And, my book was just published!
Wow. This will never get old.
I. Just. Published. A. Book.
Alright, that's not completely true... Harper Collins have just published Perfect Strangers, my fourth published novel. I just slogged my guts out writing it for months on end, at times living a hermit-like existence having shoved the cooking/cleaning/raising of children onto poor Knighty's already-full plate, sloshing cold coffee over my keyboard, sleeping with pens in my hair and emotionally ricocheting between the equally magnetic poles of This is going to be my best bloody book ever! This book is ruddy BANGARANG! and the inevitable Holy crapballs, I've just spent the best part of two years writing a load of guff.
My career is toast.
It's been a dizzying couple of years. Thankfully though after handing the lot over to the people in the know, having a good wash, a couple of square meals and a few deep breaths, I'm back on loving terms with this book again.
Perfect Strangers is the first of a two-book deal I have with Harper Collins and the first book I've written under the pseudonym Erin Knight. I've chatted a bit about the reasons behind my name change here. It does feel as if I'm starting from scratch, which is obviously daunting after my first books doing so well in their own right (was changing my name really a smart move? What if my core readers don't realise there's another book? Obsess. Obsess. Obsess.) but so far, the release of Perfect Strangers has followed the same drill as my previous three books... lots of sleepless nights in the run up to pub day, fidgeting about what I could've/would've/should've done differently... what I should do if it's a slow burner... what I should do if it doesn't burn at all... and then...
And then suddenly it's pub day (publication day, although a date that does invariably involve a pub at some point) and, oh yes... that old familiar dazed feeling hits once more. A lot like stepping out of hospital after giving birth to your first child expecting something like Cillian Murphy's experience on 28 Days Later, but finding the buses are all still running.
Nothing crazy happens. The world does not change irrevocably. The kids still expect feeding and don't really care too much (don't care at all, the little heathens) that all those hours of mum working through the night and behaving like some highly-strung human variant of a snapping turtle have all just, finally, come to something. Whatever, ma.
Unlike my offspring, and I suspect more of my inner circle than would admit, I care a lot about my little book.
Not everyone will like Perfect Strangers but I do hope there will be those who do, and that they'll get in touch to talk about their thoughts on Isobel, Sarah and Cleo's journeys because ultimately, a stranger taking the time to touch base and share how something I've written has made them feel is the best bit. And let's face it, everyone in my house is bored of talking about it.
So please do drop me a line!
In the mean time, for those wanting the skinny on the plot, here's a quick synopsis -
Perfect Strangers charts the collision course set between the lives of three women - Isobel, Cleo and Sarah - after Isobel arrives in the vibrant surfing town of Fallenbay.
Cleo and Sarah are longstanding friends and Fallenbay natives, with Cleo running her small coastal cafe business, Coast, and Sarah teaching in the local primary school. Cleo's confident, outgoing and gregarious. She enjoys ruffling the feathers of the local school mothers and harbours ambitions to push her cafe business to new heights. But while Cleo's focused on elevating her family's position, she's missing the warning signs of the serious trouble her teenaged twins are hurtling towards. The kind of trouble no kids should ever have to confront.
Sarah's quieter, less self-assured. She has everything on paper she thinks a divorced mother of two should be more grateful for - financial security, a great guy to raise her sons with, a second chance at a happily-ever-after for them all. But something's not quite right. And of course it can't be her fiance, Jon, who's so close to perfect it's as if he's been gifted to the wrong woman. So it must be her, falling short again. And how does a woman like Sarah, who has a habit of falling short, tell a great guy like Jon she thinks they're moving too fast? Why does it always feel as though she's a passenger in her own life? And what exactly is eating her son? The wedding? Or something worse?
Isobel's family wanted her to go away for a while. Get some sunshine and recover from her unfortunate experience. Take the first steps towards rebuilding her life after watching her name, reputation, career, relationships even, all pulled apart by the vicious efforts of an anonymous online troll.
Isobel's troll knew everything about her. Her full name. Address. The high school she taught in. The people around her. Everything of any value. He knew exactly where the weak spots were and how to invade her life.
What Isobel’s troll doesn’t know, is that she’s just arrived in his hometown.
And she hasn’t come to surf.
A very cleverly woven story with a terrific cast of characters. You'll finish this, wondering - who do I REALLY know?” - Bestselling author Teresa Driscoll
Perfect Strangers is on UK and US release from March 22nd 2018, and Canada from May 2018.
It is available to buy in the UK from all the usual places including: