The Bet goes live ~ launching a new book
I never thought I’d see this day. Really, I didn’t. I wasn’t even sure I was going to get through moving house with sanity intact, but just to up the ante I decided a while back to set myself a deadline for the publication of this novel. I chose the 29th of September as it is the feast day of St Michael and All Angels, and as it turns out, it’s also a full moon tonight which echoes the picture on the cover. I’m not sure why I chose this day; instinct, I suppose. I wanted a day that was special in the larger calender. There are traditions about this day, and about the great harvest moon that hung in the sky last night, and it’s about both protection and fruition.
It’s taken a long while for me to be ready to let this one go. Perhaps when you read it you may understand why. It delves into deep, uncomfortable subjects, and the hero might well break your heart.
It was also the book that so nearly was never written. After years of banging my head on the metaphorical door of the publishing industry, resulting in some much stress and a sudden life threatening illness, I turned away from writing. I turned away for over eight years. I said, never again.
Never say never again. Shortly after a house move, I found vivid, disturbing scenes and snatches of dialogue beginning to haunt me while I was walking or running. Then it sneaked into other mentally idle moments and became too powerful to ignore. I didn’t like what I was seeing and hearing: a female teacher making the moves on a complex, vulnerable teen-age boy. But it wouldn’t go away. It grew. It became insistent and louder and in the end, an entire story began to flood into my head.
I was faced with a choice. Write it or go mad.
I bought a brand new A4 pad of paper and some pens and I began. I wrote like a woman possessed. I got blisters. But I got the story from out of my head and onto paper.
And I got my writing mojo back, after years of saying I’d never write again.
So what kind of a novel is it? I’ve listed it primarily as literary fiction, and as psychological drama, but that’s so general really. It covers sex, death, suicide, obsession and even abuse. It might make you gasp or even cry. It’ll probably haunt you. I hope so.
I’ve posted the synopsis here before but I’ll do it again now.
Jenny likes a challenge and Antony is the biggest challenge of her life….
“Boys like you get preyed upon,” Antony’s father tells him in a rare moment of honesty and openness, but Richard can have no idea just how vulnerable his eighteen-year-old son truly is. From a family where nothing is quite as it seems and where secrecy is the norm, Antony seems fair game to the predatory Jenny. Her relentless pursuit of him originates in a mean-spirited bet made with her colleague Judy, Antony’s former history teacher, who has challenged Jenny to track him down and seduce him.
Jenny is totally unprepared for Antony’s refusal to sleep with her or to have any sort of relationship other than friendship. She’s never met anyone quite like him before and her obsession deepens the more he rejects her. She’s no idea what he’s already been through and as far as she’s concerned it’s irrelevant.
Pretty soon, for both of them it becomes a much more serious matter than a mere bet and the consequences are unimaginable for either of them.