To mark the publication of The Child’s Secret, I’ve been on a rather grand blog tour, which was great because I didn’t have to leave home! There were plenty of stops with interviews, reviews, and a few guest blogs too.
I’ve posted all the stops on my Facebook Page, but if you missed any, then here they all are in one place:
Laura’s Little Book Blog (Extract of The Child’s Secret)
Booky Ramblings of A Neurotic Mum (Q&A)
Bookaholic Holly (Guest Post – The Not So Secret Life of An Author)
This Chick Reads (Q&A)
Debra’s Book Café (Extract and Review)
Page to Stage Reviews (Guest Post – An Author’s Best Friend)
Boons Bookcase (Guest Post – Location, Location, Location)
Handwritten Girl (Guest Post – My Perfect Day)
Cosmochicklitan (Guest Post – Poetry Emotion)
Books with Wine and Chocolate (Extract)
Echoes in an Empty Room (Review)
I’d like to thank all the wonderful book bloggers above for hosting the blog tour, not to mention for all their hard work in supporting me and so many other authors by promoting our books.
The Wishing Tree was the working title for my fifth novel The Child’s Secret which is due out in January 2016. It was the perfect name for the book at the time because it was the tree and not the child that I had the clearest image of first, which is hardly surprising given that the tree actually exists.
The Allerton Oak is the oldest tree in Calderstones Park and only a couple of miles from where I live. It’s thought to be a thousand years old and it certainly looks it. The massive trunk has been torn in two and its heavy boughs are held up with metal props, but whenever I stand in front of it, I don’t see it’s gaping wounds. I feel it’s energy and it wasn’t such a huge stretch of the imagination to believe that my favourite tree could have magical powers.
I visited the tree many times while writing The Child’s Secret and I photographed it all through the seasons. I’ve put those photos together to make a very rough and ready time lapse video which you can see here on YouTube.
You’ll have to read the book to see how a little girl called Jasmine came to believe in its magic powers too, but if you’re ever in Liverpool, don’t forget to visit the Wishing Tree and make a wish.
When I write a novel, I keep track of the timeline by putting specific dates to particular scenes, even if that information is never shared with the reader. Sometimes it helps because although the day or date isn’t mentioned, there might be some reference to past events and I need to know if that should be last week or months ago! Some of those dates stick in my mind.
This week has been very exciting, not least because I received a proof copy of my next book, The Missing Husband and this was the first time I had held a physical copy of my work – such a proud and terrifying moment. Surprisingly, however, it was the novel due out in January next year that has been occupying my mind in the last few days – or to be more precise, was on my mind on Thursday 23rd April 2015 which just happened to be World Book Night.
My fifth novel has a working title of The Wishing Tree and as I may have mentioned before, it’s based around the Allerton Oak which is a thousand year old tree in Calderstones Park, Liverpool. I’ve recently finished the latest draft, firming up the timeline and I knew that Thursday was the day that my two main characters would first meet. The park is close to home so of course I had to be there at the moment their paths cross. I can’t tell you how strange it was standing beneath the sprawling oak as that crucial scene played out in my mind. I’m almost disappointed that when I took this picture the lens failed to capture my characters too.
The Allerton Oak, Calderstones
I know there’s still a bit of a wait until that particular book is published and I wish I could tell you more about what is missing from this picture – suffice to say it should have revealed a broken man with a secret past and a vulnerable child who would become convinced by the tree’s magic powers.