Lucinda Riley is the No.1 bestselling author of The Butterfly Room, The Olive Tree and Hothouse Flower (also called The Orchid House). Her Seven Sisters series is inspired by the Greek myth of the Pleiades, the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione, who were said to have been turned into the star constellation of the same name.
The series follows seven sisters, and begins as their adoptive father – the elusive billionaire they call Pa Salt – dies, they are each given a tantalising clue as to their past. Each book is the story of one of the sisters as they trace their origins all over the world in spellbinding tales of love and loss.
The first book in the series is The Seven Sisters; followed by The Storm Sister which has been nominated for the prestigious Premio Bancarella literary prize in Italy, The Shadow Sister, The Pearl Sister, The Moon Sister, and The Sun Sister, which is the latest release, with another book to follow.
Here, Lucinda gives us an insight into writing the sixth book in the series, The Sun Sister.
In The Sun Sister, we get to know Electra D’Aplièse, the sixth sister in the Seven Sisters series. To the outside world, it appears as if the supermodel Electra has everything: money, beauty and fame. However, after the death of her father, Electra begins to spiral and seeks solace in alcohol and drugs. Then one day, she receives a letter from a woman claiming to be her biological grandmother . . .
I always knew that writing Electra’s story would present the biggest challenge of my writing career. Besides her ancestors’ story, which takes place during the mid-twentieth century in the United States – a momentous time of change for African Americans – Electra herself is definitely the most complex and difficult of the sisters. And because all my plots are written holistically – I only know where I am beginning and ending the stories – the twists and turns of The Sun Sister have been as shocking and enlightening for me as they have been for Electra.
Electra discovers that her heritage lies in Kenya and is somehow linked to a woman called Cecily Huntley-Morgan, a New York socialite who finds herself thrown into the heart of Kenya’s decadent ‘Happy Valley’ at the start of World War Two. Doing research in Kenya, and exploring Nairobi and the beautiful nature around Lake Naivasha and the Wanjohi Valley was truly one of the highlights of my life. I’m so excited for my readers to discover with me all that I learnt about the lives of the white settlers of ‘Happy Valley’ in Kenya, their interaction with the noble Maasai clans, and a murder mystery that has remained unsolved for decades . . .
Never have I found myself so deeply involved or moved as I have been by the bravery, humanity and sheer determination of the incredible people, both past and present, that I have encountered during the writing of Electra’s story. And for those readers who have been looking for clues since Book 1 of the series, The Sun Sister delves even deeper into the mystery of Pa Salt. Many characters from previous books return, including the mysterious Zed Eszu, as Electra discovers where her passions lie and what she is truly capable of . . .
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