I have an occasional series called #WhenDreamsComeTrue where I share stories of how people in the book world have achieved their dreams. Today I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Gemma Metcalfe to My Chestnut Reading Tree with a fabulous guest post about her journey to publication. Her debut novel, Trust Me, has been one of my favourite books of the year so far mainly due to her ability to surprise the hell out of me!
TRUST ME- I will become an author!
How I achieved my writing dream
I have always been fascinated with books and authors, in particular crime novels, and in recent years, psychological/ suspense thrillers. At the age of thirteen, instead of watching Biker Grove and Saved By The Bell, I was curled up reading Martina Cole!
Fast-forward fifteen years, I had graduated university with a degree which included creative writing, and was about to complete my MA Diploma in Education. Although I was gearing up to be a Primary school teacher, I still had a burning desire to become an author. I was told repeatedly how hard it was, how publishers literally receive thousands of manuscripts per week, and in reality, there was zilch chance of a deal.
In all honesty, I never really expected a book deal (let alone one with HarperCollins!), I just knew how much I loved to write and that my ambition was to write a full novel. It was not all plain sailing. I had ideas and began to write, only to give up after a few chapters. Looking back, my storylines were not strong enough and I hadn’t read enough from my chosen genre to fully grasp how to structure a thriller plot. I persevered, and my writing style developed, until one day, I had an idea!
´Trust Me´, originally titled ´The Call´, is loosely based on my experience of being a call-centre operative, where I was never quite sure who would answer the phone.
So, after completing ´Trust Me´ in 2016, I sent it off to HQ digital (an imprint of HarperCollins) for consideration… and the rest is history!
The response I have received has been incredible, reaching sixty 5* reviews in only three weeks. Trust Me is currently in Amazon´s Hot New Releases, and I hope it will continue to climb the charts.
Of course, despite the initial success, I appreciate I am only at the beginning of my writing journey, but I’m excited for the twists and turns which I know are to come.
It still feels a little bit like a dream.
Thank you so much Gemma for sharing this “dream come true” guest post. And for anyone who missed my review, here it is again!
About this book…
One phone call. Two lives. Their darkest secrets.
Lana needs to sell a holiday, fast. Stuck in Tenerife, in a dead end job, she never expected a response quite like Liam’s.
Thousands of miles away a phone rings. Liam never intended to pick up, he’s too busy choosing the quickest way to die. But at least someone should know the truth before he goes, even if that someone is a stranger.
As time runs out both are drawn to the other, expressing thoughts they never imagined they would share.
When you’re about to die will your secrets even matter?
Wow! Trust Me is the best 99p I have spent in a long time! I saw this book had some great early reviews so got my pre order in and it magically appeared on my Kindle on Friday. And normally books then languish there for a good few weeks (months) due to my ridiculously high TBR pile but this one had intrigued me so much that I went to bed with it on Sunday night. And in the early hours of Monday morning I finally put it down with just that one word…….”wow”!
It’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel. Gemma Metcalfe has taken her inspiration from a job she knows well and woven a twisted “what if?” around it in such a unique and engrossing writing style that you will be gripped immediately. Honestly, I defy ANYONE to be able to put this book down once they start it! It had all the pace of a Hollywood blockbuster but with a thoughtful insight that you don’t much see in this genre. But the best thing about it for me was that I had absolutely no idea where it was going! I LOVE being surprised by a book, it doesn’t happen to me much nowadays so when it does I just want to scream and shout and generally rave about it to anyone who will listen!
These two main characters Lana and Liam have never met but they are about to become the most important person in each others life as their deepest thoughts and darkest secrets slowly come together. I loved that the random phone call brought them together at just the right time and from that first contact I was desperate to discover what they were both hiding. You can almost feel Lana’s desperation as she starts off trying to make the sale that will save her skin but then it becomes an agonising race against time to hear how Liams story will end. Both threads kept my attention throughout and I would get fully invested in the tragic occurrences in Liams life then be left hanging in anticipation while we switched to the chain of events explaining how Lana ended up in that dead end job in Tenerife. There were some great unexpected plot twists here as well, one of which I didn’t see until it slapped me in the face with its originality and brilliance! Very clever indeed!
And after all that build up I wasn’t disappointed by the perfectly pitched ending – the cherry on the top of an involving and well rounded thriller that is unlike anything else you will read this year. Gemma Metcalfe should be so proud of herself for this uniquely fabulous debut and I am so looking forward to seeing what other deliciously warped ideas come from Gemma’s twisted imagination. Highly recommended by me!
Trust Me was published by HQ Digital on 10th March 2017 and you can click Trust Me: The thrilling suspense that will have you hooked in 2017! to purchase this book from Amazon UK.