Monday, 27 March 2017

Book Review & Author Guest Post: Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Today I welcome Alice Feeney onto my blog with a brilliant Guest Post about naming a character. But first, here's my review.

The Blurb:
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.
Unnerving, twisted and utterly compelling, you won’t be able to put this new thriller down. Set to be the most talked about book in 2017, it’s perfect for fans of Behind Closed Doors, The Girl on the Train and The Widow.
My Review:

So, I saw this book on Netgalley, thought the premise was interesting; and started reading. Thank you Netgalley and publishers Harper Collins!

Oh. My. God. This book is quite brilliant, it really is. A psychological thriller that twists and turns and keeps you on your toes, and quite simply, I couldn't put it down.

The story is told from three different angles; Amber in a coma, flashbacks to the events leading up to her hospitalisation, and diary entries from her teenage years. I found these diary entries in particular to be very well written in the voice of a young teen, which contrasted nicely with the thoughts of the comatose adult Amber.

I was intrigued by the story behind Amber's accident, and I was kept guessing right up to the end. Her husband and sister are both regular, attentive visitors, but I never quite trusted either of them.

I loved the way the writer had Amber in a sort of locked-in state; she was able to hear and sense things going on around her, but no one knew as she was unable to communicate in any way. 

It's a really fast-paced story, full of intrigue. It's one of the best books I've read this year.

You can buy the book from Amazon, Waterstones and other retailers.

Author Guest Post - What’s in a name?

"I think about a story for a really long time before I’ll commit to writing it – my stories often spend months simmering away in the background before I begin, and that includes spending a lot of time with potential characters. 

I once heard someone say that they liked to audition their characters before they started to write a new novel, and that’s a really good way to describe it. You spend time with them, listen to their voice and have to decide whether it is a voice that is compelling enough for you to want to write it, and hopefully, later on, compelling enough for others to want to read. 

If I give a character a name, it means I’m really serious about writing them. There were several reasons that Amber was named Amber. Reynolds, her surname, came a few weeks later and felt completely right to me and so I started writing Sometimes I Lie.

I knew the beginning (those opening lines never changed from the very first draft), I knew a lot of the twists and I knew how I wanted the story to end. What I didn’t know, was what was going to happen in my personal life a little while later.

I had written about 20,000 words of the novel when we got the call to say that my niece had been born. It’s my first time being an Aunty, so I was thrilled and we rushed to the hospital. As I stood there, holding this perfect, beautiful child in my arms, with the whole family crammed into the hospital room, her parents announced that they were going to call her Amber. 

I hope that I smiled, but on the inside I felt awful. Amber, the main character in my novel is far from perfect and I immediately felt like I would have to change her name. But I couldn’t – she was already real for me. I then tried to change her behaviour in the book, but it didn’t work and, if anything, the things she did got worse. 

Other things changed during the writing process - new twists emerged and I came up with a new ending, but I could not change my protagonist’s name or who she was. It just wasn’t possible.

Writing is honestly the best job in the world and I feel so lucky to be able to do it full time now. Every day is a new journey. Some of the journey is so familiar to you by the time you come to write it, it’s like spending time with an old friend, other parts of the journey are a completely new adventure.

I do hope that if my niece reads Sometimes I Lie one day, she’ll forgive me for using the name Amber. Hopefully she’ll enjoy the book and they won’t have too much in common!"

Thank you Alice!

About the Author

Alice Feeney is a writer and journalist. She spent 16 years at the BBC, where she worked as a Reporter, News Editor, Arts and Entertainment Producer and One O’clock News Producer.

​Alice is a Faber Academy graduate from the class of 2016. She has lived in London and Sydney and has now settled in the Surrey countryside, where she lives with her husband and dog.

Sometimes I Lie is her debut thriller and is being published around the world in 2017.

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