Tim Bowler Quote‘Sea of Whispers, like most of my stories, began long before I put down any words. I started writing the novel in 2011 but the images of sea glass that haunt the dreams of fifteen-year-old Hetty came many years before that when I was on holiday on the island of Bryher in the Scillies and my wife said that she wanted to go down to the beach to see if there was any sea glass worth collecting.

There weren’t any decent pieces – just a few nondescript shards from a broken bottle which we left on the sand – but as we walked about the beach searching, a picture slipped into the story-making part of my mind: of beautiful sea glass washed up on the shore; and then I forgot about it and went away and for several years wrote other stories. By the time 2011 had come along and Hetty’s story was whispering inside my head and demanding to be written, I found that the pictures of sea glass had returned, together with echoes from my life that I knew would affect the way I approached the book.

The novel took a long time to write, there were many different drafts, and the mystical, elegiac nature of the story made it an emotional tale to tell. Hetty is a strong-minded yet highly sensitive girl and I found myself anxious to do her justice as she struggles to come to terms with her ancient grief, conquer her doubts and stand up to those who mock her. Sea of Whispers is about many things – fear, prejudice, love, loss, hope and more – but ultimately it is the story of a young girl’s courage and her quest to understand the deepest mystery of all.’


Tim Bowler