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Never Coming Home… The ‘Wispa It …’ Blog Tour

The house was in a kind of mews, not directly on the river. Compact, made of old brick. It was a world away from the backstreets of Hackney where he’d grown up. That was an even longer time ago. Yet another name, and another life. He frowned. He didn’t need stuff like that surfacing. He was American, nowadays – it said so on his passport.

He’d asked the cab to drop him on the opposite site of the  road. Reconnaissance. Even now he didn’t have to knock on that neat, blank front door. Bobby’s words echoed. He would be stirring up something that maybe was better left. She’d made no attempt to contact him.

The paint on the house was shiny; the windows were clean, with boxes on the sills overflowing with spring stuff. He could recognise daffodils but the other things, blue and white, kind of like bells? No idea what they were. Pretty though. Like someone cared. There was a slim tree in a pot beside the door, with more daffodils. Someone had made an effort. Life was going on here.

That’s another taster from the first chapter of Never Coming Home. Keep following the tour for more.

Many thanks to The Nut Press for hosting the second stop on the ‘Wispa it …’ Tour. It’s good to be here, having met Kath and Squizzey at the RNA conference last year.

Almost the first thing anyone asks, after they’ve congratulated you on finally getting a publishing contract, is ‘What is the book about?’ This is the part where the author — me — shuffles, stutters and comes up with a cautious — ‘It’s a romantic thriller.’ Then there’s a couple of seconds of silence, that go on for about ten minutes or so, during which you can see it in their eyes. ‘Yes – but what is the book about.’

As you will have guessed, I’m not that good at what is known as the elevator pitch — the summing up of your carefully crafted masterpiece into half a dozen earth-stopping words that completely encapsulate its brilliance, relevance and the downright deliciousness of your hero. I find it extremely difficult. Some of this is down to natural ineptitude, but some of it is due to the fact that the book is a thriller, with quite a complex plot, AND I DON’T WANT TO GIVE TOO MUCH AWAY!

So, it’s about, um, well …

It’s about a young woman, Kaz, who is getting over the tragedy of losing her five-year-old daughter in a car crash. Six months after the crash, a stranger turns up on her doorstep, with an incredible story. As a result of that story, Kaz begins a quest that takes her to some of the most beautiful parts of Europe, in an attempt to find out what really happened to her daughter. Oh, and the stranger, Devlin, goes with her. And he is seriously hot — And Kaz has sort of noticed that he’s hot … and he seems to feel the same way about her. You get the picture. That’s what the book is about. But sadly that’s not an elevator pitch. It’s a summing up of a book that’s got a twisty plot and an edgy love affair bundled together in 300+ pages.

How they got bundled, I don’t exactly know. I can’t point to a particular thing that gave me inspiration for the book, and I don’t know how the plot got to be the way it did. I admire books by master plotters, like Robert Goddard, but I’m not one of those who do puzzles or cross-words or anything like that. When I stand outside the writing process, I think that I just sit down and write. If anyone asks, I’d say I was a pantser, not a plotter — I certainly get moments when the characters take off and I’m running after them — but I don’t think it can be like that — in fact, I know it’s not, as when I go back to check on something (like when an editor asks a particularly awkward question) I find that I have all sorts of pieces of paper with timetables and timelines, dates of birth and character motivation scribbled on them. As a result of this, I’ve reached the conclusion that I do a lot more plotting than I think I do.

An awful lot of it goes on before I even begin the book. At present, I’m in the very early stages of planning something that might possibly become something else at some stage in the future — precision stuff, you’ll notice. I’m watching the process a little more, and I think that’s what happens. If you write, then you research, and if you research, then you have to be open to what that research tells you. I think a lot of what I do comes out of that. And I do like timelines, slanting ones that go from one corner of the page to the other — Why do they have to do that? I have no idea.

I don’t sit down and write a synopsis first. I don’t do chapter plans. I don’t even write in chapters, except to mark the places where there is a good cliffhanger ending. I don’t fill in those questionnaires where you list your character’s favourite colour, her shoe size, name of childhood pet, etc. For years I felt incredibly guilty about not doing any of those things. But the words didn’t stop falling out of the pen and onto the page. Now, I let them get on with it. Everyone works in the way that is best for them. I think I probably plot a lot, but it’s a bit like the iceberg, most of it is under the water — I let the characters tell me details of who they are when they are ready – and I look up stuff, when I need to, but a lot of general research goes on before I ever get as far as writing.

How did I get here? I really don’t have a clue.

Never Coming Home is Evonne Wareham’s debut novel and is published by ChocLit. For more information, check out Evonne’s Author Website or Blog where she blogs on Wednesdays. She tweets (sometimes) at @evonnewareham. The next stop on the tour will be Love Reading, Love Books on Friday 10th February and you can find details of all the stops on the tour here: The Wispa It… Blog TourNever Coming Home will be available to purchase from 8th March. It will be officially launched in Waterstones in Cardiff from 7pm on Thursday 15th March. If you are in the area, you are very welcome to drop in.

For your chance to win a copy of Never Coming Home and a delicious Wispa chocolate bar to enjoy while reading it, ‘Wispa’ what your guilty reading pleasure is in the comments below, and Squizzey will choose a winner on Monday 13th February. 

Comments

kath
Reply

Thanks very much for stopping by as part of your Wispa It… blog tour for Never Coming Home, Evonne. It was lovely having you to visit and Squizzey & I want to wish you all the best with your debut novel!

I have to hope that the squirrel won’t read this but my guilty reading pleasure is Rupert the Bear annuals. (I know! A B.E.A.R. – hence the guilt.) I used to get an annual for Christmas every year and I still love re-visiting the stories and illustrations of Rupert and his pals.

Evonne
Reply

Hi Kath
It is lovely to be here. And I won’t tell about your guilty pleasure. Looking forward to reading a few others too.

Teresa Morgan
Reply

Evonne, what a wonderfully honest (and fun) answer. Gosh, I don’t do half the things I feel I should be doing, too (and feel guilty about it). I’m glad I’m not the only one. Can’t wait to read your book.

I’m not very good with the elevator-pitch either. Jane made it look so easy at the conference last year lol!

I think my guilty pleasure is a Choc Lit novel. I am a huge fan of Sue Moorcroft’s books. Loved Christina Courtenay’s The Scarlet Kimono and have Trade Winds to read. And I have so many more Choc-lit books on my to-read list! All Choc Lit books look devouring!

Good luck with the launch of your book!

Fennie Somerville
Reply

My guilty pleasure is very simple. And quite boring. I love dipping into books that I know and love, luxuriating in good prose, reading for the memories my favourite books bring. Sometimes I will dip into a children’s book; sometimes a novel or memoir, sometimes a play; but always when I should be doing something else. Just ducking out of the real world for five minutes. Re-assuring myself that the characters who live in my brain are still there, tucked away on the black and white page. Like toys, almost!

kath
Reply

That’s not boring at all, Fennie, and you put it so beautifully. I don’t think anyone can begrudge you your five minutes of escapism – you are checking up on old friends, after all!

Kat
Reply

My guilty pleasure is chick lit books about dieting, babies or weddings. I am not married or have kids and never been on a diet so maybe because it’s nothing that affects me personally means I can dive right in and lose myself in the story of a lifetime

kath
Reply

It’s a great idea to choose books about different lives to our own, so I share your guilty pleasure, Kat. One of my favourite things about books is that for the duration of reading one, you can inhabit a totally different world.

Sharon Goodwin
Reply

It’s always interesting to read how authors create. Fab post for your second blog stop Evonne.

I’m on page 298 – was so tired midnight had to stop but am eager to get back to tying up the loose ends. I will be lost without Kaz and Dev! Fantastic crafting.

Shaz @ Jera’s Jamboree

Debs
Reply

I’m reading this book now and really enjoying it. However you managed it, you’ve written a fab book!

Evonne
Reply

Thanks for the comments, ladies. I can identify with most of the guilty pleasures.
All right — all of them!!!

Julie
Reply

The book looks wonderful, Evonne! I love romantic fiction, but I refuse to feel guilty about reading it. Something that gives so many people across the world so much pleasure is a good thing in my book!

The amount of chocolate I consume, on the other hand, is a completely different matter!

kath
Reply

Ha! As long as it’s only the amount of chocolate you consume and not the consumption of chocolate that you feel guilty about, Julie… thanks very much for stopping by The Nut Press.

kath
Reply

Congratulations to Fennie Somerville who wins a copy of Evonne’s book Never Coming Home together with a Wispa bar to eat while reading it.

Thanks to everyone else for dropping by and sharing your guilty pleasures!

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