As Fiction Books is rounding off the tour this time, be sure to check back on some of the earlier posts, for the great reveiws, guest articles and extracts, fellow bloggers have shared.
‘FORGET MY NAME‘
You are outside your front door.
There are strangers in your house.
Then you realise. You can’t remember your name.
She arrived at the train station after a difficult week at work. Her bag had been stolen, and with it, her identity. Her whole life was in there – passport, wallet, house key. When she tried to report the theft, she couldn’t remember her own name. All she knew was her own address.
Now she’s outside Tony and Laura’s front door. She says she lives in their home. They say they have never met her before.
One of them is lying.
After reading English at Magdalene College, Cambridge, Jon worked as a freelance journalist in London, writing features for most of Britain’s national newspapers, as well as contributing to BBC Radio 4. He was also chosen for Carlton TV’s acclaimed screenwriters course.
In 1995 he lived in Kochi in Kerala, where he worked on the staff of India’s The Week magazine. Between 1998 and 2000, he was a foreign correspondent in Delhi, writing for the Daily Telegraph, South China Morning Post and the Singapore Straits Times. He also wrote the Last Word column in The Week magazine from 1995 to 2012.
On his return to Britain in 2000, Jon worked on various Saturday sections of the Telegraph before taking up a staff job as editor of its flagship Weekend section in 2005, which he oversaw for five years. He left Weekend and the Telegraph in 2010 to finish writing his Daniel Marchant trilogy and returned to the Telegraph in February 2013 to oversee their digital books channel. In May 2014 he was promoted to Executive Head of Weekend and Living, editing the paper’s Saturday and Sunday print supplements, as well as a range of digital lifestyle channels. He left the paper in October 2015 to resume his thriller-writing career.
As Jon Stock, he is the successful author of a number of spy novels and now as J.S. Monroe, he is busily writing standalone psychological thrillers.
Jon lives in Wiltshire with his wife and children.
Keep up with all the latest news on J.S.’s website
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As the final stop on this compact Blog Tour ‘Head Of Zeus’ and the author, would like me to share this short extract from the book
He smiles conspiratorially and reaches for the bottle of Pouilly-Fumé. ‘Do you want some wine?’
‘No thanks. Dr Patterson says I should stay off the alcohol.’
‘She’s right. Bad for the brain. I might have a small glass.’
He talks further about his gallery café, how he’s getting more passing cyclists and narrowboat tourists than he thought, and then there’s a lacuna in our conversation. We’ve finished the chowder and I’m sipping on another mint tea, holding the mug with both hands in the hope that it prevents any more shaking.
‘Can you describe how it feels?’ he asks. ‘To not remember?’
I think for a moment before I answer. I know I should talk to him about amnesia – it’s important – but I’m finding this all so difficult.
‘It’s like I’m on a speedboat, racing across the open sea,’ I begin. ‘When I look back, expecting to see a wake behind me, there’s just calm, empty water, stretching for miles and miles, no evidence that I’ve even been there. And what’s really weird is that the water ahead looks empty too. It’s almost as if I’m unable to imagine a future if I can’t recall my past.’
‘Are you frightened about tomorrow morning, having to start all over again?’
‘When I read everything that’s gone on today I won’t believe that it all’s happened to me, that it’s my life.’
I begin to feel tearful, hearing myself summarise the day I’ve had. I’ve done well this evening to hold it together. ‘The thing is, I’m starting to forget things myself,’ he says. ‘Little things.’
He doesn’t answer immediately and when he does, his voice is quieter, more thoughtful. ‘It’s not so much not being able to find the car keys but wondering for a split second what they’re for when I do find them.’
‘Does that worry you?’
‘It terrifies me.’ He pauses. ‘Like a glimpse into old age.’
‘My life has only just begun,’ I say, managing a laugh. ‘I’m two days old.’
He smiles, but I know his heart isn’t in it, his mind elsewhere. He gets up from the table and starts to clear the dishes.
‘I don’t like the thought of you waking up on your own, in that poky old pub room,’ he says, his back to me at the sink.
‘You’re welcome to stay here, you know. Down on the sofa, or up in the guest room. I just think you might need someone around in the morning.’
‘Dinner was lovely. Delicious. But I need to go now.’ I dab at my lips with a napkin. The shaking has started again. ‘I’m tired. And I’ve got a lot to write up. To remember.’
‘As you like,’ he says, turning to me. He wipes his hands on the tea towel and folds it neatly.
‘But thank you,’ I say, getting up from the table. I need to be away from here. I head through to the sitting room.
‘It’s better you use the rear door,’ he calls out after me. ‘And at least let me walk you over to the pub.’
‘I’m fine, honestly,’ I say, trying not to panic. It’s as if we’ve embarked on a frantic dance, manoeuvring around each other.
I manage to resist running out into the street and make myself return to the kitchen, where he has opened the back door. He puts a hand on my arm to stop me as I pass him. I know what’s coming next, how our dance will end….