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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘When The Time Comes’
by Adele O’Neill
Blog Tour Guest Post
“Bringing Emotion To The Page”

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With Fiction Books stop on this comprehensive Blog Tour, being quite close to the final date, I’m sure that there are plenty of extracts, author guest posts and interviews which will have been shared, so why not visit a few of the earlier tour participants and see what goodies are on offer … after you have first read Adele’s amazing guest post, of course!!

I am pleased to have been included in this tour by the lovely folks at Aria Fiction and NetGalley


Cover image for the book 'When The Time Comes' by author Adele O'NeillHer husband says it’s suicide. The police say it’s murder.

Liam Buckley was a married man with two teenage children when he moved out of the family home to start a new life with his lover. His wife Jennifer never forgave him, but now she needs him to come back: she’s been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and the kids can’t cope alone.

One day after Liam moves home, Jennifer is found dead. Liam thinks it’s suicide. But the police, led by DS Louise Kennedy, are convinced it’s murder.

Liam hires a retired detective to help prove his innocence, but it’s no easy task. The children are distraught, and Jennifer’s best friend, Sarah, is waging a campaign against Liam, determined to expose him for a liar and a cheat.

As secrets surface from the complex web of Buckley family life, DS Kennedy must decide. Did Jennifer Buckley end her own life, or did Liam take it from her? The answer, when it comes, will shock them all…


Image of author Adele O'NeillAdele is a writer from Co. Wicklow, Ireland, who lives with her husband Alan and her two teenage daughters.

Influenced by writers across all genres, she has a particular fondness for fiction that is relatable and realistic.

Her debut novel, Brothers and Sisters, was awarded The Annie McHale Debut Novel Award for 2017 and is a character driven story of survival, dark family secrets and sibling loyalty, just like life. Her second novel Behind A Closed Door, is another emotionally harrowing tale of impossible choices, loyalty and friendship.

Adele writes overlooking the Irish Sea, which she credits for the tumultuous dynamics in the relationships and lives of her unsuspecting characters in her third novel, When The Time Comes, another dark tale that tests the lengths we go to, to protect the ones we love.

Follow Adele on Twitter

Connect with Adele on Facebook

Image of author Adele O'Neill


Bringing Emotion To The Page

For me, the measure of a good story is how much it makes me feel and as most writers will agree, a character that evokes an empathetic response, is a character that a reader will invest in. As a writer of issue based fiction, it’s heart-warming to hear that a reader was crying at a scene that made you cry when you wrote it and while scene setting and plot progression are important, it is finding the correct balance of emotion in a sub-text that can make all the difference to an authentic character and how they carry the story to a satisfying conclusion.

How do you do that, you say, when you couldn’t possibly have experienced everything that your characters have experienced, or have you?

The short answer is no .. but like any short answer it doesn’t really reflect the reality. I have and I haven’t. Let me explain…

The first idea for a novel, or the story concept begins very simply for me. It’s usually with an issue that piques my curiosity, either professionally or personally, and has potential for layers and layers of complexity to be added in at a later date. In When the time Comes, it was the issue of assisted suicide that pulled me into exploring the impossible choices that someone with a terminal illness is faced with. It is another character driven story of survival, dark secrets and love, just like life and the consequences of that complexity posed many more questions than I could answer and presented an inherent sense of conflict that I wanted to explore and that’s where the concept for the story came from.

Having written three novels, I’ve come to understand that simple plot mechanics are important, but not nearly enough to truly engage readers and I’m a firm believer that the best stories, the stories that stay with you long after the last page is turned, are not just about the issue that they say they’re about. They are about so much more; the character’s inner conflict, the human experience, the inherent dilemma, the psychological and emotional fallout of choices and the way in which the characters circumstances resonate with the reader. So the question still stands, can I, if I haven’t experienced the situation in real life, write my character’s emotions authentically?

The short answer is, yes, because I do know what it feels like. We all do. Let me explain…

I know what pain feels like, what it looks like, what it smells like. I can tell you how emotion overwhelms you when you stand in triumph, conversely too when you cower in fear. I can describe the temperature of tears on my face or the blush of my cheeks and I can tell you the depth of lines around my eyes. Some of them carved from happiness some etched from worry, the deep ones excavated through a deep sorrow that will never leave me. I know what it feels like to laugh contentedly but equally I know what it feels like to cry in desperation. I can recall all my moments of grace and wisdom and likewise I can remember what it feels like to be ridiculous (these occasions are more frequent than I would like).

This is what life is for all of us, a series of emotional responses to human experiences that are riddled with happiness, joy, grief, sorrow and fear. And while everyone experiences emotions in their own inimitable way, this collection of personal life experiences and human stories allow me as a writer, to inform the emotional reaction of a character in an authentic way to the set of circumstances that has been written into the scene. Without this realness, the reader wouldn’t  engage emotionally so, the next time you come across that common assumption that writers write from personal experience, it’s not the circumstances of the scene or the event that has a biographical element, but the emotions and empathy that are represented in our characters. (Otherwise I think a few writers in the crime writing ranks have a few questions to answer!).

Image of the blog tour banner for the book 'When The Time Comes' by author Adele O'Neill

Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • What an intrigruing plotline. I’m in awe of the imaginations of these amazing writers. And how lovely to ‘write overlooking the Irish Sea’! It must be glorious. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for this one.

    Yvonne, you were kind enough to leave a comment on my last post and mentioned my intention to start knitting again and your interest in it. Well, I’ve just done a new post and have included a photo of my efforts at the end.

    • Hi Cath,

      I quite often wonder when authors are going to run out of ideas for an original storyline, in some of the more popular genres. However they have so far always confounded me, with their perceptive ability to tweak a premise and add a new twist in the tale!

      The cover art for this story is also quite original and eye-catching, don’t you think?

      I have always wanted to live by the coast, until all these recent storms have hit so badly. Now hubbie decrees that the two places he doesn’t want to retire to, are on the coast, or by a river! Guess I shall just have to make do with day trips from now on, whilst envying people like Adele 🙁

      I haven’t done any real knitting for some time now, as I find crochet much easier to dip in and out of when I am restricted for time. I shall be hopping right over to take a look at your post, so thanks for giving me the heads up about it …

      Happy Reading and Knitting 🙂

      • I do like the cover very much, very effective. I know the old adage is that you ‘shouldn’t judge a book by its cover’, but I find that I do and also suspect that good cover art is crucial to the sales of a book these days. You only have to look at the covers of the BLCC vintage crime series with their lovely railway poster art.

        I had to smile at your husband and his decree. We’ve moved about half a dozen times (Peter was a bank manager) and one of my husband’s decrees has always been no flood plains, no rivers, and if you live on the coast – which we did in Minehead – no sea-front houses. They’re lovely… until the force ten gale arrives and the waves are crashing over the top of the house. I’ve seen it so many times in Penzance when I was a child, in fact my grandmother, who lived 50 yards from the sea-front, was flooded out in 1962, *that* was lesson enough for me. Like you, we’re now inland but it’s easy enough to get to the coast and in fact we’re off to Penzance at the end of next week to enjoy the sea views for a few days.

        And thanks for popping over and leaving such a nice comment about my knitting, after so many years not doing it I’m having a ball (no pun intended). I’ve tried so many times to learn to crochet. I can do it but it doesn’t seem to come naturally and I get lost so easily. I wonder if there are two groups of people, ‘knitters’ and ‘crocheters’ and not many people straddle the two disciplines. I remember my MIL felt that was true (she was a knitter like me.)

        Have a good weekend. xxx

        • I know there are only so many combinations of cover images publishers can use for any given genre, however recently, several of the thrillers I have promoted, have been using very similar images, with perhaps a small change in colour. This cover is eye-catching for its ‘stand out’ difference and simplicity, with clear story messaging, so that the reader knows exactly what they are going to get!

          We seriously looked at buying an apartment at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, but are so pleased that we changed our minds at the last minute. Many of the housing estates in Frome are built on flood plains, however we are at the top of the hill, well away from the river which runs through the town centre. Not that we fared much better to be honest, as our little cul-de-sac of properties now suffers from subsidence, so selling up and moving is no longer an option. It is just a good job that we don’t have any family relying on us for an inheritance!

          My true skills are definitely in knitting, or they used to be, goodness knows how rusty I am at following a pattern after all this time! My mum used to be able to follow a crochet pattern and make garments. However my own crochet skills are much more basic and are generally confined to Afghan blankets. We used to be able to sell these in the charity shop, but that policy has now been revised, as all bedding and home wear items need to carry appropriate fire safety labels. I am busy scouting around for another charity which isn’t quite so discerning!

          Thanks for taking time out to reply and enjoy your stay in Penzance The long range weather forecast does look a little more promising 🙂

  • What an excellent author post! The book itself sounds very interesting, but even more so knowing the care the author puts into authenticating her characters and their emotions.

    • Hi Kelly,

      I always enjoy these Blog Tours more when I am quick enough off the mark and manage to snag an author Guest Post as my feature.

      Many of the authors have pretty much the same sentiments to share about their potential for reaching out to and engaging their readers, however the style of writing in the guest post is what makes one stand out above another – and Adele’s is definitely up there with some of the best!

      I have enjoyed the books of many Irish authors over the years, they seem to have the knack of telling a good story and I have very high hopes for this intriguing premise.

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your week 🙂

  • Another great guest post and this book sounds thrilling as well. I like this quote by the author: “This is what life is for all of us, a series of emotional responses to human experiences that are riddled with happiness, joy, grief, sorrow and fear”…she is right.
    Enjoy this one !

    • Hi Naida,

      I definitely rate this guest post up there as one of the most emotional and perceptive I have had the pleasure to share.

      I like the passage you picked out as your personal favourite, as if you think about it deeply enough, it is a definite fact that the whole of life is one long series of emotional experiences and responses. It is really hardly a surprise that nearly all of us reach meltdown point at one time or another!!

      I have been very lucky with the many unique plotlines I have discovered recently, definitely some great reading ahead 🙂 🙂

Written by Yvonne