Alumni Authors - November 2017

Here’s a round-up of the latest books published by Exeter alumni writers. If you studied at Exeter and you’ve recently published a book let us know by emailing with a synopsis of the book, an image and your biography and we will feature it in Alumni Authors

The Keeping of Secrets

The Keeping of Secrets is the debut novel of Exeter alumna Rowena Tompkins (Law 1978) published in September 2017 under her pen name of Alice Graysharp. The keeper of family secrets, Patricia Adela Roberts grows up isolated and lonely. Trust no one and you won’t be disappointed is her motto. Three men fall in love with her and she learns to trust, only to find that their agendas are not her own. With secrets concealed from her by the ultimate love of her life, and with her own secret, duplicity and deceit threaten their relationship. In a coming of age story set against the sweeping backdrop of the Second World War - evacuation, the Battle of Britain, the Blitz, buzz bombs and secret war work - Patricia ultimately has to decide whether to reveal her deepest held secret for the sake of her future happiness. Surrey-based Rowena, Property Law Head Auditor at a top 500 legal practice, was inspired by her family’s reminiscences of life during the Second World War, reflecting real events within the fictional framework of the novel. She is fascinated by the butterfly wings effect - how a small decision can have far reaching and untold consequences and is already working on her next novel featuring characters from The Keeping of Secrets at later stages of their lives. Rowena is sometimes asked, “why Alice Graysharp?” To avoid confusion with another writer of her name, Rowena combined three of her great-great-grandmothers’ names in honour of a generation of women who had none of the social and educational advantages she has enjoyed. The Keeping of Secrets can be purchased online or through local bookshops.

Mining for Gold

Alumnus Fergal Roche's (Education and English,1986) book was published by John Catt Educational Ltd. Two of the chapters are about lecturers he had whilst at Exeter. The nook can be purchased online or from local bookshops.

Things Can Only Get Worse?

John O'Farrell's (English and Drama, 1983) most recent book is the comic political memoir ‘Things Can Only Get Worse?’, the long-awaited sequel to his iconic first book ‘Things Can Only Get Better’. In the decades in between, John has published five novels: ‘The Man Who Forgot His Wife’, ‘May Contain Nuts’, ‘This Is Your Life’, ‘The Best a Man Can Get’ and most recently ‘There's Only Two David Beckhams’. He has also written two best-selling history books: ‘An Utterly Impartial History of Britain’ and ‘An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain’, as well as three collections of his satirical Guardian columns. His books have been translated into thirty languages and have been adapted for radio and television. Previously an award-winning comedy scriptwriter for such productions as ‘Spitting Image’, ‘Have I Got News For You’, and ‘Chicken Run’, he recently co-wrote the hit Broadway musical ‘Something Rotten!’