Secrecy Vs. the Truth

Secrecy Vs. the Truth

Posted on January 12 by Deb Loughead in Teens
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As a child I was fascinated by mysteries. This clearly originated in my reading, from Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew, to Enid Blyton’s adventure, and later every single Agatha Christie novel.  When I was ten, I started my own sleuthing club, the Amateur Detective Club. My sister and best friend and I even followed a pickle trail once.

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My dreams of forming the Amateur Detective Agency never materialized, but my passion for a good mystery never vanished.  Now I follow crime stories in the media with somewhat of a macabre obsessiveness. And I write. Mystery novels for middle-grade readers and YA mystery and family history ghost stories. And now this novel, The Secrets We Keep.

 

Every story needs some sort of secret that impels it forward. Otherwise why would the reader bother to keep on turning the pages? And most of the time a story begins as a mystery to the writer who is imagining it. Often I have no idea where a twisting plotline will carry me, and I’m usually pleasantly surprised when I get there.

"At the core of the story lies a moral issue, a quandary between secrecy and truth."

In this novel, Clementine carries a devastating secret close to her heart, and it’s starting to eat her alive. But with resolve and the help of friends, she might just find a way to unravel the mystery of what really happened to her classmate Kit on that fateful night at the quarry last summer.  At the core of the story lies a moral issue, a quandary between secrecy and truth. Young adulthood abounds with secrets which are often withheld from those closest to them. How, I wonder, would my readers react in a situation similar to this one? Which would be more important to them? Keeping the secret or revealing the truth?

 

I had the good fortune of working with a young autistic boy when I was directing a middle school drama club.  The character of Kit is loosely based on my experiences with this boy.  Yes, he actually stole the mic from me, addressed the audience himself, and stole the show, of course!  He memorized his own lines and everyone else’s.  He is a remarkable fellow who did very well in school, and was loved by all.  And he also had a fascination with watches, would frequently grab your wrist so he could check the time on your watch. He was an excellent weatherman too. And he rocked mathematics. Funny where inspiration originates!

 

I hope my readers will enjoy meeting the assorted characters, as well as the process of solving the many levels of mystery in The Secrets We Keep, as I did creating them.

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Deb Loughead

Posted by Dundurn Guest on April 19, 2016

Deb Loughead

Deb Loughead is the author of more than thirty books for children and young adults, ranging from poetry and plays to picture books and novels. She lives in Toronto.