AN author is making romance blossom in Sunderland.
Evelyn Orange, originally from Seaburn, has penned a new novel – Secrets and Shadows – set in Sunderland, Sheffield and London after the Second World War.
The story focuses on two women “following their hearts and learning that running away is not always the answer”.
Evelyn, 57, who lives with husband George, 64, said she wanted to celebrate the history of Wearside by giving it a key role in the fictional tale, which is the second book she has published since 1995.
“This part of the country is my home,” she said.
“It’s an area of great beauty, steeped in history and great stories, and its people and landscape are very important in my books.”
The writer and music teacher, who won the Echo’s Romantic Short Story competition in 1987, said research is key to the story, part of which centres around Sunderland’s historic ship yards.
“Part of the family in the story has a shipbuilding background,” said Evelyn, who has also worked as a music librarian in London.
“When I was growing up, the shipyards were still in use. I got some books on the history of Sunderland and spent time doing research in libraries.
“I do my best to be accurate, but most of the history is to give a flavour of the past to the novel.”
“Being an ex-librarian, I always use libraries. It’s lovely seeing how life was in a former era, although it’s not a grand era.
“I like reading old newspapers as well.
“Some of the stories you read about families, you can’t believe were true. I find families fascinating.”
Evelyn, who attended Monkwearmouth School, is also due to publish a pocket novel, Dance of Danger, set in Durham, on November 21.
“I’ve got lots of ideas for other novels,” she said. “The problem is finding the time to write them.”
l Secrets and Shadows is available to buy online. To find out more, visit www.evelynorange.co.uk.