Emma Kavanagh drew on her experience as a police and military psychologist with her book, The Missing Hours, out in November (Arrow paperback, £6.99).
Partly inspired by a true story, the book tells the story of a mother who vanishes without trace, only to reappear with no memory of where she has been. Surely it’s only chance that her disappearance coincides with a murder?
Emma explained how she came up with the intriguing idea.
“A number of years ago, I read about a case in which a mother vanished and left her small children behind in a public place. She reappeared unharmed, but refused to tell anyone where she’d been.
“There was no crime involved but that scenario intrigued me. What could prompt a mother to walk away, leaving their small children alone? What kind of back story could lead to such an unlikely event? Hence The Missing Hours was born.
It’s a tense and dramatic tale, but Emma’s time working with people such as police hostage negotiators has left her with plenty of inspiration.
She recalled, “I attended a scene in which an individual had doused themselves in petrol and was threatening to set themselves alight. Whilst I was not involved in the negotiation, but rather worked with the team behind it, it was an extremely tense situation and took many, rather stressful hours to resolve. “
“My experiences with police hostage negotiation really helped me to create the kidnap and ransom world that runs through The Missing Hours. There are intense pressures involved in negotiation, especially when a victim’s life depends upon the outcome.”
Like many published people, Emma knew she wanted to write a book one day, even though she was enjoying a successful career in a different field.
“Being an author had always been my ultimate ambition. That said, I’m not sure that it was ever a conscious decision to become one rather than the other. I still love psychology and make efforts to keep abreast of the latest research. Fortunately, psychology is such a valuable tool to use in writing that the two tend to go hand in hand.”
Away from her writing, Emma reveals that her two young sons keep her grounded in the real world.
“They are five and two. We are big readers and the greatest possible punishment for my boys is to be told they’ve lost bedtime stories! We do make up stories when we are out and about – fairy hunting in the park is our favourite game. You also have to watch out for those bears. They’re rampant in Welsh parks.
“The littlest one mimics everything, making him look like a 40 year old in a 2 year old’s body. My eldest has an uncanny knack for saying exactly the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time – “Gosh, Mummy, are you really 38? You look FAR older than that.” Frankly, if you didn’t laugh, you’d cry.”
If you like the sound of this book, click on the image below.
The Missing Hours by Emma Kavanagh (Published in paperback by Arrow, 17th November 2016, £6.99