I thought little could top the total amazing-ness of 2014, but I was wrong.
After much discussion with my editor, Greg, and managing editor, Rebecca, I am delighted to announce that last Monday I signed a two book contract with Accent Press.
Nothing is set in stone regarding release dates but provisionally, Redemption Song will be released in late 2015/early 2016 with a possible e-book release this summer, with Skin Deep following hot on the heels of Redemption Song in summer 2016. I’m excited at the prospect of working with Greg and all the team at Accent again – they’re such a dynamic, dedicated and talented bunch, and they work their socks off.
So, what are these books going to be about? Love, Redemption and Beauty.
Redemption Song is about faith and forgiveness, an old pier ballroom, and the redemptive power of love. A rough blurb might go like this:
After a tragedy, twenty-four-year-old medical student Saffron de Lacy and her mother, Rain, move to a remote Welsh resort to heal. Riddled with grief and guilt, Saffron is angry and confused. Faith is the key to Rain’s redemption, if only she can admit the truth.
Carpenter Joe Jones lives a solitary life on the edge of town. Joe is also hiding; he’s not all he appears and he’d like to keep it that way.
When Joe rescues Saffron after her car breaks down he is drawn into the women’s lives. Saffron is trapped by her past; something Joe understands all too well, though he plans revenge. To move on, they must learn to trust and forgive. Love could redeem them, but will they risk it?
It’s set in a fictional seaside town inspired by Llandudno on the north Wales coast. Here are some pictures of Llandudno on my last research visit there. A rock shop also features in the story, as well as an old Standard.
Skin Deep is a darker read. It’s also a contemporary novel, set in Manchester and London, and is told through the eyes of beautiful artist Diana and interwoven with the story of Cal, a deformed boy. Both of them are seeking love and purpose, trying to find acceptance and their place in a world fixated with image. The novel follows their journey to professional success and personal happiness across two decades, and explores love, beauty, and the legacy of parental exploitation.
An early draft of the novel was in the final seven of a national competition with a glitzy awards ceremony held at the O2 and was almost picked up three years ago – but the novel’s near-misses journey is an involved tale, with plenty of advice and warning for new writers, and best left for another post. Since then, Skin Deep has been sitting in a virtual drawer, awaiting a rewrite. It’s a story I haven’t been able to let go of, or the characters, and I’m more pleased than I can say that Diana and Cal will finally get to tell the world their story. There’s a lot of work to be done first, of course.
And on that note, I’d better get on with it. My first deadline is the end of the month. Yikes.