I’m delighted to be sharing a fab guest post and a range of new covers from Sophie King today. You’re in for a treat!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sophie King is the author of six novels and a short story collection about families, friends and lovers. Her first novel, The School Run, was a bestseller when first published in 2005, and it was a bestseller for the second time when republished by Corazon Books in 2012.
Sophie’s latest release is Your Place or Mine? a new digital edition of her novel The Supper Club.
In between novels, Sophie writes short stories and has had hundreds published in magazines such as Woman’s Weekly and My Weekly. She also gives regular talks/workshops at bookshops and literary festivals including Winchester and Guildford.
Sophie is delighted to support new romance writing through her annual writing competition The Sophie King Prize.
I SIMPLY DON’T BELIEVE IT …
OK. I confess it. Last month, I did something terrible. I actually put another author’s book in the bin. I didn’t even give it to the charity shop round the corner which is the recipient of all our rubbish including things that shouldn’t have been in the bag in the first place (such as a mobile phone and a vibrator that didn’t even belong to me).
Forget I said that. I need to tell you about the book. Why did I bin it? Because I simply didn’t believe in the plot. I loved the beginning which set up a series of problems that really got me turning the page. How on earth, I asked myself, was the heroine going to get out of this one?
It turned out that the author might have been wondering the same thing. The final solution was … no, I can’t tell you or it might identify the book. Let’s just say that you had to believe in a very big coincidence if the plot was going to work.
Coincidences are funny things. They happen enough in real life. But when you slip them in a book, they look as though you’ve made them up. In one of my earlier novels, I wanted to include a scene based on the real story about a man who met two sisters at a party. He particularly liked one of them but he got their names muddled. So when he rang up, he asked for the wrong sister. Of course he realised his mistake on the first date but, like the gentleman he was, he said nothing.
Reader, he ended up by marrying her.
This happened to a friend of mine. Honestly. But it didn’t get into print because my then-editor thought it was too much of a coincidence. And although it hurt, I could see her point.
Recently, some new people moved in next door so of course we asked them round for a cuppa. Turned out that they used to live near where I grew up as a child. Miles away. But if you wrote about a woman whose new neighbours ‘happened’ to live where she had gone to school (and also knew about her family secret), a reader might well be sceptical. I should add here that I don’t have a family secret. I have several.
The same goes for twins. We have family friends who are like peas in a pod. They have gone out with each other’s boyfriends; taken job interviews for each other; and even tricked their parents. But twins are generally seen as a ‘cop out’ for a story. Readers, agents and editors demand a more unusual solution to mistaken identity.
As for dreams, don’t even get me started! I’ve learned to pay heed to mine. The other month I had a dream that someone in my family was about to have a really lucky break. The person in question got the job he’d been after, the very next day. But if you put it in a book, it would be a cop out …
It’s here I need to make a second confession. Yesterday, I happened to bump into a friend who knows the author of the book I binned. ‘Of course,’ she said, ‘some people thought the ending was a bit of a coincidence. But you know what? It really happened to her.’
Too late to go through the bin. But I think I ought to buy another copy to make up for my behaviour. As for the vibrator that ended up in the charity shop, I have to be honest. There are a few coincidences involved in that story too. But in the interest of those involved, I’m keeping mum …
Gorgeous aren’t they!