Sixteen-year-old Melissa has been diagnosed with Survivor Syndrome, the guilt of having escaped from a car crash in which her mother died.
However, when on holiday in the rugged moorlands of the English countryside, she begins to see and hear things she can’t explain. And so she must ask herself: are these also symptoms of her illness? Or are they signs that her mother is reaching out to her from beyond the grave?
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AND AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR MAGGY FARRELL!
by Maggy Farrell
May 30, 2014
Today on the blog, we welcome author Maggy Farrell! She’s here to answer a few questions about her, her writing, and what’s coming next!
Pure Textuality [Jena]
We have readers all over the world and I am always curious to see where our favorite authors are from. Where do you call base camp?
Maggy Farrell [Maggy]
I’m British, but for the past fifteen years (due to my husband’s job) I’ve been living in The Hague in the Netherlands, a very pretty city filled with gorgeous architecture, street cafes, canals and art galleries – and with some great nearby beaches.
But I have to admit, I still missed home. So now that I’m back in England for a while, I’m soaking up as much of it as I can while I have the chance. Stone circles, Arthurian castles, Tudor palaces – I can’t get enough of them! And of course, my favourite thing of all – the craggy, rugged landscape of the British countryside. Dark, brooding hills under a lowering sky. Magic!
When did you decide that you wanted to be an author? Or was it something you’ve always wanted to do?
Let’s put it this way – by the age of ten I’d already written a rock opera (my school was performing Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the time) and started on my first novel. And it’s been like that ever since.
Was writing something that came naturally to you or did you have to “cultivate” it (such as schooling, workshops, etc)?
Without knowing it, I’ve been cultivating it all my life. At school, English was always my favourite subject. And then I went on to do a degree in Literature and an MA in Film, and to become an English and Drama teacher. So I’ve been surrounding myself with stories for forever.
Writers get inspiration from all over the place. Movies, books, music, people in their life, their own life, etc. What inspired you to write Guilt Trip?
The main idea for Guilt Trip came about when, about five years ago, my daughter asked me what happens to us when we die – and, having run through various ideas with her, I started thinking…
But the storyline itself is a classic one – a young, vulnerable girl falls for an older man – a father-figure – with a dark, hidden secret. It’s no coincidence that Jane Eyre and Rebecca are two of my favourite ever books.
And the inspiration for the setting is easy to work out. Living in the flat landscape of the Netherlands, I missed my English hills. And so the wild windy moors of my beloved Yorkshire – a place of many childhood holidays for me – were an obvious choice.
Writer’s block sucks. What do you do to overcome the blank stare when it hits you with everything it has got?
Thankfully, it hasn’t happened yet – possibly because of the way I write. You see I’m not much of a planner – not in detail anyway. I just like to start writing and see where it takes me. That way it’s always new and fresh and exciting – and often surprising. Not very business-minded, maybe – and very time-consuming – but much more fun!
But if my writing isn’t flowing quite as smoothly as usual, I can get on with some research. There’s always some little detail I need to check. But normally I just press on, getting the storyline down – the nuts and bolts – gradually working it all out – knowing I can improve any clunky language at a later date when I’m in a more eloquent mood.
What’s next for you and your writing? Any new titles coming out?
At the moment I’m working on a new psychological suspense thriller. The setting is based on Lindisfarne, a remote island off the North East coast of England, also known as Holy Island. And that’s very apt, as the inspiration for the story comes from my memories of a rather old-fashioned, strict Catholic upbringing.
I can’t tell you any more about it – except that I’m finding it absolutely fascinating!
Thank you so much to Maggy for joining us today!
And readers! Dont forget!
You can get your copy of Guilt Trip
today for just $0.99 on Kindle!
About Maggy Farrell
Maggy Farrell is an author and literature teacher with a fondness for craggy landscapes, lowering skies and turbulent seas. When not writing chillers, her favourite pastime is to curl up on a stormy afternoon with a good book, a cup of Earl Grey and a packet of chocolate biscuits. Heaven…