Hello! I’ve been quiet on here of late because I wanted to wait until I could share proper news of the release of my second Young Adult mystery/thriller Promise Me. I finished my first draft of Promise Me ages ago, then went back over my manuscript to do edits and more edits, before submitting a (fairly) polished version to my publisher, Strident Publishing Ltd. Then I had more edits to work on. Then I had to wait for a release date. I’m very excited to now reveal that Promise Me will be released early September.
With this book I had a bit of ‘second album’ syndrome and at one sticky point at the middle I had a crisis of confidence wondering if I would ever finish it. Until you’re published when you write a book you have an element of ‘no one is ever going to read this anyway’ which buffers the self-consciousness a bit, but with the second one I put more pressure on myself and that element of fear and self doubt was more prevalent. Truly, I think the secret of writing is to just forget your audience, don’t think about people reading your words, don’t even think about the words and just write.
The good thing with this book was the characters always ultimately pulled me back in to the story – they didn’t always do what I wanted them to do, and one popped up with a much bigger starring role than he was supposed to have, but I also think that should happen when you write! If the characters take over a bit then you have to let them. Once I made it past that sticky middle part the last few chapters started to tumble through my head, dialogue and ‘scenes’ often waking me at 6am on a Sunday morning. I would frantically type snippets in the notes section of my phone to draft properly later (I’m not a natural early riser and often my partner would be lodged against my shoulder fast asleep).
The title of this book has changed about three times since I first started writing it. My publisher and I finally settled on Promise Me, not because it’s a follow on from Follow Me (it’s not), but because it suits elements of the story. One aspect of the meaning won’t be clear until you finish the book – so I guess when it comes out you’ll just need to read it!
The image at the top of my post isn’t the book cover, (that’s not ready yet), but a montage of some images taken from my ‘Promise Me mood board’ on Pinterest. Every time I start writing a book I start to put together a mood board as I’m a very visual person and I like to build on atmosphere and setting by ‘picturing’ elements of the story and characters as I write it. I keep my boards private until I’m ready to share them. It’s also handy to share these images with my cover artist.
I’m delighted that Ida Henrich, (who designed the wonderful cover for Follow Me), will be my cover artist again for Promise Me. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with!
I’ll write more about the inspiration behind Promise Me in later posts, but for now here’s a little blurb to tell you more about the story!
Following the separation of her parents, seventeen year old Darcy Thomas moves to a wealthy Scottish village which hit the headlines when a local girl was stabbed at a Halloween party two years previously.
Darcy has always wondered about Christian Henderson’s conviction of murder, fascinated by this attractive misfit and his story. She has wondered enough to keep files. Lots of them. Enough to worry her mother.
Much of Christian’s ‘trial’ took place online, before he even reached the courtroom, with witch-hunt style podcasts and forums spinning stories of what happened the night of the party, with the finger of blame pointed at the weird ‘loner’ boy, Christian.
As Darcy throws herself into trying to right the perceived wrong – even writing to Christian while he is in the young offenders’ unit – who can she believe? As their friendship grows, so does Darcy’s determination. Why do the teenagers in the village seem so reluctant to talk about that night? When Darcy starts to receive threats she realises that someone is determined to keep secrets hidden, and might be prepared to do anything to silence the truth.