PREY… and TOMBSTONE

Post 9 of 40

PREY s currently out there on submission, and so I’m unable to fiddle with it any more.

It started life a few years ago as Emily’s Dreaming in which the protagonist Emily has vivid dreams which come true, and she is forced to use her psychic powers to track down nanny Gabrielle who kidnaps Emily’s baby brother.
Version Two Prey lost the psychic element and concentrated purely on the kidnap and the evil nanny.
The latest version is now a dual narrative thriller – now Gabrielle is sixteen, and we see how and why she gets into crime.
The idea for the book arose fairly naturally from my previous, non fiction writing, which was about baby and child care and development. Who looks after the baby is a fraught issue for parents – and I thought it would be fun to explore that in a book. So it started with a working mother, new baby, and nanny. That was the launch point, but it’s not really where it ended up, because I got far more interested in the big sister, Emily. In fact when I started writing, Emily’s voice came through very clearly as the narrator, and after that, the book was driven by what was happening to her, and how she felt about it. A first person narrator is not always easy, but this book zipped along with her in charge. Having said that, the voice has changed so much since that early version, but I still have Emily as first person narrator.
But in the final incarnation, I realised it was interesting to contrast Emily’s life with Gabrielle’s, and in the process to think about rich and poor – hence the new narrator, and in fact Gabrielle has now taken over. It’s been an interesting journey!

Tombstone. A few years ago I started writing a ghost story for adults. My main character was a journalist called Melissa who is being haunted. She thinks the ghosts are manifestations of past guilty secrets. It was fun to write and I was about 25,000 words in when I got more interested in the disappearance of her Dad, which was initially a minor sub-plot. And as that became more of a major thread, I began to see that it would probably make more sense if Melissa was a teenager, and rather than the ghosts being about her past, that they would be about her future…

This article was written by Caroline

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