The Next Big Thing
Suzanne Egerton has tagged me to take part in The Next Big Thing, where each taggee imparts little known (or well known) information about the latest book they have written.
So, without further ado…consider yourselves warned…cos, I’m going in!
Q: What is the working title of your next book?
A: Nightingale. It’s just been released by Bold Strokes Books in May.
Q: Where did the idea for the book come from?
A: Originally listening to a song by Norah Jones of the same title. It’s such a wistful song, full of longing and questions without answers, and a tale a long time in the telling.
Q: What genre does your book fall under?
A: Contemporary Lesbian Romance
Q: What actors would you choose to play the part of the characters in your book?
A: Oooo, I’ve been thinking about this one. The actress Archie Panjabi would definitely by my number 1 pick for Hazaar. No question. And Charlie…a little more difficult but I think the lovely Claire Goose would be my choice.
Lovely looking couple, don’t you think?
Q: What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
A: Culture, faith, and duty conspire to tear two young lovers apart, yet fate seems to have different plans for them both.
Q: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
A: Published by Bold Strokes Books.
Q: How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
A: Three months. This one has taken the longest of all my novels so far. All the others take three to four weeks.
Q: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A: I don’t know of any that have taken a story line like this on. A lesbian relationship between a Muslim and non-Muslim, throw in forced marriage…I don’t know of any other out there like this. If you do, please let me know.
Q: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
A: Many things, really. These characters wouldn’t leave me alone. It’s a story I think needs to be told. It’s way for me to pay it forward.
That sounds weird, right? Let me explain.
When I was in one of the darkest places in my life, a single line in a book I read gave me the one thing I needed to get through it. It gave me permission to cry without admitting weakness or defeat. One single sentence. In a romance novel, set in the ice age, with wooly mammoths, Neanderthals, and people living in caves. The line simply read ‘crying doesn’t make you weak, it simply makes the pain easier to bear’. That one sentence has never left me.
Nightingale is a romance, it’s fiction, but there is an ugly truth—a reality—behind the story that is all too real. Maybe there is one word in this story that will give someone else that moment of comfort when they most need it. Had I never written this story…well, what chance then of this story being the words that help someone else out of the dark.
Q: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
A: Hmm…everyone who has read it so far has taken something different away from it, so that’s hard to say. One person who reviewed it was surprised that I’ve taken this subject with such volatile religious and cultural differences and managed to portray it honestly but without vilifying the religion. Other’s are enthralled by the format of the story. I shift from ‘now’ to ‘then’ to portray the love story of these two wonderful characters in it’s entirety. From the initial falling in love, through the loss, and the way neither of them ever gives up hope.
I hope you enjoy their story.