Today I’m delighted to welcome you to my stop on the Sometimes I Lie blog tour….or am I? Only kidding! This is one of my favourite books of the year so far and I NEVER lie when it comes to books. I am thrilled to celebrate publication day with a fabulous guest post from the author herself.
Guest post… A piece about the journey of the book from the research needed for a ‘woman in a coma’ storyline, right through to writing and publishing the book.
When I read a book, I want to believe it, I want to feel like I’m there. When I’m writing, I want my own words to feel just as real to the person reading them. I’ve never been in a coma, but I desperately wanted my main character to be in one, so I started by reading a lot about comas and coma patients. I trawled through old newspaper articles and stories I found online. It fascinated me how different the experiences I read about were, but it wasn’t enough.
A good friend knew what I was writing about and offered to help. She arranged for me to spend some time at Milton Keynes University hospital. I met with staff who explained in detail exactly what looking after a coma patient entails. I was able to experience being in the room where a coma patient would be cared for. I remember closing my eyes, wanting to hear what Amber might hear; the swish of a nurse’s plastic apron, footsteps and machines beeping dispassionately close by. I could smell what Amber would smell – a nurse’s body lotion and the food being served on a nearby ward making me feel hungry. One member of the team even performed a resuscitation on a dummy to help me to know what Amber might hear, imagine and feel.
I was also lucky enough to meet with a member of staff who not only looked after coma patients, but also managed their aftercare. She was kind enough to share some of the stories that patients had told her about how they felt and what they could remember. The experience of spending time at the hospital was invaluable, and I’m incredibly grateful to the staff who kindly gave up their time to answer my many, many questions.
I don’t think it’s possible to always write what you know – there are many brilliant books that simply would not exist if all authors stuck to that rule. But you can, and I think should, try to know as much as possible about what you write.
I enjoyed writing this novel so much! I feel incredibly lucky to have an amazing agent now called Jonny Geller. Since agreeing to represent me, he has sold the novel around the world and everything that has happened since feels like the most wonderful dream! There was a newspaper article a couple of weeks ago, where they muddled my name with Amber’s, so that the piece said ‘Alice is in a coma.’ I did have a moment where I wondered if I was indeed lying unconscious in a hospital bed somewhere and had perhaps invented the story of my book being published to amuse myself! Everything happened very fast, and for a while I did struggle to believe it was real – it really is a dream come true and I feel incredibly lucky!
About this book…
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me.
1. I’m in a coma
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore
3. Sometimes I lie
Unnerving, twisted and utterly compelling, you won’t be able to put this new thriller down. Set to be the most talked about book in 2017, it’s perfect for fans of Behind Closed Doors, The Girl on the Train and The Widow.
Oh I liked this one! In fact, I really REALLY liked this one. I read it in one sitting until 2 in the morning and then I found I couldn’t get to sleep afterwards as the plot twists, especially those final few pages, kept replaying themselves in my head! Even now I’m still thinking about it and that makes this one a standout psychological thriller in my opinion, managing to both surprise and delight me with its original and breathtakingly deceitful concept.
Right from the opening few paragraphs, I was hooked. Amber Reynolds is my favourite kind of protagonist, the unreliable narrator. She admits this herself on the first page so we know that we can’t trust her but as the plot develops, it appears that nearly every character has something to hide and we can’t trust anyone-this was shaping up to be my idea of a perfect psychological thriller! I had no idea where it was heading, thinking I would pick up hints along the way. But the further it delved into the “woman in peril” scenario, the less I managed to figure out who was lying and even more importantly-why?
The scenes I found the most chilling were when Amber was in her hospital bed, able to hear all that was going on around her but not able to see her carers or visitors let alone respond. Her visitors took on a more sinister persona when removed of their visual identity and it was made worse by the fact that Amber couldn’t remember what happened to put her in a coma in the first place. So she was also in the same position as the reader, gradually sifting through the evidence whilst trusting no one, hoping to solve the mystery of how she got there before it’s too late.
This is a superb debut novel from Alice Feeney. She is a gifted storyteller able to weave her deliciously dark and shockingly devious plotlines with her twisted imagination, tormenting her poor readers till the very last sentence. If it hadn’t been the wee small hours of the morning when I finished it, then I would have quickly scrolled back to page one and started to read the whole gripping and gratifying “mind mash” all over again!
Huge thanks to HQ digital and netgalley for my review copy of Sometimes I Lie which I have chosen to read and review.
Sometimes I Lie: The gripping debut psychological thriller you can’t miss in 2017 will be published by HQ digital on 23rd March 2017 and can be pre-ordered at Amazon UK.
About the author…
Alice Feeney is a writer and journalist. She has spent 15 years with BBC News where she worked as a Reporter, News Editor, Arts and Entertainment Producer and One O’Clock News Producer.
Alice is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy Writing a Novel course.
Alice has lived in London and Sydney and has now settled in the Surrey countryside, where she lives with her husband and dog.