There’s nothing I love more than a story. I come from a family of storytellers, and my Grandma always had a tale to tell – usually about her time as an ambulance driver in the WAAF during WW2.

Author Kerry Barrett

Author Kerry Barrett

Like my Grandma, I’ve become the person who chats to shoppers in the supermarket queue, and hears the life stories of fellow passengers on the bus. I eavesdrop on conversations and itch to join in, and I even lap up my mother-in-law’s tales about people I’ve never met and am never likely to meet.

Nosy, some people might call it. But I prefer curious!

So, I suppose it was inevitable that I became a journalist. As soon as I landed my first role on a local newspaper, I was given the job of writing all the human-interest stories. I covered 100th birthdays, 50th wedding anniversaries, miracle babies, medical marvels, staggering coincidences, tragic deaths – you get the picture. I loved them all!

From the newspaper I moved into health and fitness magazines and wrote more real-life stories, and then on to a telly mag, where I covered the soaps and learned everything there is to know about how to craft a gripping narrative!

While I was working for magazines, I wrote my first novel – a romantic comedy. To my delight it was published – just digitally at first – and I wrote four more in the same series. But then one day, inspired by my love of TV, I started writing about a disgraced soap star called Amy Lavender who takes part in a dancing show to get her career back on track. Then I added another character – an elderly woman called Cora who teaches Amy to dance.

As I wrote Cora’s story about entertaining the troops in the war, and the mystery of what had happened to her GI fiancé in 1945, I realised all those stories Grandma had told me had sparked an interest in WW2. The more I researched, the more I understood that there were so many women’s stories from the war just waiting to be told.

Since writing about Cora dancing for the troops, I’ve written about the female pilots from the Air Transport Auxiliary, Land Girls, the Wrens during the D-Day landings, and nurses during the Blitz. But I feel like I’ve barely scraped the surface! And of course, because my stories aren’t history textbooks – I like to add a bit of intrigue, a touch of darkness, or a puzzle that needs to be solved. That curiosity I mentioned means I adore a mystery – going right back to my love of the Famous Five novels when I was a child.

My next book will be about female spies – my most mysterious to date. I’ve written five WW2 books now – my story about spies will be number six – and I’m not bored yet. There are so many more stories to tell, and I can’t wait to uncover them!

Garden of Lost Secrets by author Kerry Barrett cover

Kerry's latest book The Garden of Lost Secrets is out 18th January 2024 read our review HERE

Follow Kerry Barrett on 

Twitter  Instagram TickTock Facebook

Tagged in