Why do we keep secrets? Because we are embarrassed or ashamed to reveal the truth, because we feel guilty, because we want to give a nice surprise, because we are protecting someone or maybe many people, even a whole nation, because we are protecting ourselves, because we are simply enjoying keeping something precious to ourselves. Can you think of any other reasons?

I believe that every story contains at least one secret, even if it’s just the author keeping a secret from the reader. But in some stories the secret is the main theme, or perhaps the story is dominated by various secrets. I have written two such books.

The first one I wrote some years ago. It’s called SECRETS AND LIES and is one of my FAMILIES IN A STEP-CHAIN series.

This is the only book I’ve ever written that is based on something from real life. When my daughters were about fourteen and fifteen, one of their friends told me a whole secret story about her life. She said she was telling me because I was an author and she wondered if I could work it into a book.  At first I dismissed the idea because after all it was a secret, but in the end I found myself just writing it, though of course I changed all the names and family dynamics and circumstances.

It’s all about a fourteen year old girl, Katie whose mother, for reasons of her own, wants to have absolutely nothing to do with her ex-husband and his new family and has always kept her daughter away from them. Katie has never met her real father as she’s been brought up since she was a baby by her step-dad. She calls her step-dad ‘Dad’, and regards him as her real dad. But then she discovers that her eighteen year old brother is in regular contact with his half brother but has always kept it a secret from his mum so as not to upset her. Katie begs him to introduce her to her half brother, who is a grown man with a family of his own, and gradually she too starts to lead a secret life, that her mother knows nothing about, becoming more and more a part of her half brother’s family. I won’t tell you what happens in the end, but let me say, there are fireworks!!

The second story I wrote about secrets is much more recent. SECRETS AT SILVER SPIRES is one of my SCHOOL FRIENDS series.

Jess’s secret is that she is dyslexic. She feels such terrible shame about this and is quite sure that if ever the secret were to come out, all her friends would no longer want to be friends with her. Eventually, like many a secret, it is inadvertently revealed, but by this time, misunderstandings are becoming major problems. If only Jess had asked someone to tell her what those words on that sign said.


Do you have any secrets? If so, don’t tell me them! And more importantly, if a friend ever tells you something and finishes with the words ‘Don’t tell anyone’, you must respect that, and however tempting it is to tell just one person, tell NO ONE!

This is me and my husband on our wedding day nearly 35 years ago. By the way, our wedding was a complete secret from everyone in the world except two people – the witnesses. Don’t you think we look as though we were enjoying that secret! Well, we were!

And we’re still together!

26 thoughts on “SECRETS

  1. Aw, i love your wedding picture.

    It reminds me of a few storys i’ve read about how secret lovers had gone and snook away to get married or be together x

    Its importent to keep your promises.

    • I actually forgot about it – can you believe! I was on break duty at school in the morning and the teacher with me asked me if I had any plans for the afternoon off that we’d been allocated as a special extra holiday, and I said, no, not really. Then thought to myself Oops!!!

  2. Love your wedding pic, Ann. I think a secret wedding is a great idea, there’s far too much fuss and expense around weddings! I never, ever give a secret away. If someone tells me something and asks me never to tell anyone else, I don’t. Ever.

  3. Hi, Ann- great post!

    Secrets should stay that way, I know and I wouldn’t give them away if I could help it . But, there were times when I told a secret as a youngster because I thought the person involved was at risk in some way-that they were going to get hurt or do something dangerous.

    I’ve been bullied, too, and a lot of bullies’ power relies on you keeping it secret. So, there are times when you should tell.
    Apologies for being so downbeat.

    • Not at all, Jade – that’s not downbeat, just extremely sensible and perceptive. You’re asbolutely right, there are definitely times you should tell, if someone is going to be harmed otherwise, for example.

    • Jade how very perceptive of you. The power of a bully almost always relies on the victim keeping the bullying a secret. Well done you for being brave enough to tell.

      Great post Ann. I’m glad you had such a fantastic wedding but if any of my children are reading this DON”T even think about it. Have whatever sort of wedding you want but I shall be very hurt if I’m not invited ; (


  4. I tend to keep a lot of my personal life secret from my parents, simply because they tend to assume and misinterpret a lot. (I have to keep a few secrets about my best friend anyway, for various reasons which I won’t go into.) This includes them not knowing about one of my friends at all, because they would then spend the rest of my life watching to see if I ever start to fancy him (I don’t and won’t). I have had to mention him in conversation a couple of times, but referred to him as “the guy in my lecture group whose dog collapsed that time” (he was walking it and it grew too tired to walk home, so he missed a lecture while waiting for his mum to collect the dog) so they don’t realise I know him well. It sounds a bit mad when I write it all down…

  5. Hi Ann!

    I have to be very careful about who I tell my secrets too, if I told Orli everything would be FINE, but if I told this other girl, well, lets just say it would be in the newspaper!!

    I hate keeping secrets, having this lump, bottled up inside of me, I like things out in the open, so that I don’t have to be careful about what I say!

    Fab post, love the pic!!

    Ella xxxx

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