Deborah Carr

Georgina Troy - HeadshotI write historical novels under the name Deborah Carr and my debut novel, Broken Faces, was published by Green Shutter Books in 2016.

I also write contemporary romances set in Jersey, as Georgina Troy, for Accent Press publishers and the first book in the series, A Jersey Kiss, was a finalist in the 2016 RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Awards.

I live in Jersey and am Deputy Editor of Novelicious.com and a member of the Society of Authors, Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Historical Novel Society, Alliance of Independence Authors and it probably goes without saying that I’m also an avid reader, and writer!

BROKEN FACES UseAs runner-up in the Good Housekeeping Magazine Novel Writing Competition, I was described as ‘one to watch’, which was exhilarating. They added, ‘In Deborah Carr’s Downton-esque tale, Broken Faces, a soldier suffers a life-changing injury in the Great War’. This book also received a special commendation in the Harry Bowling Prize.

Broken Faces by Deborah Carr is available here.

I’m now working on Beautiful Faces, a novella that’s a prequel to Broken Faces.

You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest and my blog.

My debut novel as Deborah Carr was published by Green Shutter Books in December 2015. Here’s it’s brand new cover:

BROKEN FACES UseAlthough the original cover for Broken Faces (below) was historically accurate it looked too bleak, there was no colour and it didn’t indicate the romance within the novel.

It’s difficult to create a cover that shows the love, hope and heartbreak within a book based in WW1. This book is ultimately a love story but within that romance there’s a life-changing injury that four friends have to learn to deal with.

WW1 was a dark, difficult time. It changed, as well as ended, many, many lives. I haven’t held back from depicting the horror that some people experienced nor the endurance they needed to survive.

This is the new cover for Broken Faces and I hope it encapsulates the book better than the previous one did. Please let me know what you think.

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Broken Faces is the story of Freddie Chevalier, a wealthy farmer’s son who suffers a life-changing disfigurement in the Great War. He’s in love with his best friend’s fiancée and is determined not to miss out on the excitement of the Great War. Soon his life changes from one of idyllic days with his friends, Charles, Meredith and Lexi, staying at the Baldwyn’s ancestral home in Shropshire and working on his father’s farm in Jersey, to one of horror, pain and betrayal.

It doesn’t take long for Freddie to discover that the life he enjoyed before the war has vanished and he is going to have to find a way to live with the consequences of the choices he and Charles have made.

Available to buy: Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk

Research

I thoroughly enjoy researching my books, especially Broken Faces.

Research has led me to discover places I’d never before visited and it was in Paris in 2011 that I made some unusual discoveries that will stay with me forever.

I’ll tell you more about the places I’ve found and the treasures I’ve been able to take home with me.

It all started here one July morning in 2011 at Shakespear & Co.

If you’re a book lover and are planning a trip to Paris then this in one place you definitely must visit.

Debs Shed 1

Of course a lot of the research happens in your writing space – here’s my shed where I love to write.

A lot of research is done on line as well as wading through old books that I found at bargain shops over the years. I’ve discovered online spreadsheets detailing injuries received by the soldiers, the dates they happened and how they were treated. I can’t imagine how much longer it would have taken me without Google for reference.

Inspiration behind the Characters

I was inspired to write about my four protagonists the more I researched that dark period during The Great War. They are:
– Freddie Chevalier (beautiful man who becomes the broken face),
– Meredith (Meri) Sutton (his best friend’s fiancee with whom he’s secretly in love),
– Charles Baldwyn (his best friend and heir to a Shropshire estate and many problems), and;
– Lexi Baldwyn (Charles’s younger sister, who desperately wishes she was more like Meri and that Freddie would see her as the woman she has become).

I was able to share some of the discoveries I made while researching about the masks made in the studio in Paris by Anna Coleman Ladd and Francis Derwent Wood for the severely disfigured men for whom doctors were unable to satisfactorily restore their looks. This left most of them with no option – or so they believed – other than to either hide themselves away or cover the more damaged parts under copper masks.

One of these brave men I was drawn to use as inspiration for Freddie (my ‘broken face’) was William Kearsey. If you wish to see a picture of this handsome young man prior to his tragic injuries please click on the link below for the Inverell Times. He was a beautiful Australian soldier who, at the age of 25, was severely disfigured in Belgium  on 3 October 1917. He had 29 operations to repair the severe damage and ended up looking very different, but also went on to build a life for himself eventually marrying in his fifties. If you’d like to find out more about him and his life story, here’s a link to the Inverell Times. 

I discovered many harrowing stories during my research and because my paternal great-grandfather, was a Lancer in the cavalry and because I’ve always loved horses, I placed my male protagonists in the cavalry. I’ve been lucky enough to own five horses while growing up and so enjoyed the special bond that horse and rider experience. I can only imagine the intensity of that relationship when you’re confronted with death and destruction and consequences when the worst happens. Hopefully I’ve conveyed those emotions in Broken Faces.

My maternal great-grandfather was a stretcher-bearer, an intensly dangerous job where men risked their lives constantly to rescue those soldiers lying badly wounded at the Front. What they experienced must have been both harrowing and devastating. My great-grandfather was shot in his ankle but survived the war, so was one of the luckier ones. I’ve tried to convey the dedication of these men through Meredith (Meri) Sutton’s work as a nurse in Amiens.

Broken Faces is out now.