12 July 2013

Lies of the Dead

The nine months of a pregnancy often seem to last for longer than that, though at times pass too quickly - okay maybe just in hindsight!

In my experience writing a book is a much longer affair, though painful in different ways, but today I'm absolutely thrilled to say that Lies of the Dead is well and truly published and out there.
I had the initial idea for the story and the three siblings who are the main characters about four years ago, though they sat quietly for a while at the back of my mind, but gradually they clamoured more and more to be heard.

Liam, the youngest of the three, was the one who claimed my attention initially, and I intended to tell the story through him, but every time I thought about scenes, or tried to write, it was Tom, the oldest brother, whose voice came through. Eventually I gave in and listened to him.

Lies of the Dead is set mostly in Cornwall, though Andi lives in Bristol and Liam in London. The Cornish scenery and people played a large part in forming the story, and it is an area of England I love.

What would you risk to find the truth?

How well do we know those closest to us? When Liam kills himself, his older brother Tom needs to know why suicide was the only solution.

Tom, and his sister Andi, search for answers but don't know who they can believe. Are Liam's friends and associates the people they claim to be? Tom and Andi are propelled into a world where their ideas of right and wrong don't exist, and where people demand what neither of them possesses.

Liam's legacy of deceit is dangerous, and when Andi and her twin daughters are threatened, Tom realises that truth may have too high a price.

The main idea of the story remains as it first came to me, but the path it took has changed considerably, although I find that is often the way.

Lies of the Dead is available in print and Kindle through Amazon and Amazon UK and the other Amazon stores, and in alternative electronic formats through Smashwords. It will shortly be available through other retailers including the Apple store, Barnes and Noble and Sony store.

If you read the story of Tom, Andi and Liam I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know.

09 July 2013

Words and Pictures

At the moment we have a friend from England staying with us. This is his first visit to New Zealand, and we are enjoying the opportunity of showing him the local sights as well as places further afield we love to visit. One of the great things about doing this is that it makes you look at familiar places as if you’ve never seen them before.

Last week we spent a few glorious days in Sydney, and it was great to look at this city we love as if it was our first visit.

We took lots of photos – although we already have plenty! 

There is a saying that a picture paints a thousand words, but words can also paint magical pictures.

About half of Driftwood is set in Sydney and while I haven’t experienced any of Juliet’s problems or had someone try to kill me, there are a number of elements and snatches of scenes included in the book that are places I’ve visited or things I’ve seen. When I read those scenes it brings back the incident I witnessed, or alternatively, when I visit a place I’ve included in Driftwood it reminds me how I used it in Juliet’s story.

Alex takes Juliet to dinner in Darling Harbour – this is a favourite spot of mine and while the restaurant they visited doesn’t exist, there are heaps of good places to eat in Darling Harbour.

In another scene Juliet watches a street entertainer in Circular Quay – I’ve since cut back this description, but the little I’ve left reminds me of his act and I can still see him clearly.

One of the chapters ends with Juliet watching a bride and groom in the gardens close to the Opera House. I watched the couple I describe posing for their wedding photographs by the harbour, and I sometimes wonder where they are now, and hope they are as happy as they were that day.

The New Zealand sections of Driftwood are set in Auckland, Christchurch and the Tasman area at the top of the South Island.

Juliet’s view from her home of the Auckland Harbour is the one we had at the time I was writing the book. The scenes set in Christchurch are ones I remember vividly, and with great sadness, as some of the places were badly damaged in the earthquake in 2010 and the severe aftershock in February 2011.

The Nelson and Abel Tasman areas of the South Island are outstandingly beautiful and we’ve spent many happy holidays exploring the beaches and walking the tracks through the National Park.

If you’re interested in seeing some of the places, I’ve been working on a board using photographs I’ve taken during visits, and I’ll be adding more images over the coming weeks.