THE GIRL IN HIS EYES – It’s all happening!

Getting close to publication

My novel, 19 years in the making if you include all the years I put it aside, is soon to emerge into the world. THE GIRL IN HIS EYES, a dark psychological drama with echoes of Lolita, is two months away from publication. (These echoes may be quite distant, and are of course highly dependent on the reader.)

lolita flimIt’s a hectic, exciting and nerve-jangling time right now, with so many things to think about and attend to. I’ve started a project plan for the months ahead but haven’t had much time to update it. I’ve arranged venues for the launch party, designed an invite and have started sending it out. After around 50 attempts I’ve finalised the blurb, with the help of the Bloodhound team and author Natalie Fergie, who made some excellent last-minute suggestions. The tagline is ready (Could you face your worst fears?) The cover came back the other week (can’t share it yet), I’ve finished the copy edit and the proofs have just come in for me to make any final changes.

How might people react to a novel containing child abuse?

After all this time, ‘final changes’ is both music to my ears and – well, disconcerting. It’s time to let my baby go… Did I take out all those pesky song –lyrics? Is there some dreadful hole in the plot that no one has spotted yet? And most of all, can I really let a novel out into the world with scenes depicting lapdancing clubs and child sexual abuse, one which is written partly from the POV of a child abuser?

First review

With a little trepidation, this week I sent off the first advance copies to reviewers. Yesterday I had the first review back and nearly fainted with shock and relief at her reaction (also, I was sitting on a Northern line tube train in 30 degree heat at the time which didn’t help). However, I’m aware that I’ve ventured into risky territory and the book’s subject matter is likely to disturb some readers. I’m wondering if I should put a warning in the book!

The book’s inspiration – deciding how much to share

As some of my own experiences inspired THE GIRL IN HIS EYES (it is most definitely a novel, not real life), I’ve spent considerable time thinking about whether to go public with this, and to what extent. Do I want to reveal the ‘real-life story behind the book’ to the media, or blogs? Would that be too much of an intrusion into my privacy – or is it time to let go of the darker events in my past?

Strangely, thinking about what I want to say about the real-life events which inspired this book seems to echo the dilemma faced by my central character Laura, who must decide whether she has the courage to expose the wrongdoings of her father.

At the moment, I’m not sure how much my decision – to be open about everything, pretty much – is going to impact on my life. I’ve already told lots of friends and a fair few others about the abuse in my childhood, but I’ve not mentioned anything in public. (In fact, this is the first time I’ve even referred to it in a public space, which is another milestone reached, I guess.) This could have unforeseen consequences, who knows. But it feels like the right time to share, given the climate of women – and men, of course – speaking up about their experiences.

I’m off for a brief trip westwards for a breather, then it’s back to checking the proofs…

IMG_3023

Note: Pictures for this blog post have been a challenge, given the cover is still under wraps.

Your experiences

If anyone has had a similar dilemma about whether to make public their book’s inspiration, you’re welcome to share here – or thoughts about anything else in this post.

 


11 thoughts on “THE GIRL IN HIS EYES – It’s all happening!

  1. I think that most of our books hold echoes of personal experiences, sometimes very heavily camouflaged and sometimes almost unconsciously included. Whether to acknowledge those in ‘public’ must be a very hard thing to deal with, but I should think that once you know the answer it will feel like the only thing you could have done. Ver good luck with this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations!!! Obviously some topics will have you asking whether you should toe that line and put them out there… But, I feel that as long as you are honest with your topic and you don’t sensationalize or undermine it (and that it serves a distinct purpose in the book) people are usually pretty accepting! I hope things continue to go well!! 👍👍

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s a difficult subject to deal with and the question of sharing personal experiences in public is another challenge. I think it’s high time to share such realities in fiction, however regarding sharing personal experience, one most consider it thoroughly. It depends on your final decision on this, Jennie. Do what your heart tells you to do. I’ll respect your decision. 🙂

    Like

  4. It has been my experience that sharing too much about oneself when in the public eye can be damaging, especially in today’s society where politeness and understanding have taken a backseat to “in your face” confrontation. Sharing through your work, getting the message out to the world via a fictional character, would seem the ideal way to handle it.
    I’m excited for your book to be published; I cannot wait to read it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have no idea which way to advise you. I think you’re very brave, which in this trolling world may be needed, but you also seem to have some very good friends and support. Writing from the POV of a child abuser is certainly daring, but fiction exists to try and clarify all POVs and if it’s done well we all gain greater understanding (which is not the same as empathy). I look forward to reading the story you make of it. Good luck and enjoy the rest of the process!

    Liked by 1 person

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