writing a Novel On-line course when I made important decisions about the main characters, the viewpoint and the structure.
I wanted to tell a story that encouraged the reader to turn the page. The suspense/thriller genre is a dynamic format through which I was able to invent a plot line full of action whilst portraying some of the emotional issues for my hero, Mercedes. It took me three years to complete the novel and four years to submit it for publishing.
I am not able to comprehend the subtleties of life within that Spanish family and community even though my family and I have years of experience of life in different regions of Spain. I drew on the insights of friends and family who are Spanish born or worked in Spanish communities during the research for my novel but have taken liberties in my portrayal of the working and home life of my characters to create my plot.