Author Interview With Ailish Sinclair

Please introduce yourself and your book(s)

I write historical fiction set mainly in the part of Scotland where I live: Aberdeenshire. It centres around little known historical events such as a witchcraft panic and the mass kidnapping of children and young people. All my books include romantic relationships and strong friendships.

Tell us about the characters and interpersonal relationships in your stories

In THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, Isobell, a gentlewoman masquerading as a kitchen maid, falls in love with the Laird, who is the owner of the castle and her employer. Their relationship is gentle and caring, yet ultimately passionate. The other strong relationships in the book involve Bessie, the housekeeper, and Christen, the mother of the Laird’s late wife. Both these women become like mothers to Isobell whose own mother died in childbirth.

In FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE, Elizabeth is very much alone at the beginning of the book, deserted by both parents, and longing for adventure and love. Shocked and angered as she is to be kidnapped and transported to America as an indentured servant, she soon forms some very firm friendships with the other young people she meets. Too late, she realises one of these friendships may actually have been ‘true love’ and determines to find the young man and return home to Scotland with him. But, she learns, love, true or otherwise, is rarely as straightforward as that.

What lessons could readers learn about real-world interpersonal relationships from your novel(s)?

Lack of communication can lead to truly terrible things. Misunderstandings, unspoken hurts and gossip all need to be brought out into open discourse for a relationship to be healthy or even continue at all. My characters have a LOT of misunderstandings!

What real-life interpersonal relationship experiences, observations or insights have influenced your writing?

I had various abusive encounters and relationships when very young. These have given me an understanding of the effects of both psychological and physical abuse. I observed the behavior of abusers closely and am now able to write about it in a way that I hope might help others avoid or step away from such horrors.

Fortunately I have happy and loving relationships with my husband and children so I can write about the good stuff too!

Are there any interpersonal relationship themes or topics you want to cover in future releases?

My next historical novel explores the relationship between two chosen sisters who flee abuse together as young children. They are as close as two people can be and I am still working on conveying that closeness and the deep understanding that exists between these young women as they negotiate their own romantic liaisons with men, both approved and unapproved by their community, and as their Bronze Age society marches into war.


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