An Interview with “White Feathers” Author, Susan Lanigan

Another great interview – this time on the 100 Great War Reads blog! The review is here (and linked to in the entry)

Thanks to Tamra at Great War 100 Reads for inviting me for interview – I had fun!

Great War 100 Reads

Susan Lanigan’s debut novel, White Feathers, tackles tough issues through the lens of the early 20th century that we still struggle with today … issues like bullying, mental illness, the fallout of war and the impact of stigma. I am pleased to welcome Susan to Great War 100 Reads today to share some reflections about her work.

Why did you write this book?

Susan Lanigan: At first it was simply because I was interested in World War One. Recently I unearthed the essay I’d written for my final history exam in secondary school. It was about the Battle of Verdun and “bleeding the French white”. I’d read about it in a book called Our Own Worst Enemy by Norman Dixon written back in the Eighties and it had fascinated me.

I’d been working on a short story on the theme of the white feather, including references to Bloomsbury…

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White Feathers by Susan Lanigan – Book Review

“More than anything else they were trying to plain survive…”

Bharti C is a book blogger based in Pune, India. She kindly agreed to review White Feathers and her thoughts are below. Do visit her book blog at!

27 Book Street By Bharti


For those who have read the previous reviews on my blog, you know that I enjoy reading historical fiction. So when Susan Lanigan, the author of this great WWI story sent me a review copy I was a happy bird. It is a commendable debut and if I didn’t know it was a debut I would have easily imagined the author to be a seasoned writer. Now, I have read about WW2 fiction mostly and have missed reading about the beginning of the World Wars and how people at the time reacted to it. This story covers that well. Read on for my thoughts.


Title: White Feathers
Author: Susan Lanigan
Publisher: Brandon [The O’Brien Press Ltd. Ireland]
Published: August 2014
Format reviewed: Paperback
Rating: 4 stars


Two lives in danger – her lover’s and her sister’s. But she must choose only one. In 1913, young…

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Two-fer Tuesday – Review and Radio Podcast!

First up, a great review from the popular The Writes of Woman blog which calls White Feathers “a cracking good read” (yay!) (btw I recommend this blog for picking up info about more great female writers. Naomi also pays a lot of attention to diversity and representation for writers of colour.) Thanks Naomi!

White Feathers is an impressive addition to the canon of world war novels and a cracking good read.

Second, had a great interview with Fiona Kenny in Dublin South FM studios on Saturday last. In which I talk about: the book (quite a lot); romance in canon (slight rant); emotional and structural violence (same); chaperones eating CAKE (the cheek of them); suffragettes and their darker side; battle scenes and Don’t Stand So Close to Me by the Police 🙂 Enjoy!

“A Fascinating and Well-Drawn Character” – New Review of White Feathers by Liz Loves Books

I was delighted when book blogger Liz Wilkins agreed to read and review White Feathers for me, especially since historical fiction is not her usual metier. Liz’s reviews are popular and highly regarded on Amazon and Goodreads, so many thanks to her.

The full review is available on Liz Loves Books but because that page is regularly updated, I will link to the Goodreads version too. Here is an excerpt:

Eva is a fascinating and well drawn character, her terrible choices stark and unrelenting, the knock on effects of which will be long reaching…the sense you get of an independently minded woman back in the age when women were not allowed to be such things is really well done and kept me turning the pages. A really beautifully written story that encompasses […] the challenges and problems women faced in what was already a difficult and traumatic period in history.

Thanks so much for that Liz and I am delighted you enjoyed it!

#IrishFictionFortnight Giveaway and Discussion


Just a quick heads up that today I feature over at Bleach House Library blog for Margaret Madden’s Irish Fiction Fortnight (there’s a hashtag on Twitter too!) where I discuss my Irish fiction influences – well, some of them anyway, to mention them all would probably be twice the length 🙂

There’s a giveaway too of White Feathers – check it out over here and the other fab entries and giveaways for the Irish Fiction Fortnight feature!

A Year Of White Feathers


White Feathers came out on the 28th August last year. This means that it has been out in the wild for nearly a year. It’s been an interesting, if turbulent time, as I hinted at just about the six month mark.  If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that you have to have very resilient mental health to endure the whole process of having a novel published. Imagine having your chest cut open, your ribs sawn through, and anyone able to take your still-beating heart in their rough, unclean fingers and paw at the ventricles…You are incredibly vulnerable. This is a good thing as well as a bad thing. Through sharing your work with the world, opening yourself to them, you bring that world to readers, and seeing them react strongly, empathising and thinking about the characters – that is the best feeling in all the world.

Now I am back at the entry point of the whole cycle, trudging through an occasionally intractable first draft of the next novel. I won’t say too much of what it’s about except that there’s Germany (well, sort of), and taboo romance, and betrayed promises and MORE WAR and some friends from WF show up briefly. I sent the first tranche to my agent in May and she was encouraging, so am working on getting some more in. And now that I’m moving forward into this new cycle, I’m beginning to get some perspective on everything that’s happened to me over the last few months. Continue reading “A Year Of White Feathers”