Yay! It’s my turn on the Blog Tour for ‘If Only You Knew‘ by Cynthia Clark and joy of joys, I have an author guest post to share for my spotlight!
Thanks of course to Cynthia and the lovely Melanie at Aria Fiction, for making all this possible.
Why not take a few moments to check out some of the other great stops on the tour!
One wrong decision, one terrifying night, leaves student Elizabeth with a stark choice – kill or be killed. And the consequences of that choice will shape her whole life.
Now a wife, a mother, and a lawyer, she must find a way to out run her past, protect her family and live with her secret. But is it really possible to live a happy life with such a huge shadow cast by the past? And as it becomes clear that someone else knows her secret and is hunting her down, time is running out for Elizabeth to keep her family safe.
In the bestselling tradition of Clare Mackintosh and Jenny Blackhurst, Cynthia Clark has written a heart-stopping story about the choices we make and how far we’d go to protect our families. Even if it means deceiving the people we love most…
Clicking on the book’s title will link you with its dedicated Goodreads page
After following her now husband to New York, she worked as a writer for online business journals, before moving to London, where she started writing her debut novel, If You Only Knew.
She currently spends most of her time running after her one-year-old twin daughters while writing her next book.
Follow Cynthia on Twitter
Perhaps it is my years working as a reporter that has made me appreciate fictional writing even more. There are no constraints, no boundaries, no restrictions. I love the freedom of taking my characters on an exciting journey of my own making.
As my showcase for both the book and its lovely author, Cynthia has prepared this excellent guest post, which she would like me to share with you.
“THREE SOURCES OF INSPIRATION”
Every time I tell anyone about my first book, If You Only Knew, I’m invariably asked the same question: “Where did you get the inspiration?” The first couple of times I shrugged it off. “Here and there,” I replied. But the question gave me pause, made me want to dig deep for the real answer, one that is true to me. Certainly, I didn’t want to respond with what I believed others wanted to hear.
Inspiration is quite a fickle thing. It can come from anywhere and everywhere. The woman sitting next to me on the bus, a phrase someone says, a scene from a movie, a storyline in a book. Everything can be a trigger to build a new character, a subplot, or even a full story.
The more I thought about it, the more I realised that there are three main sources of inspiration which have helped me write If You Only Knew and are instrumental as I write my next book.
First, and perhaps most important, is the wisdom acquired by everyday life, especially one filled with new experiences. Some people make a decision not to steer too far from where they grew up, where they feel more comfortable. I, on the other hand, have never shied away from pushing the boundaries. And that included leaving wherever home was, the place I was comfortable, and exploring somewhere new. Just last month I moved across the Atlantic for the third time in seven years. Moving to a new place keeps me on my toes, allowing me to see a new city, a new country even, from a different perspective. It doesn’t matter how often one travels, how many new places have been visited, there’s nothing like setting up a home somewhere fresh. Everything is different. You need to learn a new culture, make new friends, get the lay of the land. Even if the language is the same, there are communication subtleties that can make or break new relationships. Moving has allowed me to change old habits and see everyday things from a different perspective. And that has been instrumental in helping me create new characters.
The years I spent working as a journalist have definitely given me fodder for my stories. Being at the frontline of news exposed me to experiences that I would otherwise never have been introduced to. Primarily I was able to meet and talk to different people, delve into their lives, try to understand what made them take certain actions. It was this exposure to some very interesting individuals that helps me create new characters. Although none of the characters in If You Only Knew are based on real people, I have borrowed some traits from people I’ve met while working at a newspaper and used them to build new personalities. Sometimes characters are a jigsaw of different people. After all, one of the best parts of writing is the ability to create the characters that you want, that best fit the story.
Finally, a major source of inspiration is social media. Today people share their lives with everyone else, telling total strangers what they’ve had for breakfast, what happened on the train to work, how their boss is driving them crazy. What might seem like mundane updates give me a more colourful portrayal of other people’s lives. Pictures, status updates, even emojis, can help inspiration strike, be the spark needed to create a new plot line, a new twist in a story.
Inspiration can strike anywhere. But it can also be flighty, especially when a thought is starting to be formed. Thankfully my phone is always at arm’s reach, allowing me to jot everything down, make sure that I don’t forget anything.