Faith Hogan talks about looking for the ONE!All of the great romances were meant to be, right? I mean you had Romeo and Juliet, Scarlett and Rhett, Tristan and Isolde – all stories of love that burned bright from deep within and which it seemed that neither man nor mountain could thwart. It’s unfortunate of course, that all of these love stories did not have a happy ever after ending.

Because in the end, that is what we’re all looking for, isn’t it? There comes a point, where most of us, perhaps hurried on by our biological clocks, but we are eager all the same to find Mr Right. And, unlike in our mother’s and grandmother’s generation, we’re not just looking for Mr Right, nor indeed are we silly enough to be hanging on for Mr Pefect – no we’re looking for something far more elusive that that.

We’re looking for … THE ONE!

We’re looking for our soul mate, for the person we’re going to spend our happy ever after with. We’re holding out for our HEA, just like all the best fairy tales told us we should.

The problem is, of course, that life is not a fairy tale and while we’re waiting to run into Rick, ‘we’ll always have Paris,’ Blaine, there’s always a chance that our very own TR Devlin (Cary Grant in Notorious – yummy) is sitting under our noses!

My new novel Secrets We Keep (published by Aria Fiction on 1st of February) started out with a working title of MFEO – very handy of course for saving copies, but more than that – its central theme is around the idea that some people are just meant for each other. The novel explores not just romantic love, but family too – the notion that people find each other even when they’re not searching, maybe even when the last thing they want is to find someone and they’ve spent a lifetime trying to look the other way.

So are some people just MFEO? We’ve seen it in a million movies, read it in a thousand books – the idea that some romances are great love stories. Like me, I’m sure you can rattle off ten great love stories without having to think too hard. They’re universal and they date as far back as Legends. In Ireland, some of our greatest Legends are love stories where the main protagonists are meant for each other. Where, regardless of how difficult it seems, the obstacles standing in the way be they dragons or evil stepmothers are useless when it comes to the bonding of soul mates.

So how do you know when you’ve met the one?

I think it’s the same thing, whether you’re talking about lovers, friends or indeed picking out a pet hamster! (Sorry Humphrey!)

First off, there’s an immediate connection. That doesn’t mean that there’s a power surge which could dangerously rupture a city’s supply. Rather, I think it means that for one second – usually more, it feels like there’s only two people (or hamsters) in the room, maybe even in the universe. You know you’ve experienced it – where you remember having a conversation with someone in a very loud room and without either of you having to raise your voice above normal levels you’ve heard every single word. It’s because you’re connected, in some profound, unexplainable way – personally, it’s never happened to me with a hamster – but there you go!

Second, there’s a shared sense of humour, in other words you know that when the chips are down there is always the possibility that something you or they say or do will result in laughter  when you least expect it, but when you most need it.

Third and this is harder to gauge, but I think once you’ve found ‘The One,’ you’ll often find that luck is on your side. Things tend to go smoothly for you both. There are not so many disastrous dates, good things will happen for you both outside of your relationship, it’s as though together you’re attracting more of the good stuff and if you’re not?  Well see point number 2!

Truly, I believe in soul mates – I believe there’s someone for everyone and I think that so long as you don’t spend your time expecting Mr Darcy – there’s a very real chance that Mr Rochester is standing in the wings!

Two distant relatives, drawn together in companionship are forced to confront their pasts and learn that some people are good at keeping secrets and some secrets are never meant to be kept.. .

The beautiful old Bath House in Ballytokeep has lain empty and abandoned for decades. For devoted pensioners Archie and Iris, it holds too many conflicting memories of their adolescent dalliances and tragic consequences – sometimes it’s better to leave the past where it belongs.

For high-flying, top London divorce lawyer Kate Hunt, it’s a fresh start – maybe even her future. On a winter visit to see her estranged Aunt Iris she falls in love with the Bath House. Inspired, she moves to Ballytokeep leaving her past heartache 600 miles away – but can you ever escape your past or your destiny?

Faith Hogan was born in Ireland. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.